Lenine

Lenine

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Brazilian electronica has been a gradually growing international phenomenon; the combination of warm, laid-back samba grooves and jittery electro beats has proven irresistible to many listeners from colder climes. But singer, guitarist, and songwriter Oswaldo Lenine Macedo Pimentel (who records under the less unwieldy moniker Lenine) takes a more muscular approach to this fusion than do many of his compatriots. Where others lounge languorously by the pool or jump around in delirious abandon, he tends to go for the throat. His music isn't exactly aggressively in your face, but there's nothing relaxed or decadent about it, either. Without fluent Portuguese it's hard to know exactly what he's singing about, but whatever it is, it sounds pretty political. Whether it's the tensile funk of "Rosebud (A Verbo e a Verba)" or the more spare and downtempo "O Marco Marciano," Lenine's music sounds quite serious, and that is meant in a good way. As with the best serious music, though, it's frequently danceable to an almost ridiculous degree: note, for example, the irresistibly grooveacious "Tuby Tupy" and the Minneapolis-via-São Paulo bump of "A Rede." "Alzira e a Torre," with its dark chord progression and propulsive beat, has something of a late-Clash vibe to it. When you want to chill out, there's the more gentle and contemplative "Nem o Sol, Nem a Lua, Nem Eu," but chilling out isn't really what's on the agenda here: this is powerful, exhilarating music with an intriguing edge. Here's looking forward to much more like it.

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