One of the most exciting bands to come out of the two decade strong and wild late night Nublu scene in the East Village of New York City, Forró in the Dark combines the driving dance rhythms of forró from Northeastern Brazil with a melting pot of rock, jazz, reggae, psychedelia, folk and more. Together since 2002, the collective of New York based Brazilian ex-pats Mauro Refosco (percussion), Guilherme Monteiro (guitar) and Jorge Continentino (pífanos, flutes, saxophones) have collaborated and performed with a wide variety of artists including David Byrne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace, Bebel Gilberto, Gal Costa and many others.
After releasing two albums of original material, Bonfires of Sao Joao (2006) and Light A Candle (2009), and Forro Zinho (2015’s cover record of the famous American avant-garde composer John Zorn) the time was ripe for the band to take a new approach to songwriting, recording, and collaboration. They set up shop at the Rio de Janeiro studio of producer Kassin, whose unique perspective and more radical methodology was a perfect match to capture the hot and humid vibe and flavor palette of Brazil in the summertime. Throw in the mixing expertise of multi-Grammy Award winner Mario Caldato (best known for his work as producer of the Beastie Boys), mastering by Robert Carranza (Seu Jorge, Mars Volta, Jack Johnson, Los Lobos), and a wide array of special guest musicians and lyricists - and their new album Sandcastle, out April 21st on Nacional Records, was birthed from this tireless effort of creative energy and spirit.
Sandcastle encompasses exploration beyond the conventional, yet still has a sense of cohesion in all of its varied sonic spaces; a testament to producer Kassin’s approach to universalize and modernize the material while simultaneously capturing a vintage and organic aural awareness. The instrumentation ranges from traditional percussion such as the zabumba, triangle and acoustic guitar to more futuristic elements like synth bass, synth drums, tape delay, synare, and sound effects. And Forró in the Dark does not conform to the traditional lyrics of rural life’s hardships typically found in the genre. Instead they are more relevant to modern urban living - telling stories of love, heartbreak, and other various, sometimes comical examinations of life experiences - making this record a more universal celebration of the ups and downs of human existence, all the while knowing that the tide can sweep away the fortress at a moment’s notice.