Sound Travels Monday: New Music

Sultry, seductive and infused with that inimitable samba swing, the music of Luísa Maita embodies the modern spirit of Brazil. Inspired by the bustling urban life found in her native city of São Paulo, Lero-Lero has a contemporary vibe with influences from alternative pop and downtempo electronic music melded with an acoustic foundation deeply rooted in samba, bossa nova and MPB. Fans of Bebel Gilberto, Céu and Seu Jorge will find much to love in Luísa Maita’s tropical, forward-looking sound, and her sensual yet soulful voice.
Luísa Maita has been surrounded by music since birth. Her father, Amado Maita, a singer whose one debut solo album from the 1970s is a coveted vinyl collector’s item, named all three of his daughters after songs by bossa nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim. Inspired by samba, bossa nova and other classic Brazilian styles, Luísa is also heavily influenced by the cool jazz of Billie Holiday and Chet Baker, as well as pop, funk and downtempo electronic music. Her first album as a solo artist, Lero-Lero shows these influences at play in her work and the hint of more to come…

Luisa Maita “Lero-lero” Lero-lero


The future of funk is being written right now by a pair of Parisian groove theorists named Bibi Tanga and Professeur Inlassable. Singer, bassist and bandleader Bibi Tanga bridges the divide between the arty South Bank of the Seine and the gritty suburbs, where he grew up as an immigrant from the Central African Republic. Bibi’s music is marked by slinky, sinuous basslines and a wicked falsetto that conjures up Prince and Curtis Mayfield, while producer Professeur Inlassable (“The Tireless Professor”) digs deep beneath the cobblestones of Paris to unearth the sound and spirit of another era. Together with Bibi’s band The Selenites, the duo forges a stunningly original new sound, and creates a space where Afro-futurism meets steampunk, Fela Kuti jams with Sidney Bechet, and Marcel Duchamp gets down to Chic. Though they’ve already made a stir in France, the group now teams up with Nat Geo Music (after a fortuitous spin on the Nat Geo Music TV Channel alerted the label to their sublime talent) to bring their fashion-forward funk vision to audiences worldwide.

Bibi Tanga & The Selinites “Bê Africa” Dunya


Integrating Afro-Latin traditions with modern elements of Rock, Hip-Hop, Dub, Ska and Afro-Beat, to create the hybridized sound that Cuchata is known for. The inspiration for Cuchata came from a pilgrimage to Marcelo E. Quinonez’s ancestral home of Nicaragua in 1999. Mesmerized by the musical heritage of the country, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Marcelo formed the band Cuchata.

With Cuchata’s third and newest release, Amor, Cambio, Y La Verdad we see Marcelo’s composing and writing talents focused and stripped down. The entire album showcases Marcelo’s seamless ability to jump from genre to genre and tackle everything from Cumbia, to Ska, to Hip-Hop. Pouring his heart and soul into this release. With this album Marcelo has elevated Cuchata to genre bending status, and created a record that speaks to people universally about the themes of life and love that captivate us all.

Cuchata “Asuncion” Amor, Cambio y la Verdad


Italian dancehall artist Alborosie has a new project. And while those familiar with his work won’t be surprised by that, it is remarkable that his latest is less crossover in appeal and more tribute to his roots. Known as an up-and-coming lyricist with a stark, plaintive delivery; Italian roots chanter Alborosie has, up till now recorded English-only singles. With Boo Boo Vibration we hear his flow crush it in Italian too. While a complete album seems to elude him, his singles are pure fire and every release is worth more than a listen. Hear this…

Alborosie & Boo Boo Vibration “Spaghetti Reggae” Scimmie Metropolitane