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Posts Tagged ‘Brasil

One of my favorite MPB records.

I found this record accidentally when digging through the big staples of vinyl from a street merchant in Brazil, it grabbed my attention cause of the cover artwork, but I forgot to listen to – just because he had so much awesome stuff. I remembered the record a few days later, tried to find it again, but without success, I even couldn´t remember the name of the artist. I described the artwork to the guy and he immediately started to lionize about the record. Well, I really wanted that record now, but where the hell was it? We almost searched one hour for it and as we already wanted to give up, I turned my spotlight on another record, Jorge Ben´s “A Tábua De Esmeralda”. Well, I will buy this one, let´s see hows the vinyl condition. And, believe it or not, the Sergio Sampaio record was inside the slipcover behind the Jorge Ben record. Unpossible to see it if just flipping through the record boxes. Finally and the record is a direct hit.

In the late sixties Raul Seixas spotted the talent of Sergio Sampaio and started to work with him. Seixas also produced the first full-length “eu quero é botar…” from 1973, which contains a wide range of musical influences: Blues, Rock´n´Roll, Samba, Choro, to name just a few. The title track already was a big hit in the year before and Sampaio also was part of the legendary Raul Seixas second record “Sociedade da Grã-Ordem Kavernista”. He wrote some of the songs and also sang besides Raul, Edy Star and Miriam Batucada. So the expectations were really high for his debut and almost the whole music press received it with disappointment, it also didn´t sell very good either.

Maybe it was the result of his often “difficult” relations with the press, who used to illustrate him as a eccentric person, but maybe he was just a young and inexperienced guy, not used to deal with the vampires from the press.  The music definitively is a unique blend of traditionalism with the fever of the rock guitar. The recordings include one of the finest musicians around in Brazil at this time: Ivan “Mamão” Conti (from Azymuth) and Wilson da Neves on drums,  Zé Roberto on Piano and Moog.

His later release were much better admitted from the press, but Sergio never gained the attention from the public he deserved. Although the title track did play a big role in the cultural revolt of the student movement against the Brazilian military regime. Originally not intended by Sampaio, the students saw their own feelings and experiences reflected in the lyrics.

Sergio Sampaio died in May 1994.

Cala a Boca.

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Killer gem from Brazil!!

This is a widely unknown, but excellent and charming conglomerate of Hip Hop, electronic music, Funk, Soul and Jazz with the finest Brazilian music traditions like Samba. Eduardo Bidlovski (Bid) is the composer and producer of this 2005 album and he not only has created a bunch of smooth, but never dull songs. Bid also assembled extraordinary guests for “Bambas & Biratas”.  Black Rio Soul legend Carlos Daffé opens the record with his warm voice on the catchy tune “não pára”, while Samba Queen Elza Soares later proves she also fits perfectly on relaxed tunes. But this is not a record that tries to gather attentions with Brazilian singer legends, the majority are contemporary artists and Brazil has a rich scene which fuses modern influences with traditional aspects. Rapper Black Alien, whizz kid Chico Science or everybody’s darling Seu Jorge are a few of them and also do participate. All in all 56 musicians were involved in this highly recommend work. Vol. 2 is announced for end of the year.

Tua Beleza.

When this record was released 2003 I had to write a review about it for a music magazine and there were only 3 days left until the deadline. I don´t remember exactly why, maybe I wasn´t in the right mood for it or just hadn´t the time to listen to it extensive enough, but I wrote a very capricious review. Not a bad record, but nothing special. Only a few days after the deadline I realised that this was a very foolish rating. Which should warn you about the so called music critics on the one hand, but also give you another good advice: take some time for José Gonzáles and I am sure you will recognize the beauty in it.

González is  a swedish singer-songwriter with argentinean parents who plays music informed by british and latin american, especially brazilian  folk-pop. This guy is one serious talent and his music feels confined by the city in a very strong way, which let´s  “Veneer” burst out of the folk. A striking collection of hushed and autumnal songs that reside on the hi-fi end of the lo-fi spectrum, this is more than a Simon & Garfunkel or Nick Drake repackage, every piece  is rich in its own bare beauty.

Veneer

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

coletivo

Belém in the northern amazonas state Pará, Brasil, isn´t only a lovely city, but also has to offer a lively music scene with techno-brega as the most famous outcome. But it would be unfair to restrict Belém and its music only on that sound, especially for the great jazz scene and artists in the “Cidade das Mangueiras”. And it would be unfair to bands like Coletivo Rádio Cipó from the bairro Pedreira, which make a collective interference in the regional culture with the universal language of electronic music. Their music fuses Brazilian regional styles funk de morro, samba, carimbó and batucada with hip hop, dub, breakbeat, jungle, ragga – the result is a maconha driven dubby trip to modern urban sounds and comes with an angry political message, pissed off by the miserable conditions and daily violence in the streets, where a single life not even counts a penny.

Coletivo Rádio Cipó are Carlinhos Vaz (drums and effects), Rato Boy (MC), Rodrigo Jamant (MC and programming), Renato Chalú (guitar), Jared das Arabias (bass) and Luis Bolla (percussion), but as a collective many other artists and just the people from the streets can and did participate. Music made through the partnership with the community, integrating popular, as well as urban and peripheral understandings and influences, a process of growth and expansion of the free digital communication.

The record opens with the hipnotic instrumental “cowboy sem lei”, soon reaches with “foguete” the first but not last climax, gets more relaxed for some tracks and has with the aggressive dancefloor pusher “choque eléctrico piau” an impressive wake up call for the the last third of the record. Where it is getting almost jazzy with the out of space dub “amor brejeiro”, with the wonderful vocals of Dona Onete on the mic. She also participates on the mic the following track, “paixão cabocla”, a half samba-half dub, explores the world of Lee Perry and its adepts. The record closes with the 12 minute long “lourinha americana”, as great as the whole record.

Much more varied than all that baile funk stuff and also comes like a rararattattattatt-machine-gun-fire.

Eletrofunkdubsocial

PS: M.L. – Música Livre (Copyleft/Creative Commons)!!!

somtres

Groovy, groovy, groovy. Pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano kicks out with his trio some smart and entertaining ultra tight played jazzy and bossa nova flavoured tunes. Brasil groove of the late 60s which puts together Jazz, Funk, Bossa Nova and Blues and vary regulary the moods, without loosing the thread. Awesome instrumentals and some tracks also offer slight vocals. Relax and groove with the Som Três Show, brasil fusion.

Amazonas – keep talking.

iara

Mário de Andrade is one of the most important brasilian writers and poets. His book “Macunaíma” has for sure an outstanding impact on brasilian literature until today and is one of the novels which build up the own brasilian literature which cutted off the dominant european influences. Not coincidental Mário de Andrade was one of the driving forces behind the famous “Semana de Arte Moderna” in São Paulo 1922, which bundled all the uprising brasilian avantgarde artists and presented an brasilian art scene that mirrored the brasilian society with all its african, indigenous and european influences. Sadly from this art movement later a nationalist group splitted off, which wanted to create a “purely Brasilian” form of art (always the same sick idea, create art on a national base…). But the original movement declared that they would “eat” all influences, digest it, and throw out new things – like the brasil society with its indigenous, african, european and asian origins – and don´t want to ignore any influences from Northamerica or Europe.

“Macunaíma” as part of the Brasilian Modernism reflects also the experiences of Mário de Andrade as an Mulatto in the brasilian society at the beginning of the 20th century. A time when politics in Brasil where strongly dominated by white men from the oligarchy, who dreamed of an “white” or “more white” brasilian society and looked with suspicion to the black influences or even ignored them at all. A view on Brasil which also was reflected in the dominant arts, the “Semana de Arte Moderna” was the outburst of a new, more honest view on the brasilian realities, which for sure wasn´t only white-european-based.

But Mario de Andrade also was a pioneer of the field of ethnomusicology. Macunaima, the black protagonist of the same named novel, is on the search for an amulet and travels from the jungles of the North-East to the modern megacity São Paulo. Mário de Andrade processed the oral history of the indigenous people, the folkloristic music of the interior into this novel and confronts the two sides of modern Brasil.

80 years later Iara Rennó, a young musician from São Paulo, decided to to set the novel to music. It is a very obvious idea, with all that ethnomusicologiest influences in it, and it is a wonder why nobody else did it before. But Iara Rennó did it in a wonderful way, mixing the classical folkloristic influences with a modern production and music influences, with deep roots in the most experimental arrangements in the history of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira). The lyrics are all taken from the book and more than 60 musicians took part in the recording sessions. What can you expect? Afrobeat, Dub, brasilian Folk, Trip Hop, slight Hip Hop influences, Psychedelic…. no, you just can´t name this eclectic record with a few genres. Well, better explore this fantastic record on your own.

Dói Dói Dói

PS:
Participação
Tom Zé, Arrigo Barnabé, Dante Ozzetti, Simone Soul, Bocato, Siba, Biu Roque, Mané Roque, Guizadoman, Maurício Alvez, Anelis Assumpção, Funk Buia, Gustavo Souza, Mariá Portugal, Alzira Espíndola, Tetê Espíndola, Sergio Espíndola, Jerry Espíndola, Décio Gioielli, Marcelo Monteiro, Simone Julian, Tiquinho, Amílcar Rodrigues, Andréia Dias, Gustavo Ruiz, Da Lua, Gilmar Bola 8, Toca Ogan, Tom Rocha, Rian Batista, Barbatuques: Marcello Pretto, Dani Zulu, André Hosoi , Mairah Rocha, Flávia Maia, Fernando Barba, Bruno Buarque, João Taubkin, Guello, Dimus Goudaroulis, Zezinho Pitoco, DJ Marco, entre outros…


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