Like Thievery Corporation—who are both their label mates and their bosses—Arkestra One is most interested in pushing bossa nova into a tough groove that's everything to everyone. It has to be sexy, revolutionary, subversive, funny, even danceable, and with all those impossible expectations, Arkestra One should sound like a nervous breakdown. Instead, this band—London-based producer Matthew Timoney and vocalist Nina Miranda—crafted a bossa revelation. This sounds like bossa nova pioneers Tom Jobin and Astrud Gilberto taking a summer class on Sun Ra and Thomas Pynchon. It's the only way to explain how Arkestra's languid, bittersweet love songs can share aural space with everything else on their mind: happy Latin space jazz, haunted noir, left-field comedy and perfect serenity. Perhaps jealousy, too, since Arkestra One is the best realization of everything Thievery Corporation has been searching for. But we bet the Thieves have been sleeping easier since they signed Arkestra.
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