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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Curumin

By Malachai Phelps
Published June 13, 2008

Japan Pop Show
Quannum Projects

When São Paulo’s Luciano Nakata Albuquerque (a.k.a. Curumin) came out with Achados e Perdidos in 2005, it was clear that the kid was onto something good—so good that no less an arbiter of taste than the legendary DJ Shadow had been compelled to take notice, releasing the young Brazilian’s debut on his Bay Area-based Quannum label. While that album bumped with a stellar blend of funk, bossa and hiphop flavors (including a stripped-to-the-blues acoustic cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” with Curumin singing the lead in a creaky baritone worthy of Sly Stone), Japan Pop Show, as its title suggests, dials up these and even more influences, from the spaghetti western guitar chords of the title track to the scratchy music box-meets-Paul’s Boutique fusion of “Salto Com Joelhada No Vacuo.” Capped off by the exquisitely gritty funk excursion “Compacto,” Curumin’s latest is another frothy concoction that hits many a high note.