[13 June 2007]
David Byrne has never made a secret of his love for Brazilian music so it’s not a surprise to find him doing guest vocals on this single from Forro in the Dark’s last album, The Fires of Sao Joao. Forro is based in New York, a group with six core members, playing Brazilian folk music on American instruments. This “Asa Branca” is their English-language version of Luiz Gonzaga’s biggest hit, which was first recorded in 1947 and has been covered unnumbered times in the intervening years. Byrne’s flat singing helps to give it a country sound, like a jauntier and more Brazilian Carter Family. Only one of the remixes on the album makes much of his voice. That’s The Real Tuesday Weld’s “Cowboy Mix”. “Dublex Inc Remix” subdues the singing and stretches the song out to nearly eight minutes in an echo chamber of slow, slow beats and mizzly electronica. The “Forro in the Dark vs. Dublex Inc - Kidon Kibom” mix keeps the quick beat of the original, bringing out the bump/thrust and burying much of the rest of the song. None of the mixes are bad, none are exceptionally good, they’re just sort of there. “Cowboy Mix” is cute but TRTW has done better. One for the fans.