Reviews June 6, 2011
Casata
In our show Afropop Soundsystem 3: Nu-Whirled Music we talk about “World Music 2.0,” the new international electronic music craze driven by inexpensive production and distribution via the internet.  This World Music 2.0 sounds most recognizably like M.I.A or maybe The Very Best, but it's also being made made by your average 14 year old with a laptop in Brazil. And it’s huge.  There’s another kind of new music out there, though, still whirled with worldwide influences, but more on the rock side of the (what-even-is-a-) genre spectrum.  There are live instruments at the concerts and it’s recorded in a studio with a producer. Nonetheless, something still connects it to this Nu-Whirled movement. This is where DeLeon fits in. Let’s start with the bands with whom they’ve toured: Os Mutantes (psych-rock from Brasil), Balkan Beat Box (electro-dance-funk from Israel), Ozomatli (hip-hop funk fusion from Southern California), and Gogol Bordello (gypsy punk with band-members from Ukraine, Russia, Ethiopia, USA, China, Scotland, Israel, and Ecuador). Where does that leave us with DeLeon?  Could you really guess what they’d sound like from that list? You pretty much just have to pick up the album and listen.  Pick any region in the world and then try not to hear at least something on the album that’s drawing from that region’s music. I won’t say it’s impossible, but it’s not easy. You’ve got African funk guitar, Sephardic vocal melodies, Brazilian tango rhythms, American banjo with foot stomping bass. I’ll leave the rest up to you. The point is this album solidly represents the stage of whirled world influences these days. And yet unlike the baile-funk you'd expect to only hear in favelas in Rio de Jeneiro, DeLeon would fit right in at an indie-rock venue in New York.  Casata, more than anything, is music that celebrates the world of music. -Henry Molofsky