To understand where the richness of 2007's Futurismo by Kassin + 2 comes from, take a walk through Rio's Zona Sul. In the dusty record shops of Copacabana's crumbling antiques arcades, 60's MPB classics by Elis Regina and Jorge Ben play on scratchy vinyl. In bohemian Santa Theresa, the psychedelic sounds of Os Mutantes and Tom Zé find their spiritual home. Along the Ipanema beachfront the bossa nova of Tom Jobim and Joao Gilberto remains the perfect reflection of that elegant part of the city. You can hear samba everywhere, from the city centre to the furthest suburbs, and in the hillside slums, the bump and grind of favela funk pumps out a rougher reality.
Futurismo is the portrait of Rio's rich musical, cultural and ethnic diversity. The final part in the + 2 trilogy – fellow band members Moreno Veloso and Domenico Lancellotti were the featured names for the first two releases – Futurismo is as Carioca as Havianas, Caiprinhas and the ability to spend all day on the beach without getting any sand on your sarong. "When I make an album, I want it to be able to sit happily inside my record collection," says Kassin, a Rio native who has been digging for vinyl gold all of his life. Futurismo is like a collection inside a collection. It represents my tastes and my world."
The songs on Futurismo are all melodic gems. "Seu Lugar," a duet with funky bossa nova legend Joao Donato, has the ease of a sea breeze. "Mensagem" is a beautiful slice of sunshine pop with some unsuitably melancholic lyrics. "Ya Ya Ya" is a collision of Brazilian harmony and squealing space-age freakout reminiscent of the classics from the Tropicalia era. "Pra Lembrar" begins with an orchestral blast before settling into a plaintive bossa nova that is evocative of the beauty, humor and sadness, forever entwined, at the heart of Rio life.