‘Ninguém Solta A Mão De Ninguém’ takes its title from a phrase widely used during the military dictatorship rule of Brazil in the 1960s, which translates as “hold on tight to each others’ hands”. The army would attempt to suppress student protest movements by switching off all lighting in universities in order to facilitate arrests, which students & professors would resist by linking hands to form human chains.
Having played flute in various orchestras in the Brazilian state of Bahia, Lucas Santtana (son of producer Roberto Sant’ana and nephew to pioneering tropicalist artist Tom Zé) made his recording debut in 1993, performing on Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil’s Tropicalia 2 album, continuing to work as a flautist with Gil and on a variety of sessions throughout the 90s. However, at the same time Santtana was learning to play the guitar and writing his own songs in downtime while touring – these songs started to see the light of day through collaborations with Arto Lindsay, Marisa Monte and Daniela Mercury until he released his first solo album, Eletro Ben Dodô, in 2000. It was the start of a cycle of albums that focused on different sounds and textures. That debut was percussive; his second, Parada de Lucas (2003), was electronic, inspired by the nascent baile funk; the third, 3 Sessions In A Greenhouse (2007), was heavily influenced by dub; Sem Nostalgia (2011) was a response to bossa nova, inventively crafting new sounds from just guitar and vocals. His fifth – like its predecessor, released via the Mais Um Disco label championed by Gilles Peterson – The God Who Devastates Also Cures (2012), suggested the start of a new cycle, a synergy of everything that has gone before, and which has continued with the “post-tropicalist” album Sobre Noites E Dias (2014).