Fresh Electronic Music From Brazil – Hy Brazil Vol 4

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Chico Dub has been showcasing the wealth of talent from the Brazilian underground electronic music scene for the past few years, curating Rio’s Novas Frequências festival and Sónar in São Paulo, and releasing four brilliantly diverse compilations of the best new electronic and experimental artists from the country. Each Hy Brazil departs from the same formula: 14 unreleased tracks by 14 new producers across the country. Volume 4 serves up another platter of new producers and fresh sounds, a timely reminder that Brazilian electronic music is so much more than just bossa nova meets drum ‘n’ bass or Rio tinged lounge electronica.

The fourteen tracks span the spectrum of electronic music from Manara’s opener, the driving, piano dripping, percussion heavy Many, Mytho to No Step‘s spacey, dusty marimba led hip-hop, from the UK garage meets acid meets post-tropical sound of Rio Shock to Asshake’s dancefloor ripping trap / baile-funk crossover. What stands out from this release is the diversity of sound coming from these producers and the way many of them are ripping up the rulebooks, splicing styles and genres together at light speed. Once again Brazilian music has become a bubbling melting pot of rhythms and styles. As the spotlight turns to the country for the World Cup and the Olympics, this compilation is a glance into what is happening on the country’s thriving underground scene and shows that Brazilian music is, once more, at the forefront of new sounds and directions.

Hy Brazil Vol 4 is available from bandcamp for ‘name your price’.

Sunday Songs

Here in Amsterdam the sun is shining and summer is finally here (at least for a weekend). To celebrate here is a little playlist of some sunny, Sunday songs:

Lucas Santtana Remix Nostalgia

Lucas Santtana’s Sem Nostalgia, released last year via the great Mais Um Discos imprint, received widespread acclaim for it’s dissection of Brazilian singer/songwriters’ reliance on the bossa nova lineage. Santtana took the lilting melodious guitar/singer combo, now synonymous with Brazilian music, and twisted into something fresh and electric, verging on the experimental. Electronica mixed with acoustic guitars, sweet vocals and found sounds.

Now a host of worldly remixes, including the likes of Deerhoof, AJ Holmes and The Hackney Empire and Glasgow legend JD Twitch (Optimo) have taken Sem Nostaglia’s excursions and splintered them even further. The 13 track album (tracklist after the break) is free to download and sits as a fitting response to Santanna’s musical questions, raised on Sem Nostalgia. Don’t look back!

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João Brasil presents Tropical Britannia

Tropical Britannia is a free to download EP that unites the king of Brazilian mash-up, London based producer João Brasil, with 5 of the capital’s hottest tropically spiced producers (Isa GT, Bumps, Moroka, Murlo and Rob Pollinate) . The EP, part of the Rio Occupation event, is available for free download.

Tropical Britannia is a multi-cultural mash-up of sounds from around the world. Nods to Juke (Dadinho), Electrico-pop/Colombian tinged tecnobrega (Electrico), tropi-pub-house (Elephant and castle), rainforest madness (Kookaburra) and even the unclassifiable (Sea Monkey). Quality productions and some intriguing twists and turns showcasing the burgeoning tropical scene in the UK capital (also comes with some tasty artwork courtesy of Hardcuore).

Maga Bo – Quilombo do Futuro Remixed

It took a while to get round to it but this is a release that really deserved some space on the blog. On Quilombo do Futuro, Maga Bo takes the rhythms and roots of Afro-Brazilian music and moulds them to his own global electronic sound. You can check out my more in depth review of the original via Sounds & Colours.

The accompanying remix album collects some of my favourite producers of Maga Bo’s ilk from around the world  such as Chancha via Circuito, Stereotyp, Frikstailers, Poirier, Batida and a couple of new names like Buginha Adubada. They twist from Uproot Andy’s driving gambeoy take on Xororo to Sabo’s killer dancefloor remix of E da Nossa Cor or Batida’s kuduro refix of Kizomba ft. Sacerdote. Brilliantly eclectic and simply quality, original music:

If you are interested in traditional Brazilian music transported to the 21st century, I would highly recommend both the original and the remix album. Taking local music in new global directions.

Mais Um Discos: A Nova Música Brasileira

In 2009 London based musical treasure hunter Mais Um Gringo set out to explore Brazil and its contemporary soundscape. The resulting label Mais Um Discos and its first album, Oi! A Nova Música Brasileira, sought to provided a fresh and comprehensive insight into contemporary Brazilian music from Belem to Porto Alegre.

“The label releases music from Brazilian artists who fuse styles, disregard genres and irritate purists.”

In 2012, the label delves back into a nova música brasileira through a series of digital EPs showcasing some of the country’s most exciting genres.

The Oi! Download series began in January with Nova-Tropicalia, a peek into the 21st century revitalisation of the Tropicalia movement whose ideas of musical canibalisation revolutionised Brazil’s music scene in the 1960s/70s. A real blend of sounds and influences from pop, psychadelia, boogie-woogie and “tropical freak-out”.

In February, Mais Um Discos took us up to Belem, the heart of tecnobrega, for Electro-Amazonas, a look at the musical scene making waves across Brazil and beyond. The EP is a really nice selection of tecnobrega-in-six-songs with contributions from the Amazonian BeyoncéGaby Amarantos, the influential Gang do Electro and some different takes on the sound from artist such as Jaloo.

You can pick up the label’s music from bandcamp (above), iTunes, Amazon, Juno etc. Watch this space for March’s release which will explore the North Eastern folk revival scene.

Floating Points in Brazil

This is a great little video interview with UK house/soul/funk/everything producer, DJ and Eglo Records boss, Floating Points, conducted in a São Paulo record store a month or so back. You can see, and indeed listen to some of the records FP purchased from via the Eglo website.

Schlachthofbronx – Carimbo EP (Man Recordings)

Another welcome slice of hard-hitting Tropical Bass from the German airhorn kings, Schlachthofbronx.The four track EP, released today through Man Recordings, takes the Brazilian ‘Carimbó‘ style and Schlachthofbronxes it: lots of kicking bass drums, sub’s and siren synths, ready packaged for dancefloors accross the world. Incorporating Cumbia, Dem-Bow, Bass, Bounce and a Kazoo, what more could you ask for? Pick it up here.

Man Recordings DJ Picks #1

Since its inception in 2005, Man Recordings have been responsible for introducing the rest of the world to the Rio baile funk sound and its subsequent bastardisation at the hands of many a global producer. Much like Enchufada did with Kuduro via Hard Ass Sessions, Man Recordings have bridged the gap between the original creators of the movement and the burgeoning scene of producers mixing styles from accross the world. This culminated in the Funk Mundial series which has brought together everyone from the ZZK cumbia troop to electro DJs like Crookers and Feadz for their own take on Rio funk. More than 250 releases later and Man have got all nostalgic, asking a host of DJs to choose their pick of the crop from the label’s back catalogue. First up are German global airhorn roof-raisers Schlachthofbronx. Alongside some dancefloor ready classics, it brought my attention to another remix from the consistently excellent Argentine El Remolón, this time his take on ‘Vem Que Tem’ ft. MC Marina. Available from the usual haunts & full tracklist after the jump.

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Brazilian Tecnobrega

(Photo: Henrik Moltke)

Tecnobrega, which translates as ‘Techno-cheese’, originated in northern Brazil, particularly in the city of Belém. The genre revolves around simple mash-ups and reworkings of popular Brazilian and global songs into the club friendly tecnobrega style. In reality it is something of a ‘dem-bowification’ of the songs, hovering around 90bpm and inserting the classic rhythm popularised by reggaeton with some melodic additions. There is an interesting section in the film Good Copy, Bad Copy about the tecnobrega scene available to watch on youtube (2 parts):

Key to the style is the output and turnaround of the remixes which seem to encapsulate the digital age. A popular song can be downloaded, tecnobrega-ed by a bedroom producer, burned to CD, sold by a street vendor and then heard the same evening on one of the big tecnobrega soundsystems known as aparelhagens.

DJ Waldo Squash

This week Ghetto Bassquake posted a tecnobrega mix put together by João Brasil which highlights one of the scenes big producers,Waldo Squash available for download here. You can also check out a lot of Waldo Squash’s productions here, though be warned, there is sometimes a fine line between good tecnobrega and very cheesy tecnobrega!

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