Something like an Amazonian leprechaun, Curumin is a mythical jungle troublemaker in the guise of a feral child. His favorite tactic is misdirection; with his feet facing backward, poachers never know exactly which way he is heading. The same can be said for Luciano Nakata Albuquerque, the multitalented Brazilian wunderkind behind Curumin the band. Achados e Perdidos
(Lost and Found
), his debut release for Quannum, combines twisted electro-funk, breezy bossa nova, acoustic hip-hop, and sunny Seventies soul. As the group's main drummer, programmer, guitarist, bassist, and vocalist, Albuquerque clearly has a fascination with Stevie Wonder: His husky tenor is rich with urban soul like the R&B genius, and he covers "You Haven't Done Nothing" for the album's only English-language track. Beyond those easy signifiers, Albuquerque also shows a glimmer of Stevie's compositional complexity, weaving dense grooves and psychedelic grandeur into discernibly hook-heavy tunes. Brimming with sounds and ideas, yet wide-open and laid-back, his music is as purely Brazilian as it is beholden to American influence. In that sense, Albuquerque also touches on the avant-garde brilliance of Brazilian freakonauts like Tom Ze and Os Mutantes. But while those artists were consciously, overly oblique, this Curumin strolls right up to the mainstream before veering off into its own territory.