As I have mentioned repeatedly in the sparse posts over the last six months to a year, it’s been a very busy time for Flabbergast, filled with momentous “real life” things that were extremely demanding and required all of my attention, and thus have kept me away from blogging. Foremost among these been the absorbing work I put into proposals for the Lego Ideas initiative whose mania is sweeping the nation! Unfortunately my efforts brought me nothing but frustration and headaches. My first attempt was a scale model of Motown Studios which I designed after one visit to their Detroit museum back in 1999 and a postcard that I’ve kept ever since as a souveneir. It was going pretty well – I even had the moveable drum riser, built out of Legos! – when I received a “cease and desist” letter from Berry Gordy’s estate and was forced to abandon the project. The last thing I needed right then, especially when trademarking my name back in 2013 failed to produce any revenue whatsoever, was a lawsuit. Sadly, litigation was exactly what I would get from my next project, a scale model of the Berlin Wall. The city kept telling me that I needed something called a “permit” and told me that the armed Lego guards were scaring the townsfolk. But what really killed the project was a lawsuit from both Phil Spector and ex-Pink Floyd guy Roger Waters, who had heard about my run-in with Berry Gordy’s people and automatically assumed my giant Lego wall must be music-related and so obviously somehow about them. I think I had a pretty good chance of winning the court case, but since I couldn’t find a lawyer who would accept payment in Reddit gold, I decided to just abandon that project too. For payback, I mailed Spector a Lego gun but apparently the prison deemed it an unacceptable gift. But don’t worry about me, I always land on my feet. I’m not interested in any trendy get rich quick schemes anyway, I’m a guy who likes to commit to the long haul. Legos! It’s such a fad, I’ll bet you twenty dollars (in Reddit gold or possibly Bitcoin) that nobody will even remember what they are five years from now.
Alright, so let’s just establish right at the outset that I bought this record because of the cover without knowing anything about it. It was definitely buying it just from the front photo – after all it has popcorn in it, sitting next to a bowl of ice! But then I flipped it around and saw that more than half of it was carimbó music, which would have sealed the deal had I not already made up my mind.
Rather fittingly for the cover, in the grooves is a so-so party record of tunes that will grow on you but that probably won’t end up on your regular party playlist. In spite of being called “Vol.3 – Lambada” there is only one tune which flirts with that genre here, the outright awful “Carimbó das Guianas.” The tightest thing here is the track Carimbo de Dezembro, a funky little number meant for celebrating New Years Eve, and which I included on Flabbergasted Freeform No.10 . The runner-up might be Carimbó da Crioula which starts out at a slower tempo and keeps speeding up until it’s pretty frenetic. Candango gets bonus points for authoring all his own tunes, with a handful of writing partners, including Pinduca on one track.
Mr. Candango has kind of a weird voice, one that is suited for the forró music here. Based on the range of his repertoire and his accent, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he might have been a Northeastern transplant to Pará, the birthplace of carimbó. A little lazy searching turned up the fact that he apparently lived for a while in Ilheús, Bahia. If he wasn’t a nordestino then he was certainly playing to an audience that appreciated the region’s music. Along with some genres native to Pernambuco (which is, as a matter of fact, where I found this record) like frevo and ciranda here, you also get fandango / marujada, and the aforementioned forró. But then he also takes a stab at a samba de roda. He seemed to be a jack of all trades, as further sleuthing turns up that he made at least one record of seresta / serenata music, as well as an entire album of fandango. But I know little else about him. He may have worked in construction of the modernist capital city of Brasília: candango is a name given to the construction workers there, and he seems to have been old enough to have done it. He could have invented this off-road Jeep, the Brazilian version of the German “Munga”:
If anyone wants to replace this speculative biography of the mystery man known as Candango do Ypê, feel free to leave a comment, which is also where you find the links to the record.
Incidentally, as you will hear, this record wasn’t in the best of shape and neither was the cover. I did a little “restoration” on the glorious cover art, you can see the original state it was in here below. I left a little of the wear and tear to keep the “authenticity” in tact….