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Norberto Lobo - JPop.com
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Norberto Lobo

Norberto Lobo

Norberto Lobo


Norberto Lobo is a Lisbon-based musician and Mudar de bina is his first solo album. It’s a record centred almost exclusively on the sound of the acoustic guitar and therefore on the expressive abilities of Norberto Lobo as a guitarist. In these days of ‘polished’ music production it became easy to forget the eminently physical character of a significant part of musical creation. Records like Mudar de bina contribute in some way to revert this tendency. Read more on Last.fm
Norberto Lobo is a Lisbon-based musician and Mudar de bina is his first solo album. It’s a record centred almost exclusively on the sound of the acoustic guitar and therefore on the expressive abilities of Norberto Lobo as a guitarist. In these days of ‘polished’ music production it became easy to forget the eminently physical character of a significant part of musical creation. Records like Mudar de bina contribute in some way to revert this tendency. The production gimmicks are minimal and aim only at adjusting this music to its natural environment, which is precisely its physical, human and popular nature.

The album was literally recorded between home and the streets and its listening reveals in an almost self-evident way just how much sense it makes that it was so. The evoked melodies, the somewhat complex harmonies (due in part to the nature of the instrument itself) and the simple and straightforward execution create an air of intimacy and a certain melancholy tone that could be labelled as “homely”; and yet, there is also a vital force, a vigour in the attack and an healthy distancing from over-sentimental moods that clearly approach this record to the “streets”. The music itself is based on a modern appropriation of several elements of solid and multicultural tradition. In this disengaged revision of the past resides the biggest respect Norberto Lobo could vote to that same tradition he “dishonours” – be it that of our Portuguese popular music, be it the legacy of John Fahey and the “school” associated with Takoma Records.

On the other hand, the elemental assumption of the instrument, with its strengths and limitations, and the primal joy of producing sound and feeling it as physical vibration seem to transfer themselves to the listener and communicate with him on that level of fruition that we might say seemed lost, or at least numbed, by the way we’ve gotten used to listening to music: consuming it, more than appreciating it. Not that this music is “hard”; on the contrary, the way it is worked – the alternating bass, the vigour of the harmonies, the density of the arpeggiated parts, the brightness of the melodic lines – places its appreciation beyond the level of shear intellectual evaluation, thus once more approaching these recordings to the music of a popular nature (two of the songs are actually variations on popular melodies). In this music both elements of contemplative nature and others revealing a more humorous and joyful tone share space in perfect harmony; the same thing happens with the elements of tradition and others of inevitable – and desirable – modernity. But never the general tone of this set of recordings falls in the mere “post-modern” use of those elements of tradition or in a shallow hiding of its debt towards them.

On the contrary, the assuming of those musical elements that somehow became a part of our popular lexicon is candid and fundamentally joyful, even in its “homely” register; and that’s how this record ends up sounding. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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