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Sao Paulo Underground: Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres

Mark Corroto By

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Even today we are just coming to accept the innovations and constructions of Teo Macero and the man who was credited with and blamed for Macero's snip and paste collage work, Miles Davis. In today's digital studio it is certainly easier to manipulate sound, and few artists do it as well as cornetist-turned-scientist Rob Mazurek.

Mazurek has been at it since 1997 with Tortoise, various incarnations of Chicago Underground bands, and Isotope 217. His technique has continued to be refined and sharpened. But even more importantly, he has allowed the manipulations to become more organic, even as he reveals the DNA of the computer.

Mazurek also moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil a few years back, and his interactions with local artists spawned the latest incarnation of the Underground with trumpeter and electronic musician Mauricio Takara. Their music is part soundscape, part science fiction. Mazurek has become so adept at the technique that he can assemble a seamless recording and more importantly, interact with others within that presentation.

The disc opens with a shortwave spin of foreign voices and samples of electric errata. As you attempt to get your bearings, the pair brings you back to the trumpet and the ever-present drums of Brazil (and Chicago). And you're off.

Mazurek is comfortable in Don Cherry's world music shoes ("Pombaral ), Miles' wah-wah trumpet, and Sun Ra's processional music ("The Realm Of The Ripper ). The two musicians create a quilt of cross-cultural, crossed-sampled electronics that pours percussion over every dish they serve up. The beats can be heavily urban ("Black Liquor ) or strangely unbalanced ("Batão de Gáis ), all tossed by plan.


Track Listing: Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres; Pombaral; The Realm Of The Ripper; Olhossss...; Afrihouse; Black Liquor; Bat

Personnel: Rob Mazurek: cornet, electronics; Mauricio Takara: percussion, electronics; Marcos Axe: percussion, voice, samplers, guitars, synthesizers; Tiago Mesquita: percussion, voice, samplers, guitars, synthesizers; Wayne Montana: synthesizers; Damon Locks: synthesizers; Josh Abrams: electric bass; Chad Taylor: drums.

Title: Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Aesthetics


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