Azulejos

11/06/17Italian Producer Populous Releases Mindboggling New LP On Wonderwheel Recordings

This is the first we've heard of Andrea Mangia, alias Populous, a gifted producer hailing from the small Italian city of Lecce, aka Italy's Jamaica. Which of course goes on to explain his reggae and hip hop tinged upbringing. Populous has been releasing music since his debut album "Quipo" (Morr Music) back in 2003 and steadily began making a name for himself on the global circuit. Drawing on a wide range of analogue influences, which he blends with digital sounds and enticing rhythmic patterns, he translates his surroundings into fascinating sonic tapestry.

Following on the heels of his acclaimed 2014 release "Night Safari" (Bad Panda), which he describes as "the embodiment of a dream", Populous just released his latest left-field effort "Azulejos" via Brooklyn-based Wonderwheel Recordings (see Novalima "Planetario"), a result of his recent move to Lisbon, which meanwhile has become both his studio and his home: "He wandered the city collecting field recordings – from trams to people singing on street corners. He sifted through flea markets for records to use for sampling (exclusively Portuguese and South American). [...] He channeled these poignant fusions into Azulejos, named for the typical tiled facades in Portugal – simultaneously bright and decaying."

"Azulejos" is a stunning love letter to the city of Lisbon, in all its multicultural beauty and glory, a city Populous describes as "halfway between South American soul and European modernity, African in some aspects, and dramatically melancholic". Whereas to us, this body of work much more resembles an intricate and infinitely warm celebration of life. You can stream the full album over here on Bandcamp.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom