Maracas / Grasping And Wishing
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Fresh one on Music With Soul – a channel for hot 7″s that always fly out here.
Two and a half frenetic minutes that sound like Aphex Twin and The Incredible Bongo Band dancing Capoeira in the early hours of an illegal rave, somewhere in the deep amazon forest. After the success of his first solo 45, Alex Figueira comes back to the aesthetics of the early Fumaça Preta, with an utterly bonkers 45 that can only be described as an “in-your-face acid macumba techno breakbeat funk freakout”.
The flip side contains a haunting Psychedelic ballad, with the sweet vocals of Maddie Ruthless, from NY’s leading Lovers Reggae sensation, The Far East. Equally trippy and beautiful, the soothing sounds of the Wurlitzer piano and the electric sitar will be bouncing in your head for hours after first listen. The kind of song that finds collectors dropping eye-popping sums, decades after the original release. Guarantee your retirement now by getting a few copies! The song “Maracas” is the main theme of the movie “Maracas, tambourines and other hellish things” directed by fellow record nerds Matteo Fava and Dave Potsma. They managed to convince Figueira to play the main character, and later on, to do the complete music score. The movie tells the story of a struggling underground musician / part time record store clerk, whose music career is basically going nowhere until an improbable encounter gives his life a dramatic turn. They asked Figueira to give them something with “a fresh tropicalized take on Blacksploitation”. One might argue, after listening to the insanity carved on the grooves of this piece of vinyl, that he certainly did deliver.
The characteristic mix of synthesizers and heavy percussion used by Figueira in almost all his projects, gains here a somewhat freer dimension, embracing the chaos openly, without ever neglecting the groove, nor the ancestry axis. Values that are at the core of the label. Even while laying down all the instruments himself, Figueira has managed to capture the same out of control tropical psychedelic spirit of his former band, Fumaça Preta. Fans of the group’s outfit will certainly be rejoiced by this new release.
The flip carries “Grasping & Wishing”, an evocative Psych ballad that retains the same tripped-out flair of the A side, while slowing down the tempo considerably with a decidedly african 6/8 beat. Sung by New Orleans’ own “Rocksteady Queen”, Maddie Ruthless, stepping out of her classic Reggae background, to grace the track with her beautiful voice, permeating the issues of belonging, doubt and introspective reflection portrayed in the lyrics, with a thin layer of exquisite fragility that will comfort your ears.
The production includes a significant number of sound effects, ranging from different types of percussion performed with liquids to bamboo flutes of different sizes and several layers of multiprocessed electric Sitar tracks. Listen carefully and you will discover new sonic nounces every time you put the record on.
- A. Maracas 1:40
- B. Grasping And Wishing 1:59