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New Releases: Romãtico | Drinho

Malcolm McLaren or Sigue Sigue Sputinik? History will judge.

Malcolm McLaren was known for several reasons: businessman, visual artist, performer, musician, stylist, boutique owner and above all for being the promoter and entrepreneur of the Sex Pistols.

For me, however, my stronger memory of him comes from 'Duck Rock', a 1983 album that combined, in an unusual way, musical styles from South Africa, Central and South America, and the Caribbean with hip hop. It was a strange record, far from the standard of "commercial music" or even "western harmony". I had a love-hate relationship with the record, consciously I thought I didn't like the songs, but I was driven to it, I kept listening, listening and listening to the album. Even "not liking it", it was one of the LPs I bought (and at that time it was a tough competition, as a teenager I had very little money and a desire to have hundreds of albums). It was a record that I listened to from headphones, a little embarrassed, after all I couldn't tarnish my reputation as an alternative rocker, those songs didn't match Bauhaus, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy!

But the fact is that, as strange as it was, the story judged 'Duck Rock' positively, Pitchfork included it in his list of the 200 best albums of the 1980s, the album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip hop to a wider audience the UK, with two of his singles, 'Buffalo Gals' and 'Double Dutch', making it big hits on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Drinho, in his option for the unusual, as exposed since his first release, assumes himself as one who does not conform to producing music in the standards of what everyone else already does. He invents strange songs in awkward arrangements that lead us to ask whether we are listening to simple kitsch or avant-garde.

In this new release, the artist exchanges melon for pomegranate (romã in Portuguese), or melancholy for romance. Telling simple stories of "living together", the singer walks through disappointments, frustrated expectations, shared flavors, and statements of the most classic, weaving the poetic identity of a lyrical self that makes his own formal unconcern a quality, a differential feature.

Drinho may be that kind of artist that you don't dare recommend because you can't imagine what the other person's reaction to listening to him is, but he is definitely an artist that deserves to be heard without prejudice.

Malcolm McLaren or Sigue Sigue Sputinik? History will judge.

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