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Arto Lindsay - Cuidado Madame

Arto Lindsay - Cuidado Madame

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• The album is titled after an infamous 1970 Julio Bressane film about oppressed housemaids revolting against and brutally murdering their mistresses. The literal translation is “Careful, Madame.”

• The album is produced by Lindsay. It features Melvin Gibbs, Paul Wilson, Kassa Overall, Patrick Higgins, Ryu Takahashi and Thiago Nassif.

• Candomblé (spiritual rhythms revolving around possession and trance) served as the foundation for the record. The process began with recordings of atabaques in Brazil. Lindsay wrote melodies and lyrics over the rhythms in the studio in Brooklyn.

• The album is an exploration of the cultural nexus of Afro-Brazilian spirituality and western modernity.

When people talk about Arto Lindsay’s body of work, they often project a reductive dichotomy. There is Scary Arto and Sexy Arto.

Scary Arto’s music is stormy and serrated and ruthless and almost deranged; evoking perhaps the glare and noise of New York City. Sexy Arto’s music is seductive and warm and textured and ethereal; evoking perhaps the dappled sunlight of Brazil. Both musics seem dreamlike. In the sense that there are many kinds of dreams.

In 2014, Northern Spy issued a unique and conceptually provocative double-disc anthology of Arto’s solo work, called Encyclopedia Of Arto. Disc 1 was a “best of Arto LIndsay” survey of his solo albums. Disc 2 was something much more unusual: many of the same songs from disc one, performed live with Arto's signature haywire noise guitar (Scary Arto) juxtaposed against his lilting, slyly erotic, post-Caetano vocal style (Sexy Arto).

The choice to marry Sexy and Scary into a single performance was striking and bold. I cannot speak for Arto, but my read of the statement was that it rebuked the notion that his vision is somehow binary. It felt like fresh terrain.

This brings us to Cuidado Madame, the long awaited new album, where Arto’s mastery is in full bloom. Though the album certainly favors Sexy Arto, its fearlessness makes us let go of our boring, dichotomous ideas. On offer is the full, inimitable Arto Lindsay range of texture, noise, technology, ensemble playing, melody and poetry, sensuality and intellect.

You will find that you stop analyzing and parsing. You will find that you surrender.

In the sense that there are many kinds of dreams.

- Chad Clark
Beauty Pill / Washington, DC / Spring 2017

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