Continuing the trilogy of The Plus 2's, Moreno/Domenico/Kassin+2, Futurismo nimbly threads the lyricism and playfulness of its predecessors Music Typewriter (2001) and Sincerely Hot (2004). The +2’s arrive on the scene again, this time alongside other bands from Brazil, like Bonde De Role and CSS, all of whom demonstrate that music from other places is no longer considered outside of the mainstream. The album includes tracks that feature collaborative work with Sean O'Hagan (High Llamas) who co-wrote and sings with Kassin on “Ya Ya Ya” and “Back Bow,” and additional instrumentation and production from John McEntire (Tortoise) on the song “Lakeline.”
With a rising profile as a producer for popular Brazilian artists, including Bebel Gilberto and Marisa Monte, this album closes the Plus 2 trilogy, but opens up a new realm of musical possibilities for the leader of Brazil’s new garde.
Kassin, Futurismo’s main songwriter, producer, and lead singer, is known for his bass playing and avant-gardism. With Futurismo, he skirts the expectations of those who associate him most with experimentalism. He has created a classic sounding album that reflects the heart of his own record collection. It overflows with a mix of samba, garage rock, and bolero, all of which is inflected with electronic flourishes and bubbles of bossa nova.
For the past few years, Kassin has been one of the most exciting names in Brazilian music. From his Monoaural Studio in Gavea he has produced records by singers like Marisa Monte and Bebel Gilberto and made an album from the bleeps of a Gameboy. He has played bass for Caetano Veloso’s live shows and masterminded the Orchestra Imperial project, in which samba classics are given a modern twist by a loose and ever-expanding live band. And given his status as a leader of Brazil’s musical avant-garde, the biggest surprise of Futurismo is its bossa-rooted accessibility.
The songs on Futurismo are melodic gems. They were written at different periods in Kassin’s life and recorded quickly, mostly on acoustic instruments with electronic flourishes added later.