Vanguardist Arto Lindsay seamlessly blends Brazilian pop, noise, and sonic dichotomy on his first album in 13 years | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Vanguardist Arto Lindsay seamlessly blends Brazilian pop, noise, and sonic dichotomy on his first album in 13 years 

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click to enlarge Arto Lindsay

Arto Lindsay

Jorge Bispo

Earlier this year experimental pop genius Arto Lindsay dropped Cuidado Madame (Northern Spy). It’s his first new studio album in 13 years, but what’s resulted fits seamlessly alongside its predecessor, Salt­ (Righteous Babe). Since the late 70s, when he unleashed one of the world’s greatest manifestations of—in the immortal words of Lester Bangs—“horrible noise” with his trio DNA, Lindsay has spent decades forging art-pop that melds koanlike poetry with the sophisticated Latin pop he grew up hearing while living in Brazil with his missionary parents. Cuidado Madame is helmed by his longtime bassist Melvin Gibbs and the versatile jazz drummer Kassa Overall, with help from a shifting cast of instrumentalists and songwriters at the vanguard of various styles, among them Patrick Higgins of New York experimental band Zs and Brazilian pop avatars Lucas Santtana and Marisa Monte. The album is filled with sensual polyrhythms that ripple and throb as Lindsay delivers melodies in a voice that sounds ever closer to the rounded softness of jazz vocalist Bob Dorough. On the opener, “Grain by Grain,” sexually tinged wordplay falls from his lips with erotic playfulness as he croons, “I love my handwriting / I love my hand writing your name / On your belly.” Most of the songs bask in a lovely sonic tension, where the hushed intimacy of the melodies and vocals is battered by low-end grooves that shimmy with elegance but aren’t overcrowded by the singer’s gentle warble. Lindsay vividly digs into his masterful primitive guitar technique on the instrumental “Arto vs. Arto”—a bruising dialogue of weird vocal tics and brittle six-string dissonance—and serves unalloyed beauty on the ballad “Pele de Perto.”   v

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