Experimental Brazilian composer Sentidor wasn’t always a fan of countryman Tom Jobim, the legend behind such bossa nova classics as “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Waters of March”. It was only after listening to 1987 album Passarim that he found a point of convergence between Jobim’s ideologies and his own. Focusing on both the personal and the environmental, Passarim has a dark edge to it—one that resonates with Sentidor’s political viewpoints and talent for musical deconstruction. On Am_Par_Sis, Sentidor takes Passarim apart and stitches it back together in wild and wondrous ways, laying out a vast, futuristic vision of Brazil built out of samples of Jobim’s work.
“It’s all the tropicália movement talked about in the ‘60s: cultural cannibalism,” says Sentidor of his upcoming album. “I thought I’d switch around the status quo and ask, ‘What would Tom Jobim sound like after a ritual of intense artistic cannibalism?’” It’s a bold question, matched by Sentidor’s bold vision.
On Am_Par_Sis‘s ambitious title track, distortions pull Jobim’s sounds in all directions, accented by ghostly whispers, twinkling piano scales, and ominous fuzz. The ambiance is immersive, the atmosphere brilliantly jarring. Sentidor describes Jobim’s beloved Rio de Janeiro as “a symbol of Brazil’s cultural and artistic relevance… with a complex relationship between art, subversion, crime, poverty and cultural relevance that is an explicit metaphor of cultural capitalism.” He captures the city’s instability and contradictions here, reaching dizzying heights and plateaus of serenity with dense layers of sampled sounds and haunting negative space. Jobim’s fears (“Little bird on the tree, you better fly / If you stay on that tree, you’re gonna die,” begins the original Passarim) live on, echoing in Sentidor’s post-apocalyptic soundscape.
Am_Par_Sis comes out on Sounds and Colours on March 24th and is available now for pre-order.