Six Degrees

I loved Sao Paulo Confessions, Suba’s first album to be released up here in the U.S. It was dance music with heart and soul, Brazilian technofunk of the highest order, and sported not only a bunch of wicked/sexy grooves but also a sense of humor. So I was sad to find out that he died in a fire just a few months after the album was released: sad for him, and sad for myself that I would never get to hear any more music from him.

Now here comes Tributo, which you just have to appreciate. Since just about all of Suba’s master tapes were destroyed in that fire, artists had to go reconstruct his stuff by sampling the record — pretty amazing when you hear Cibelle’s “remake” of “Sereia, Amor D’Agua” and realize it had to be reconstructed from scratch. We also get three takes on “Felicidade,” which would suck if it wasn’t such a classic dance groove, and if the three remixers didn’t have such different takes on the thing. And I really should talk about what a wonderful thing Zero dB’s “reconstruction” of “Samba do Gringo Paulista” is: this was a huge vinyl hit in Europe last year, and now we get it on CD: bonus!

There are also a few original things we never got to hear: a track Suba was working on with interesting singer/songwriter Marina Lima, three live snippets pitting Suba against Trio Mocoto drummer Joao Parahyba (all of which sound a lot like “Antropofagos,” and a wonderful English-language thing called “Are You Sleeping?” with input from BiD and great singer Katia B. Dammit, if we can’t have him back, at least we can listen to this and (the much better) Sao Paulo Confessions over and over.

Six Degrees Records:

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