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Album Review

Karnak is a band formed in 1992 by André Abujamra (former Os Mulheres Negras after a trip to Luxor, Egypt, where the temple of Karnak is located. In spite of being a pop band that refuses the label "world," very few bands have made such strong efforts to be in that category. They fuse several stereotypes of Arabic, Persian, and Russian music with samples of a Tunviskayan throat singer, an Arab band, a Spanish sailor, and a Brazilian street vendor. Brazilian music is also present, with beautiful sounds of the Northeast (samples from Banda de Pífanos de Caruaru, Maracatu Rural from Mestre Salustiano de Oliveira) having the hips-propelling pop rhythms as a safe net. The humor is always present, with Brazilian texts interpreted with a foreign accent. Musically, the guys are competent pop performers, and the simple melodies easily assimilated. This is the first album, and it sold well for and indie record, about 15,000 copies; the band also was acknowledged by the São Paulo's Association of Art Critics as the best band of 1996, by MTV Brazil as Revelation of the Year (1996) (because of the video "Comendo Uva Na Chuva"), and the Gold Clip (for the video of "Alma Não Tem Cor," which was nominated in three categories: Best Clip of the Year, Best Pop Clip, and Best Direction). The "Alma Não Tem Cor" video also won the Best Director award at the MTV's Video Music Brasil in 1997.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s

Karnak is a band devoted to satirizing world music through humorous pop music, using the music of different places such as Egypt, the Arab world, the Caribbean, the U.S., Africa, and Brazil, and samples of these peoples' speaking styles. The group was formed by André Abujamra, formerly of Os Mulheres Negras, in 1992. They have performed in Canada (in Montreal, for 10,000 people, in 1998) and the U.S. in addition to their Brazilian presentations. Their first CD, Karnak (1995),...
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Karnak, Karnak
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