While DJs and pop artists the world over assimilate the sticky and sweet beat of Brazil and its samba, bossanova, and traditional carnival percussion, little attention has been given to Brazil's young talents. Get past Veloso, Gil, and Jobim, and you'll find a plethora of artists re-shaping the sound of Brazil into new, exciting forms. Suba, one of Brazil's most in-demand producers, was one of them. Released in Brazil before his tragic death in a recording studio fire late last year, Sao Paulo Confessions is Suba's bittersweet introduction and goodbye to the rest of the world. It's full of churning, hot grooves driven by both live percussion and electronic beats layered with a handful of sultry female vocalists. Club Med exotica it's not, for Suba has an ear for dense, urban grooves that eschew pop hooks or melodies in favor of modern textures and space. "Think 'Blade Runner' in the Tropics," Suba once said. Besides a light, radio friendly adaptation of Jobim's "Felicidade," Sao Paulo Confessions is postmodern tropicalia, with Suba elongating his beats into gorgeous, shimmering dreams that are club friendly, yet respectful of tradition without being nostalgic. Suba blends the synthetic analog-sounding beats so close to the live instrumentation that you'll probably be asking yourself, "is this drum and bass, or a carnival troupe out of Rio?" Suba's provocative, intelligent touch makes Confessions one of the most forward-thinking native-Brazilian albums to pop up across the border in recent memory. Sadly, it is also his last. - Todd Dominey
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