To understand where the richness of Futurismo by Kassin + 2 comes from, take a walk through Rio’s Zona Sul. In the dusty record shops of Copacabana’s crumbling antiques arcades, 60’s MPB classics by Elis Regina and Jorge Ben play on scratchy vinyl. In bohemian Santa Theresa, the psychedelic sounds of Os Mutantes and Tom Zé find their spiritual home. Along the Ipanema beachfront the bossa nova of Tom Jobim and Joao Gilberto remains the perfect reflection of that elegant part of the city. You can hear samba everywhere, from the city centre to the furthest suburbs, and in the hillside slums, the bump and grind of favela funk pumps out a rougher reality.
For the past few years, Kassin has been one of the most exciting names in Brazilian music. From his Monoaural Studio in Gavea he has produced records by singers like Marisa Monte and Bebel Gilberto and made an album from the bleeps of a Gameboy. He has played bass for Caetano Veloso’s live shows and masterminded the Orchestra Imperial project, in which samba classics are given a modern twist by a loose and ever-expanding live band. And given his status as a leader of Brazil’s musical avant-garde, the biggest surprise of Futurismo is its bossa-rooted accessibility. “I have been making strange and experimental music,” says Kassin. “This time I wanted to make an album that is clean, melodic and calm.” John McEntire (Tortoise) and Sean O'Hagan (High Llamas) also contributed to the album with additional production and vocals on the tracks "Ya Ya Ya," "Lakeline" and "Back Bow."