"Meta Meta are a raucous trio…. twisting Brazilian music with bursts of static and noise” THE WIRE
“The music echoes anything from punk rock to freeform jazz and samba” (4/5) THE GUARDIAN
“An extremely sophisticated mix of jazz, funk and art-rock…. the first really serious contender for album of the year” (5/5) THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
“Semi-improvised and raw, bursting with vim and surprise” UNCUT
Over a squalling mess of improvised guitar and sax, a twisted, almost broken female vocal cries out to Exu, the gatekeeper of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé. This is the ‘Afro-punk’ sound of Metá Metá - Vocalist Juçara Marçal, saxophonist Thiago França and guitarist Kiko Dinucci – a trio of Sao Paulo’s most sought after musicians, struggling to survive the 21st century sonic schizophrenia of their home city Sao Paulo.
Metá Metá’s sophomore album and debut for Mais Um Discos MetaL MetaL launches itself from the ancient chants of the orixás into a dirty brew of psychedelic samba, distorted jazz and Afro-punk. The band are all followers of candomblé yet Thiago is eager to point out that they are not using the orixás to preach certain beliefs but to provide a framework within which they tell their stories.
On MetaL MetaL they mix these spiritual and rhythmic foundations with influences ranging from Afrobeat to Afrosambas, punk rock to be-bop to create chaotic, life-affirming music that explodes with the rage of The Stooges and Sonic Youth, the spirituality of John Coltrane and Sun Ra and the wild, avant-garde instrumentation of contemporary experimental-psychedelic outfits such as Melt Yourself Down and Goat.
Thiago’s sax-playing has some serious experimental traction, one moment somersaulting countermelodies over Kiko’s guitar, the next diving low to provide the brassy bass to Juçara’s commanding vocals. Kiko is influenced by the intricacies of African music and never plays chords, allowing for wonderful melodic interplays between himself and Thiago. On Oya, the guitar confidently strides in on a funk-driven riff, challenging the saxophone, whose immediate riposte oozes sophistication to match and elegantly paves the way for Juçara. “This,” claims Thiago, “adds drama to the songs, as you never know where the melody is going to take you. If the guitar opens with a chord, the harmonic structure has been laid out, and the listener already knows what’s coming next.”
All the band members are integral cogs of the São Paulo arts scene; Thiago with his improv-led trio, MarginalS and African rooted solo outfit, Sambanzo was also in Criolo’s touring band for two years. It was during his stint with Criolo that he met Tony Allen, which led to the two collaborations with him on the album. Juçara is a member of a cappella group (Vesper Vocal), experimental theatre company (Companhia Coral) and professor of singing at Sao Paulo’s University Anhembi Morumbi. Kiko plays with Passo Torto a ‘samba string quartet’ and is a widely respected visual artist - he created the wood carving for the MetaL MetaL logo.