Pulling editors out to a late-night gig on a school night can be tough, particularly when said gig is at Nublu, a hip East Village haunt where things don’t start jumping until after midnight. Yet the chance to catch the funky Curumin, up from Sao Paulo for a short tour, in the tiny club with no stage was too tantalizing to pass up. In the Nublu tradition, the band started late, and then had technical problems, but a large contingent of Brazilians and hipsters weren’t letting that slow the action down. Curumin remembers the night vividly as well: “Nublu is different from any place that we played on tour. That feeling of a small club, with no stage, dark, selected people, good music...these things make any show very different, more real, more live, besides any technical problems. You could hear the acoustic sound of the instruments. And actually, Nublu looks like the clubs we used to play here in Brazil.”
The band (technically they’re called Curumin And The Aipians) ended up doing a lengthy percussion jam while they worked out the technical difficulties. Then Curumin switched from drums to vocals and the whole band kicked in with a psychedelic mix of vintage funk grooves and Brazilian rhythms with bits of dub and hip-hop. “Stevie Wonder is a big influence,” Curumin explains. “When I was 15 years old, my brother introduced me to the album Innervisions and that really changed my musical conception.” This Marisa Monte meets Stevie Wonder sound comes out on Achados E Perdidios, which was issued by the hip-hop label Quannum in 2005. With a new album in the works, hopefully there will be more late-night parties, but Curumin’s playful, sunny sound is broad enough to reach far beyond the dark environs of Nublu.