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Os Barbapapas


Label: Fun In The Church

Genre: Freestyle / Nu Jazz / Funk / Afro


  • LP €28.99
    Dispatched within 5-10 working days
Enigma is the first studio album by the spaceage, glass-harp powered, tropicalia quartet Os Barbapapas. Understandably, those adjectives could invoke images of kitschiness in one’s mind; that concept is smashed by the ice cold shot of Brazilian jazz riffing in the album’s opener and first single, “Se Liga Na Sequência”.

Os Barbapapas trapeze the vast richness of Brazilian/South American music heritage and beyond, as a collective with members who have variously traveled to Morocco to master Gnawa; played in circuses, or were born in the heartland of samba - these experiences and much more inform the complex yet breezy instrumentals of Enigma.
In 2019 fellow labelmate Pedro from the The Düsseldorf Düsterboys reported back to the Fun in the Church HQ after spotting the band as a clear stand out in the São Paulo scene. The label approached Os Barbapapas, who were stocked with the material for a first album, before the horrors of 2020 began to occur. This contract turned into a beam of positivity as it fostered a series of online concerts featuring unique compositions written for the band to perform whilst live in isolation. Those recordings became their first album, Doowoodoowoo. Viewing these performances online retrospectively, you can witness the gritty desire of Os Barbapapas to create - at all costs.

In 2022 the band was finally able to meet again and work in a studio with all the warmth and ingenuity that facilitated. Old songs were vamped up with the help of new band member Fernando Lima, and fresh tunes were inspired from the next round of jams. One notable difference from the lockdown album to this studio work is the separation of the glass harp melodies from the guitar licks, so that counterpoint arrangements bulk the sound significantly. Tomás Gleiser is the designer of the recognisable glass harp instrument on this album, water-tuned glasses running through a wah wah and other pedals, which is one of the key elements of the band’s unique sound. Their inventions don’t stop there: “Yucumã” - the Ry Cooder-esque masterpiece - is played on the Copper Tacho Guitar, an instrument with 3 main strings played as a slide guitar and 10 sympathetic strings played as a harp, created by guitarist Selva Rubens.

It’s a joy to pick through the notable influences that resound over Enigma. Ethiopian Jazz bursts from "Caminho para Itiwawa", backed by an Afro-Latin swing, fostered by drummer Barbara Mucciollo. There’s tonalities from North African artists such as Omar Khorshid or West African artists such as Tinriwen and Ali Farka Touré, as well as rhythmic influence from Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian music. The dynamite track “(L)Atitude(S)” contains the explorative excitement of Brazilian 60s luminaries like Pedro Santos, however none are as special as layered percussion of “Gaba Gaba”, connected to the very specific rhythms of Northeast Brazil.

It's evident from listening to Enigma that Os Barbapapas are an exceptional live band. They have their sights set on Europe soon, with the Glass Harp packed away safely. Until then,please enjoy this electrifying album of their work so far, understanding: this is an extremely exciting project, still in its auspicious infant years.