2015 is a landmark year for Far Out Recordings, not least because it marks 10 years since the debut release of one the label’s flagship artists, Sabrina Malheiros. To celebrate, Far Out are releasing a digital reissue of Equilibria complete with four unreleased instrumentals and an unreleased re-work all of which, until now, have never seen the light of day.
“Gorgeous samba fusion” ****
Listening back to Equilibria today, it’s clear that Sabrina started as she meant to go on. Introducing her signature sound to the world, a sublime mix of traditional bossa nova and samba mixed with hip-hop, R&B and electronica, Sabrina carved out her place in the Brazilian music landscape with a sound all her own. This combination of timeless Brazilian songwriting and contemporary electronics helped make Equilibria a truly momentous album, one of 2005’s best and a seminal release for Far Out, hence the decision to celebrate its 10th birthday with this special reissue.
“A perfect summer soundtrack” ****
Written by Sabrina and her father Alex Malheiros and backed by the rest of Azymuth – the late keyboard maestro Jose Roberto Bertrami and Ivan ‘Mamao’ Conti on drums and percussion. With the legends of crazy samba acting as the de facto backing band on the album, these instrumentals offer the chance to hear the masterful musicianship of Azymuth in all its splendour. Their gloriously sun-soaked sambas and bossas are deeply rooted in the traditions of their native Brazil yet, true to form, they remain ever-futuristic and forward thinking. This modern approach is brought even more to the fore on Equilibria thanks to the boundary-pushing production of Daniel ‘Venom’ Maunick, whose father Bluey of the legendary UK jazz/funk/soul group Incognito also features on the album.
“Deliciously fresh… a perfect summer record”
As well as the four previously unreleased instrumentals, the new Equilibria package contains an unreleased Venom remix and a stand out remix from Vibrasom thrown in for good measure. Terra De Ninguem is given a beautifully hazy rework, shrouded in a deep mist by Maunick, who pulls the drums from under the track in the aptly titled ‘No Beatz Dub’. His ‘Original Bossa Mix’ of Passa adds some weight to the original with a rub of broken beat. Despite being locked away in the Far Out archives for so long, Venom’s unreleased Sabrina re-jigs, not to mention the originals, have all remained immutably fresh. These mixes, combined with the timeless instrumentation from the members of Azymuth on both the unreleased tracks and the original album means that Equilibria still remains a truly vital listen in 2015, and one well worth revisiting.