Todo Parao

from Todo Parao by Conjunto Papa Upa

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about

Conjunto Papa Upa returns with “Todo Parao” (“Total Shutdown”), another boundary pushing tropical smasher. Bringing you the ultimate (humourous) hymn to the pandemic over an exquisite blend of highly danceable Caribbean rhythms (zouk, cadence, kompás, guaracha) and classic synths. Backed by a deep sea dub on the flip, complete with resplendent cowbell(!), timbales and Wurlitzer solos. Another stepping stone that showcases yet another angle of the unique and radical production style of Alex Figueira. Drop this 45 at your next virtual party and watch everybody leave their computers in a desperate search of a dancing partner.

Conjunto Papa Upa is the Afro Caribbean centered solo project of Figueira, backed live by some of the best musicians from Amsterdam’s Latin and free jazz scenes. Their debut LP was recently released on legendary American indie label Names You Can Trust. Figueira is also known for his percussive work on tropical psych power trio Fumaça Preta or his regular live incursions with Amsterdam’s turkish psych folk powerhouse, Altin Gun.

Having spent the whole night working on the melodic structure of the song, Figueira took a break to take advantage of the different time zones and check on his dad in Venezuela, and ask how the pandemic was unfolding there. His answer: “Todo Parao” (“Total Shutdown”). The same two words he had used multiple times before, this time pronounced in a hilarious Rum-infused  way, giving Alex an unexpected flush of inspiration in the form of an instant infectious chorus. He excused himself and immediately got locked back in the studio.
The result is this incredibly catchy tune, displaying the optimistic approach of a boyfriend to the chaos, uncertainty and worrying of his girlfriend about the pandemic, presenting her with his own lascivious lockdown plan for the two, declaring at a certain moment: “while everyone is lamenting, you and I are going to enjoy”.

In the musical side, rhythms from Haiti, Guadaloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico and Cuba are unscrupulously mixed with the most diverse and strikking elements: strident cowbells that evoke the toughest salsa of 70's New York, harmonized guitars evidencing the inconfesable influence of 80’s heavy metal, a delicate Wurlitzer piano reminiscent of Black America’s greatest Soul ballads, Casio keyboards rescued from a child’s toy cabinet and a whole plethora of half-broken classic Synths, to create an equally irresistible and unclassifiable hybrid.

lyrics

El gobierno decretó
Que todo el mundo se quedara en su casa
Casi nadie reclamó
Dijeron, vamos a ver que es lo que pasa
Solo la panadería puede abrir acá en mi zona
Me pongo la mascarilla pa' que no me agarre La Pelona.

Y ahora en esta situación
Ya no podemos andar por la calle
Agarro el teléfono
Llamo a mi jeva y le doy los detalles
Ella no sabe qué hacer
Pregunta cuando nos vamos a ver
Tranquila mi reina que tengo ya el plan bien preparao.

Vamos a encerrarnos
Del mundo olvidarnos
Y en las cavernas del deseo perdernos sin vuelta atrás.

Vamos a embochincharnos
Y acurrucucharnos
Y mientras todos se lamentan tú y yo vamos a gozar.

No hay mal que por bien no venga
Ya esto no hay quien lo detenga
Vámonos mi vida, mira que ya estoy desesperao.

Todo parao
Todo parao
Aprovechemos que está todo parao.

credits

from Todo Parao, released November 20, 2020

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