Filed Under:

Lucas Santtana: Bossa Nova With A Brand-New Beat

Lucas Santtana is a Brazilian artist who has been hiding in plain view for years. I came across a record by Santtana back in 1999, EletroBenDada, which updated the experimental and political pop music of the 1960s and '70s Brazilian Tropicalia movement for a new generation. I heard nothing more from Santtana for more than 10 years, but it turns out he's been busy making great music in Brazil, even if hasn't been making it up to North America. His latest record, Sem Nostalgia, has just been released in the U.S.

Santtana is of no relation to Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana. But Santtana does do incredible things with a guitar on Sem Nostalgia, his tribute to the spirit of bossa nova. Bossa nova is the musical movement during which Brazil's greatest artists often performed using just their voice and an acoustic guitar, traditionally known as voz e violåo. Santtana continues that tradition here — but with the help of sampling software and some creative friends, his songs can sound as much like modern electronic music as they do like "The Girl From Ipanema." Using this method, Santtana can take something as simple as the sound of a hand rapping against the side of a guitar and flip it into something like the once-familiar sound of an IBM electric typewriter — a rhythm simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic.

The processing may strike some as a gimmick, but it seems to me that Santtana gives each song just what it needs. The album title translates as "without nostalgia," and that's the approach Santtana takes. He draws inspiration from the past — not as a way to escape the present, but as a way to embrace it, and maybe even improve on it.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Took Unlikely Path To Hollywood Royalty

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
NPR

Carnegie Deli Says It Is Closing Down Its Landmark NYC Restaurant

As news of the closing rippled far beyond the deli's home turf in Manhattan Friday, hundreds of people responded with sadness and disbelief.
NPR

Gary Johnson Is Probably The Healthiest Candidate For President

The 63-year-old Libertarian presidential nominee has run 17 marathons and four Ironman Triathlons. He doesn't drink or smoke cigarettes, though his doctor doesn't address his past marijuana use.
NPR

The People's Guide To Navigating Racial Awkwardness

What are the best strategies for responding to uncomfortable racial comments? We asked, you delivered. Here are some of our favorite ideas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.