I heard an interesting bit of trivia yesterday — you can still get fresh water when you’re 100 miles out to sea from the mouth of the Amazon. Brazil’s musical influence is as subtle and impressive, often taking styles and sounds from the outside and returning them disassembled and put back together with all manner of exotic materials. In turn, it inspires others around the world to take these tropical contraptions and find wonderful new uses for them.
Batucada Eletr™nica is about a clear a representation of this phenomenon in the last five years as you’re likely to find. Featuring mostly musicians from Brazil, with a handful of foreign dignitaries who are heavily influenced (Arto Lindsay, Amon Tobin), this record provides thirteen different endings to the introduction of electronics into the Brazilian ecosystem. DJ Dolores’ “Monica No Samba” weaves thin strands of beats, whistles and a mandolin-like instrument playing the chords from Phillip Glass’ Mishima with a softly enveloping bass for an intense dub experience. Arto Lindsay’s “Whirlwind” is gentle as fat jungle raindrops, measuring a deep bass rumble with a loose-jointed Brazilian rhythm and light vocals. cYz’s “Zumbi” is Portishead set in the hot vertical sun of Rio, shadows chased away and replaced by something cheerier but not necessarily lighter.
So yes, this is the place to be. Forget American and European studios, where the latest trend is to imitate the latest trend in a degenerative cycle of mediocrity. Listen to the sounds of fertility and creativity instead — track down Batucada Eletr™nica prepare to travel to points elsewhere.
Caipirinha Productions, 510 La Guardia Pl., Suite 5, New York, NY 10012; http://www.caipirinha.com