wed 23/09/2020

CD: Lucas Santtana - Sobre Noites e Dias | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lucas Santtana - Sobre Noites e Dias

CD: Lucas Santtana - Sobre Noites e Dias

Boundary-breaking Brazilian artist with a thoroughly contemporary twist

Lucas Santtana, boundary breaker

The Afro-Atlantic world, in music as well as in religion, has always been characterized by a continuously self-renewing tendency to combine elements from cultures that originate on either side of the ocean. Lucas Santtana is a thoroughly contemporary Brazilian musician – in spite of his roots as an accompanist of bossa nova and tropicalia greats such as Gilberto Gil and Gaetano Veloso.

The Afro-Atlantic world, in music as well as in religion, has always been characterized by a continuously self-renewing tendency to combine elements from cultures that originate on either side of the ocean. Lucas Santtana is a thoroughly contemporary Brazilian musician – in spite of his roots as an accompanist of bossa nova and tropicalia greats such as Gilberto Gil and Gaetano Veloso. His most recent music has drawn from the polyrhythms of Africa, the soft lilt of reggae, Brazil’s own rich samba tradition, as well as the complex textures of European club music and indie rock.

His new release follows in the footsteps of “The God Who Devastates Also Cures” in providing a variety of finely crafted settings for a widely varying range of songs – some poetic reveries, others more obviously in the pop mode.  There is a childish innocence in the way he plays with words, undercutting rational discourse with fights of fancy. This is mirrored in a playful and inventive approach to the production of the music – from the surprising presence of a synthesized woodwind section with the sweet sounds of clarinet and bassoon through to the more epic wide-screen display of electronica on songs like "Funk dos Bromanticos". This is one of the catchiest tracks on an album full of ear-grabbing hooks that linger in the brain long after listening. The super-simple lyrics call for the freedom of same sex relationships, the Dionysiac liberation that comes from surrendering to the dance.

Some of the lyrics, as on the stripped-down acoustic "Velhinho", are in Portuguese: but there are also songs in English, a charming contribution from the Senegalese-French rapper Féfé and a Jane Birkin-style intervention from the über-sensual French actress Fanny Ardant. 

This is world music 2014-style: not a trace of traditional authenticity, but an engagingly postmodern “métissage’ (as the French would say), a woven tapestry of influences and styles. This is, as it were, the counterculture of globalisation; music without frontiers that reflects a guileless desire to break the boundaries – musical and otherwise – that keep us apart.

There is a childish innocence in the way he plays with words, undercutting rational discourse with fights of fancy

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters