Climate activists who're still looking for the ideal soundtrack to liven up their protests, we can highly recommend 'Seeds, Roots, Flowers And Fruits' by the Portuguese Terra Livre. The band consists of members of Terrakota (Gonçalo Sarmento - guitar, saxophone, kora and vocals), Chapa Dux/Green Echo (Leonardo Marsh - guitar and vocals, Rodrigo Marsh - keyboards, guitar and vocals, and Adriano Pereira - clarinet, flute and vocals), Pas De Probleme/They Must Be Crazy (Pedro Pereira - bass) and Opaz (Tiago Santos - drums) who met about ten years ago in the Serra De Sintra, a mountainous region west of Lisbon where they created 'Terra Livre', an ecological communal living project experimenting with sustainable agriculture, permaculture, ecological building and minimizing the human ecological footprint. 'Seeds, Roots, Flowers and Fruits' is a tribute to the natural cycles, the four seasons, the four corners of the earth and the four principles of permaculture (do not produce waste, use all available space, grow a number of perennial crops and reuse your water), with the 12 songs on the album forming the substantive and musical extension of the project and symbolizing the twelve months of the year, the twelve signs of the zodiac.
Opener 'Mãe Terra', for example, is an ode to mother earth, in 'Dança Da Semente' they talk about the struggle for "seed freedom" or the rejection of company patents on plant seeds (the intro of the song appropriately features part of a speech by Indian scholar, environmental activist, champion of food sovereignty and author on alter-globalism, Vandana Shiva). 'Water' is about the blue gold that's keeping us all alive but is becoming ever scarcer, and in 'Greening The Desert', just like the climate activists, Terra Livre is pointing out the planet has reached its limits: "We're on red alert, Mother Nature getting hurt!".
Add to that vocal guests like Brazilian veteran Silvério Pessoa, Algerian singer-songwriter Nazim Lachachi, mestizo-king Manu Chao and guest musicians like Francisco Amorim and Paul Robert, the horn section of Kumpania Algazarra, and Nataniel Melo, Paulo das Cavernas and Marcio Pinto, percussionists with Terrakota, and you end up with a finger licking good mestizo-album, with songs ranging from psychedelic samba that seems to have been plucked from the nineteen seventies (opener 'Mãe Terra' featuring Silvério Pessoa, 'Ventos Com Tom'), reggae ('Earth Music', 'Little By Little', Dança Da Semente' featuring Manu Chao, that was even given a nyahbinghi intro), Maghrebi rhythms ('Greening The Desert', 'Dá-me A Tua Mão', 'Ha No Nada' featuring Nazim Lachachi), West-African kora meets afrobeat ('Water') and even some swing jazz in 'Start A Revolution'! Highly contagious Portuguese mestizo, simultaneously getting you to dance and rattling your conscience. Recommended listening!