Who is Júpiter Maçã? Where has this man come out from, a man who was only known until very recently by a very selected few in pop music's elite? The musical origins of this Brazilian filmmaker, multi-instrumentalist and composer take us back to the first half of the 90's, when he spawned a brief incursion in Dylan-esque territory under the moniker Woody Apple. He soon came back as Júpiter Maçã, his current name, with which he develops his personal version of a 60's inspired psychedelic sound in cult albums that don't cross the Brazilian borders, but do find an echo among an elite who whisper his name in each other's ears: among his following we find Tom Zé, Caetano Veloso, Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee, Sean Lennon, Tim Gane, Sean O'Hagan or Dean Wareham. A dream team of international good taste.
"Uma tarde na fruteira" is Júpiter's fourth album, the firsy with an international distribution (now with his name in English), with which he will undoubtedly convince the rest of the world of the timeless beauty of his delicious modern Brazilian sound. The album is a complete revision of the history of the best Brazilian music, a mosaic formed by a thousand images and crafted with love, with care and with a deep knowledge of the subject. And not only soundwise, you know here at Elefant we consider the covers as an important part of the musical experience: the most illuminated have already spotted the obvious tribute designed Gregorio Soria has done on the cover to the records in the catalogue of exquisite Brazilian label Elenco (over fifty references, featuring classics by António Carlos Jobim, Sergio Mendes, Baden Powell or Roberto Menescal, all very enjoyable and with monocromatically gorgeous graphism).
In such a beautiful envelope, JUPITER APPLE's actual sound takes us back, with its surrealistic, colourful imagery, to the most creative, explosive, exciting period in Brazilian music, the one going from the 50's to the 70's, the evolution that takes us from bossanova to MPB through Tropicalism. In his songs we find the same scents, the same colours and the same nostalgic yet optimistic exuberance that soaked the beloved recordings by OS MUTANTES, OS BRAÇOES, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Gal Costa... There's soft pop songs that remind you of the early Roberto Carlos, intimate bossanova à la Luiz Bonfa or Baden Powell, hedonistic easy listening to be filed with Sergio Mendes or Walter Wanderley, psychedelic pop and expanding symphonies that make you think of the best tropicalism or THE BEACH BOYS' "Pet sounds" and "Smiley smile". Pop art influenced histories, starred by beatniks, superheroes, bolshevists and tropical holidays, with the naïf bravery that made Brazilian experimental pop so daring and so artistically successful in its gold years.
This is an album that could have been released in 1968, or in 1972. In 2007 it sounds as a delicious anacronism that, thanks to a special vision of a sound that was futuristic and original in its heyday, still sounds absolutely modern and different to anything else today. Who knows how has JUPITER APPLE managed to revive that old sound in such a faithful yet modern way (STEREOLAB, BROADCAST or Mike Alway would kill to have songs like "Menina Super Brasil" or "Act not surprised" in their repertoires... and for having the Brazilian blood run through their veins, a tradition that JUPITER APPLE has learnt from the cradle), because if there is a word to define this album, that is timeless: it sounds current, modern, but as if it had travelled in time; it jumps from one decade to the other, from past to future, and it makes us dream with times and sounds that have never existed or are still about to come.
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