Pedro Luis e A Parede ‘Ponto Enredo’ (World Village) 4/5

pedro-luis-e-a-paredeThis Rio-based group can be best described as the left-field side of samba, but one that is highly melodic nonetheless. Pedro Luis et A Parade successfully fuse traditional samba with other influences, notably funk and rock rhythms, and in this respect have taken a leaf out of the pioneering sounds of Chico Science and Nacao Zumbi from Recife in north-east Brazil. From the opener ‘Santo samba’ the alternative take on samba becomes apparent with dissonant guitar in the background. The title track is a haunting song with echoey dub guitar and drums whereas ‘Repudio’ is a laid-back samba with an indie-rock sensibility. Large-scale escola de samba percussion combine with synths on the lengthily titled ‘Ela tem a beleza que eu nunca sonhei’ while the pared-down percussive breakdown of ‘Mandingo’ reveals a funkier side to the group’s repertoire. It is the slide guitar that surfaces on the old school samba of ‘4 horizontes’ which features the indispensable sound of the cavaquinho (a small ukelele-sounding string instrument) and the cuica drum. Excellent art graphics from the interestingly named Billy Bacon (another intriguing Brazilian fusion, perhaps?)round off a highly entertaining and different updated take on a music form that is now inextricably linked to the Brazilian national character.

Tim Stenhouse