Tony Mola

Quebra Mola

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The second album by Bahia-born percussionist Tony Mola and his enormous (13 pieces, most of them drummers!) group Bragada refines and continues the style of their self-titled debut. Tony Mola & Bragada are a carnival band first and foremost, and for all the hyper-modern touches that appear on these 15 tracks (there's a whooshing synth part on the opening "Braga Boy" that would not be out of place on a Stereolab record, and the same song also features heavy rock guitar solos of a type not seen in Brazil since the heyday of Os Mutantes), they are a proud carrier of Bahia's candomble tradition. The infectious samba rhythms of these tracks are utterly irresistible; every song is powered along by basically the same hyper-kinetic rhythm, yet Mola and company cleverly ring enough changes on the themes to keep the individual songs sounding fresh and different from each other, like the reggae-style toasts Glauber Risu raps over the beat on the pulsing "Buribai" and the Milton Nascimento-style jazz influence on the slinky "Lunadê." This is excellent stuff, neither hidebound nor tainted by crossover desperation.

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