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ARTIST
TITLE
Abaporu
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
KOMP 115CD KOMP 115CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
9/30/2014

Returning to the full-length format after a couple of years well-spent in the 12" singles circuit, Brazilian groove architect Gui Boratto follows up his 2011 offering III (KOMP 090CD/KOM 242LP) with new masterpiece Abaporu -- an exotic and colorful journey into sound, spread over 13 richly-orchestrated club tracks that display the same penchant for ridiculously catchy melodies and infectious rhythms that already informed his revered 2007 album debut Chromophobia (KOMP 056CD/(KOM 152LP). In what may be his best work to date, Gui Boratto strings together various contemporary strands of pop-infused techno and house and translates them into his very own stream of groove consciousness -- also an act of cultural appropriation, as both Abaporu's cover artwork and title suggest: putting an inspired twist on Brazil's most famous modernist painting "Abaporu" from early 20th-century artist Tarsilo Do Amaral, they draw from the rich history of Brazilian modern art, where European and indigenous influences would collide in the most exciting manner. Elegantly swinging album opener "Antropofagia" elaborates on this by directly referencing the "Manifesto Antropogafo" (translated as "Cannibal Manifesto") from Oswald de Andrade in its title: Tarsila's husband was also a main proponent of the so-called Anthropophagic Movement that intended to literally devour European culture and turn it into something genuinely Brazilian. In a dazzling display of sonic depth and subtextual ingenuity, Gui Boratto arranges his lush synth-scapes accordingly, painting in broad, neoprimitivist strokes and bright colors that -- at a closer look -- reveal an immense wealth of retro-modernist touches and textural detail. Besides showing off its beautifully crafted melodic flourishes, the album's extended sound palette also flexes its dance muscles on a regular basis -- as eponymous minimal bouncer Abaporu or prime-time piano banger "Joker" prove with ease: a well-versed dance producer and engineer like Gui knows perfectly well how to lay out a narrative arc for utmost floor impact. Meanwhile, cuts like "Please Don't Take Me Home," "Get the Party Started" and "22" illustrate Gui's growing preoccupation with expertly tailored vocals or finely tuned guitar interludes -- updates to his sonic vocabulary that already lead to the fantastic summer singles "Take Control" and "Too Late." The extent of Gui's musical bravura becomes abundantly clear with "Indigo"'s masterfully directed ascension from a deceptively simple, laid-back glockenspiel melody to full-blown string drama in just a handful of bars -- an engrossing listening experience that primes the canvas for introspective, wistful groover "Manifesto," taking the album's emotional trajectory full circle. One of the Brazilian mastermind's most satisfying full-length efforts to date, "Abaporu" finds Gui at the top of his game, rewiring the electronic circuits that connect European and U.S. dance music to his own -- and our -- liking.