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Arkestra One

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Album Review

With its heavy Brazilian focus and lazy-day atmospheres, it's not difficult to see why Arkestra One's debut LP was picked up by ESL, the breakbeat label run by Thievery Corp. boardmembers Eric Hilton and Rob Garza. Surprisingly, though, producer Matthew Timoney outdoes Thievery themselves (who are prized more as taste-makers and DJs than producers) by turning in an imaginative spin on the oft-heard fusion of Brazilian music and trip-hop. Accompanying him on most tracks is Smoke City singer Nina Miranda, who is half-Brazilian, half-English and not only turns in a solid impression of the naïvely romantic Astrud Gilberto for "I Really Want You" and "How Could I Love You More," but shows her range by scatting along on a bright samba piece, "Train to Machupichu." Timoney is really the one holding it all together, though, evoking the simple pleasures of a mid-'60s production by Marcos Valle or Sergio Mendes on "Filling It With Sound"; constructing a slinky Portishead backing for the highlight "Seu Paraiso"; and gracefully turning the production around on "Shine," which exits with an eerie back-masked portion of the song itself.


Formed: London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Arkestra One, a duo comprised of producer Matthew Timoney with vocalist Nina Miranda, delivered a beat-heavy version of Brazilian pop in similar company to their ESL colleagues Thievery Corporation. Timoney, a native of Finland, was raised in London, where he eventually began working as a registered nurse. He also listened to music, with a special emphasis on early ambient techno experimentalists including Aphex Twin and the Irresistible Force. After beginning a production career himself, Timoney...
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Arkestra One, Arkestra One
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