Toilet Guppies Celebrates the Arrival of Summer!

The other day, honorary toilet guppy Maja Nilsen sent me a reminder of the occasionally sublime tones of (probably involuntarily) psychedelic Brazilian girl group Quarteto em Cy. And since the music of Brazil immediately evokes in the northern European images of tropical forests, deserts, beaches and sun, it's the lazy man's summer sounds. Shorthand for park times. (The safe, daytime kind.) And what do you know? All the way up here in Norway, summer is finally here! You only need to smell the sizzling sausages and bushes fragrant with latex to tell.

As it happens, my brother is a distinguished connoisseur of all music Brazilian, so I went through his extensive collection of classic and obscure records to compile this little doozy of instant sun. I've avoided the obvious—bossa nova and tropicália—and settled for less famous MPB («Música Popular Brasileira», an umbrella term for post-bossa pop and rock). The comp is limited to what is arguably MPB's golden age, from 1969 to 1972. From the trippy to the poppy, a lot of gems, never noticed in Europe (and probably forgotten in Brazil by now), came out of the vast country in those years. Not as fucking suave as bossa nova, but not as hit-or-miss experimental as tropicália, this is effortlessly melodic music of substance and texture, avoiding the perky pitfalls of stereotypically «tropical» music, exploring instead the deeper, more sincere feelings of ecstasy, anxiety and political resistance to dictatorship—often to a samba beat!

Don't expect any oil drums or out-of-tune vocals from beautiful, but insipid chanteuses singing about «heart» this and «heart» that, all set to easy listening arrangements redolent with soccer, carnival, G-strings and heartache on the sand. There's more to Brazil than bananas, sex and street children, you know.

But there's always sun in Braziliana somehow. Enjoy the rays!

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