Purely mathematical, yet truly human. HHY and his Macumba boys bend spacetime as a black hole — yes, we’re talking about a singularity, here. I’m pretty sure there’s no band similar to these guys.
People don’t talk about this often enough, or I’ve been around the wrong corners in Portuguese cities for the last couple of years. Truth be told, what Lisbon is now achieving thanks to the efforts of Buraka Som Sistema and the Principe Discos crew, which is a well-deserved place under the spotlight of the electronic music scene, it is something Porto’s been lurking around for over a decade now. Maybe the urban decay of this old town flourished something special in its offspring of artists, far away from the capital city and pretty much left to be forgotten on their home studios and basements, just trying to surpass themselves and reach beyond borders.
For some, it all started with hip-hop, and that’s where the game is played at the highest stake, with the likes of Expeao, DJ for the successful Dealema hip-hop outfit, Ghuna-X, and the kids (not so young, anymore) at Monster Jinx. For others, in techno and dance music leaning towards a darker side. And then there’s HHY & The Macumbas. We know dub is the starting point for these dudes, but that’s an heritage pretty much everyone has in electronic music. We’re just not sure that’s how everything started for HHY and his bunch.
HHY, aka Jonathan Saldanha (Fujako, Mécanosphère), is a classical trained horn play that has upgraded his approach beyond controlling melody and harmony, engaging in modulation of sound and manipulation of texture. When backed up by the Macumbas, each soundwave, bassline and raga expelled by the soundsystem get a heavily rhythmic, shamanic and ritualist treatment by a complex percussion section of four people. There’s no origin on the surface of this planet for what these guys are doing, it comes from the very core of the earth. The unquestionable human nature of their electronic and layered outburst is perfectly merged with a mathematical and precise knowledge of rhythm — they are genuine, on the verge of failure at each chord progression, but making it every time, sounding as only they would sound.
They mix the impossibilities, bending spacetime so profoundly that quantic laws apply in a context of Einstein’s general relativity. You can get into the slow dub grooves of the deep bass lines and headbang the crap out of your spine, you can choose one of many rhythms in their music to dance your legs off to, or engage in the haunting melodies of HHY’s machinery. Infinite possibilities to the curious mind. Don’t judge them solely on their first opus “Throat Permission Cut”. Based on what I’ve recently witnessed, they’ve gone way beyond it now and are now stretching their gravity pull to ludicrous levels. They’ll suck you in, and you’ll like it.
Promoters around the world, learn this simple yet undeniable mathematical truth. It will be helpful for any event you’re hosting that features HHY & The Macumbas:
E=mc^2 <=> HHY & The Macumbas > other bands
and that’s why they should not be cast as supporting act.
As a sofa scientist and professional concert-goer, I’ve tried over and over again to prove the equation above wrong. And yet, I’ve failed miserably on each and every turn. You can try it for yourself, but the odds, as the laws of physics, are not on your side.