Who is Júpiter Maçã? Where has this man come out from, a man who was only known until very recently by a very selected few in pop music's elite? The musical origins of this Brazilian filmmaker, multi-instrumentalist and composer take us back to the first half of the 90's, when he spawned a brief incursion in Dylan-esque territory under the moniker Woody Apple. He soon came back as Júpiter Maçã, his current name, with which he develops his personal version of a 60's inspired psychedelic sound in cult albums that don't cross the Brazilian borders, but do find an echo among an elite who whisper his name in each other's ears: among his following we find Tom Zé, Caetano Veloso, Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee, Sean Lennon, Tim Gane, Sean O'Hagan or Dean Wareham. A dream team of international good taste.
"Uma tarde na fruteira" is Júpiter's fourth album, the firsy with an international distribution (now with his name in English), with which he will undoubtedly convince the rest of the world of the timeless beauty of his delicious modern Brazilian sound. The album is a complete revision of the history of the best Brazilian music, a mosaic formed by a thousand images and crafted with love, with care and with a deep knowledge of the subject. And not only soundwise, you know here at Elefant we consider the covers as an important part of the musical experience: the most illuminated have already spotted the obvious tribute we have done on the cover to the records in the catalogue of exquisite Brazilian label Elenco (over fifty references, featuring classics by António Carlos Jobim, Sergio Mendes, Baden Powell or Roberto Menescal, all very enjoyable and with monocromatically gorgeous graphism).
In such a beautiful envelope, JUPITER APPLE's actual sound takes us back, with its surrealistic, colourful imagery, to the most creative, explosive, exciting period in Brazilian music, the one going from the 50's to the 70's, the evolution that takes us from bossanova to MPB through Tropicalism. In his songs we find the same scents, the same colours and the same nostalgic yet optimistic exuberance that soaked the beloved recordings by OS MUTANTES, OS BRAÇOES, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Gal Costa... There's soft pop songs that remind you of the early Roberto Carlos, intimate bossanova à la Luiz Bonfa or Baden Powell, hedonistic easy listening to be filed with Sergio Mendes or Walter Wanderley, psychedelic pop and expanding symphonies that make you think of the best tropicalism or THE BEACH BOYS' "Pet sounds" and "Smiley smile". Pop art influenced histories, starred by beatniks, superheroes, bolshevists and tropical holidays, with the naïf bravery that made Brazilian experimental pop so daring and so artistically successful in its gold years.
This is an album that could have been released in 1968, or in 1972. In 2007 it sounds as a delicious anacronism that, thanks to a special vision of a sound that was futuristic and original in its heyday, still sounds absolutely modern and different to anything else today. Who knows how has JUPITER APPLE managed to revive that old sound in such a faithful yet modern way (STEREOLAB, BROADCAST or Mike Alway would kill to have songs like "Menina Super Brasil" or "Act not surprised" in their repertoires... and for having the Brazilian blood run through their veins, a tradition that JUPITER APPLE has learnt from the cradle), because if there is a word to define this album, that is timeless: it sounds current, modern, but as if it had travelled in time; it jumps from one decade to the other, from past to future, and it makes us dream with times and sounds that have never existed or are still about to come.
JUPITER APPLE "Uma Tarde Na Fruteira (Deluxe Edition)" Digital 2 volumenes 15th Anniversary Special Edition [2007-2022]
We really hope this recovery puts the name Jupiter Apple back where it belongs, that poetic justice puts the spotlight on him and recognizes his unique and inimitable talent, which is sadly not with us anymore. What we still have are his marvelous albums, his unforgettable work.
Here at Elefant we are fervent believers in poetic justice. It couldn’t be any other way. We have the clear example of Nick Garrie and the well-deserved second youth his incredible “The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas” experienced. We believe that “Uma Tarde Na Fruteira” deserves the same thing, and we are going to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its release to reclaim it with a new Deluxe Edition that includes 6 additional tracks. Because the figure of the songwriter and creator, Flávio Basso (aka Júpiter Maça, or Woody Apple, or as he signed his first international album with Elefant Records, Jupiter Apple), requires revisiting 7 years after his death, at just 47 years old.
It’s not for nothing that luminaries of good taste like Tom Zé, Caetano Veloso, Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee, Sean Lennon, Tim Gane, Sean O'Hagan and Dean Wareham fell all over themselves in praise of him. Rolling Stone placed his first solo album, “A Sétima Efervescência”, on the list of the 100 most important albums in the history of Brazilian music. “Uma Tarde Na Fruteria” was released by Elefant (the first time his songs came out on a non-Brazilian label) in 2007. In the end, it was his fourth and last album (a compilation of new songs and songs from previous albums), though he continued to release various singles until 2015, including songs on soundtracks.
Jupiter Apple is probably the XXI century’s most inspired representation of tropicalism. Who was responsible for bringing the teachings of OS MUTANTES, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Marcos Valle, Secos & Molhados, etc. to postmodernism? And that means experimenting, tripping out, mashing up psychedelic rock, samba and jazz, crossing all the lines, playing with melodies. That’s why “Uma Tarde Na Fruteira” is so much fun, so exciting, so emotional. Its 17 songs travel between samba-stylings and hallucinogenic experiences from “A Marchinha Psicótica De Dr. Soup” (how can you not think of “Parque Industrial”), the hard-rock riff of “Tema De Jupiter Maçã” (with the power of “Jardim Eléctrico”), the outer space psychedelic groove of “Base Primitiva Revisitada” and “Metropole”, and the super pop of “Menina Super Brasil” and “Act Not Surprised” (we would have to mention STEREOLAB here as well). And it also moves between the garage of “Collectors Inside Collection”, the exoticism and bossa style of “Tropical Permanent Holidays”, the chamber pop of “Mademoiselle Marchand”, the baroque folk of “The Futuristica Waltz”, the Estonian spirit of “Síndrome De Pânico”, the Brazilian journey of “Carvão Sobre Tela” … It’s incredible that this all fits into one album.
It’s a lavish banquet over the course of 17 songs that on this Deluxe Edition we complete with six tracks previously unreleased through Elefant. “Beatle George” is a tribute to his favorite Liverpoolian, with sitar included, a Hare Krishna chorus, and overflowing fantasy. “Bridges Of Redemption Park” is a samba full of saudade, absolutely delicious. “A Lad & A Maid In The Bloom” is a slow, winding development, close to 10 minutes, between turbulent noise, bossa, psychedelia, radiophonic narrations, and the most absolute unpredictability. The song could be an album all by itself. “Welcome To The Shade” shows off his ability to give samba an evocative tone among shadows in the dusk. “Please Don’t Disturb” gets back to roots, sounds more plaintive, more melancholic. And it leaves the doors open for a new symphony. “The Homeless And The Jet Boots Boys” is an eleven-plus minute exercise in narration through sound, musical expressionism, overflowing imagination. Few people in the world have been able to write pieces like this, maintaining the pop spirit and melodic definition at such high levels.
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