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Ponto de Equilíbrio – abre a janela

Posted on: October 23, 2009

ponto

Let´s count the reggae releases in your collection which are not from Jamaica or at least from an jamaican artist. Not that much, right? Well, there are a lot of fantastic non-jamaican reggae artists and in a lot of countries all over the world a good reggae scene developed and more and more bands are growing from these roots. Ponto de Equilíbrio are an outcome from the brasilian reggae scene and with no doubt play at the international top level, with a lot of other non-jamaican bands, home-grown reggae acts have sprung up across the globe. Ponto de Equilíbrio were formed 1999 in Rio de Janeiro and blend traditional aspects of roots reggae with musical flavours from across Brazil into an utterly distinctive and highly refreshing individual sound. This band is not just an copy of jamaican roots reggae, it´s the brasilian version and a further development inside the brasilian music landscape.

Compared to other parts of the world reggae music came very early to Brasil and soon wasn´t only listened by the people, but also involved in the brasilian music. Just listen to the artists from the Tropicalia movement from the late 60s and early 70s, especially Gilberto Gil and you will hear a lot of reggae influences. Today reggae is in some parts of Brasil, the Northeast and also in some parts of the Amazon, a widely popular music with a lively local scenes. Ironically Rio de Janeiro isn´t really a hotspot of reggae music, but Ponto de Equilíbrio are for sure such a hotspot.

The group’s second album, “abre a janela”, conveys a diverse selection of moods and emotions, from deep, mellow grooves such as “janela da favela”, to summery upbeat songs like “verdaderio valor” or “tão bela”. The song “quem Sabe” even feeds Jamaican music back into the Latin Quarter of its roots, when it  interplays between local styles and reggae mixes up a tasty cocktail of sounds. On “abre a janela” (open the window) afro-brasilian dance rhythms as well as dub and ska, are all underpinned by the constant spirit and feel of roots reggae.

Singer Helio Bentes plays the principal role with his richly animated and passionate perfect reggae voice, which is often accompanied by sweet female backing vocals. However, this does not deprive other band members of opportunities to express themselves.

A very talented band, benefitting from some fine production by Chico Neves and some of the few bands which lyrics are worth reading. “‘O Inimigo” (The Enemy), for example, is an attack on the brasilian state of society with its well-documented social segregation and racial discrimination which ravages the country. Spiky horn stabs punctuate the opening verses, and a later passage of rapped lyrics over minimal dub backdrop provides an interesting contrast.

Você vai ver a beleza que tem por dentro dela

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1 Response to "Ponto de Equilíbrio – abre a janela"

one of the best neo-roots records worldwide, thank you for sharing. I also listened to Gilberto Gil again and was surprised how right you are with the influences on tropicalia, never recognized it before. good music, siempre con groove and always somethin to learn, thanks urbanology

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always open minded! feel free to leave a comment if you like or dislike the music, the review or just this blog in general. make the monologue a dialogue! (and receiving some responses keeps me motivated)

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