Music and travel may be hobbies for most folks, but Belgian world-rock fusionists, Think of One, consider the two more than mere avocation. More mobile, multilingual and gregarious than a carnival sideshow, To1 have turned globetrotting into a full-time gig. Their journeys in Morroco resulted in three albums with masters of the oud and local Moroccan music gnawa. Their extensive travel throughout Europe and Russia as a brass band had them living out of a truck (which doubled as a mobile stage) while absorbing the playing styles of the gypsy camps they frequented. They’ve jammed with Jamaican and Congolese MCs, and separate projects, one involving drum ‘n’ bass and one with the Inuit tribes of Northern Canada, are in the works. If Lonely Planet ever opens a club, this should be the house band.
To go by their Fuji Rock Festival performance, this week’s gigs will revolve around “Chuva Em Po,” their seventh and latest release. Recorded after a trip to northeastern Brazil, the album alternates between a languorous shuffle and frantic, percussion-heavy explosions. Woven within the Latin polyrhythm are To1’s own jazz, punk and funk predilictions, along with a healthy dose of Flemish folk songs. The mix may sound bewildering, but your feet will know exactly what to do. Four Brazilian collaborators are touring with the peripatetic six-piece, which means there will be plenty of drums, horns and hand claps to go around. Small world, big fun.
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