By Bruno De Nicola, Contributing Reporter

Songoro Cosongo, photo by Bruna Prado.
Songoro Cosongo, photo by Bruna Prado.

RIO DE JANEIRO – The multi-ethnic band will launch their latest work Friday 19th at the Circo Voador in Lapa, set to be a fantastic event with many surprises and artistic attractions.

Psicotropical Musik Vol II, published by Bolacha Discos, is Songoro Cosongo’s second album, set to follow the success of the band’s first CD: Misturado Com Cachaça Fica Muito Bom (which means ‘mixed with cachaça makes it really good’) .

Songoro Cosongo – the name inspired by a Cuban poem written by Nicolás Guillén in 1931 – is a band born in Santa Teresa and composed mainly of foreigners who met in 2005 and decided to put together their different Latin American cultural backgrounds to create something often missing in the Carioca musical scenario: contact with the rest of the continent.

Its members hail from Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Chile and Brazil, and thus what they play is a mixture of Brazilian music, Latin rhythms, Reggae and Jazz. Their quick rise in Rio has the ultimate stamp of approval: the band has had a successful bloco in the Carnaval since 2006.

Psyichotropical music doesn’t really represent a genre or a style, it’s more of a name for a journey across South America, a mix of sounds and rhythms that invites listeners to encounter other countries and cultures. Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Candombe, Afro-beat and other grooves represent the elements that Songoro Cosongo combine and promote in a city where Samba, Choro, Funk and Forró prevail even over the international pop mainstream.

Misturado Com Cachaça Fica Muito Bom, the band’s first album, is an introductory piece of art, a musical bridge between Brazil and the other Latin American countries. Its tracks contain many typical Brazilian elements, such as the native rhythms Choro and Frevo – which have proved to be a gateway to the Carioca audience.

Psicotropical Music Vol II is quite different from the first album, as it loses much of the traditional Brazilian sound in favor of a deeper exploration of the rest of South America. “It’s definitely much more mature”, says lead singer Alexis Graterol, as he points out that the band focused more on their origins this time around.

Songoro Cosongo, photo by Bruna Prado.
Songoro Cosongo, photo by Bruna Prado.

Graterol also reveals, “there are quite a few new elements in the band, which helped Songoro Cosongo enrich their work, even through the use of synthesized sounds”.

Friday night’s show at the Circo Voador is shaping up to be a very promising event as, aside from the main attraction, there will be other interesting artists gathering to entertain the band’s fans.

The Orchestra Voadora, a true big band, will be opening the show, while the Carioca DJ, Marcelinho da Lua, will carry the event to its end. The clown Jairo da Silva, a figure well known to Carioca audiences, will be performing as well, adding a dose of comedy to the night. During a short interview Alexis Graterol also mentioned that there will be a big surprise for the fans.

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