Jneiro Jarel returns with a new Brazilian-inspired LP for Kindred Spirits. Fauna follows up his debut album Three Piece Puzzle from 2005, and since then Jneiro has gone on to work with artists such as TV on the Radio, MF DOOM, Khujo Goodie from the Goodie Mob, as well as with his own groups and aliases like The Shape of Broad Minds, Dr Who Dat?, and Capital Peoples.
Jneiro has always had a Brazilian streak to his music, dating back to Dr Who Dat’s Beat Journey, with the cover decked out in the same colours as the Brazilian flag and the standout track Braziliant Thought. But finally with Fauna he gets to create a whole album inspired by the home of the Seleção. Giving credit to his mother for turning him onto Sérgio Mendes, Tom Jobim, and Caetano Veloso at an early age, it was an inspired dig through the record collection of KS label don KC tha Funkaholic, as well as discovering Arthur Verocai and Zuco 103, that put him in the headspace to compose most of Fauna over a three month period.
But while Jneiro was fired up by the melodies and rhythms of Brazil, the record is more than just a collection of beats and dusty samples. Dedicated to conservation, Fauna is made for the plants and wildlife in Brazil, many of them endangered and all of which have such a huge impact on the planet’s ecosystem. Scattered throughout the LP are the sounds of the rainforest and the Amazon, as tropical birds calls mix with dubby synths and cone-shaking sub bass, and phased vocals are panned around beats and Candomblé rhythms. Jneiro has created a unique sense of space on Fauna, which is at once hypnotic and spiritual, while also deep in the kind of studio-wizardry which has informed the stylings of so many beat producers around the world in recent years. “It’s both outer space and down-to-earth”, Jneiro says.
In the same tradition as sci-fi writer Braulio Tavares, and Paraiban musician Totonho, Jneiro has created a slice of futuristic beat science rooted in Brazilian traditions, brimming with a real sense of community and ecological responsibility. We should all listen to the fauna much more closely.