Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The title track from Curumin's last full-length album "Japan Pop Show," is a piece of music that would never get within 100 miles of modern American radio and it has nothing to do with the fact that the man sings in Portuguese. It's just that it's completely far-fetched and experimental up to the maximum. We can't stop there though. We must keep going through the rest of the album and realize that the Brazilian wonder has a history of such things, of taking conventional approaches and then Flaming Lips-y-ing them, taking them through soaring drug trips and countless expansions of the mind. It's a bigger musical world that Curumin chooses to live in and call his own. It's many worlds held together with one of those tasseled toothpicks that get sunk into meatballs and sautéed mushrooms at fancy, appetizers-only dinner parties. He lets himself get distracted and then he takes those distractions and puts them in the show. They're allowed their air time, given the chance to put on their little dance and see how or if it all fits together, to see if maybe all of these different parts could make a family. There's a tonic in the sexy sounds that Curumin deals with, something that takes you to the opening moments of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's video for "Beautiful," sadly the pictures that originally made me want to travel to Brazil. It's how he begins "Japan Pop Show," calling it a Japan poppie show, making it seem as if it has a little more to do with opium than it should - or shouldn't. He then lets out a trilling throat-clearing that's more like a sigh, something post-coitus or maybe it's just full of boredom or relaxation and it turns into a mini mid-song sermon or a lesson from the wise to the eager-eared: "Drink with me the wisdom tea/Can you feel it. You touch/You hurt/You see/You feel/I read/I reeeeeead." It's then that the drums and the bongos reach their full tilts and love is there, love is here and people are getting higher. The man makes music that's supposed to follow you around and massage the knots out of your shoulders and lower back. It's supposed to offer you something in a tumbler - probably your favorite drink - without having to have asked you what you needed. It's supposed to be with you when you feel like you're attractive - perhaps the most attractive you've ever felt. It's supposed to make you feel as if you're ready to start an affair, any affair. It's daring and it's void of any omens or dark clouds. It's warm and sultry and will turn you into someone with a swagger in their step and a sweetened aroma as if they're fresh air walking, just waiting to have a reason to be seducted.