Music Reviews

The Now Sound of Brazil

Various Artists

Six Degrees

Ordem e Progreso!

This low-priced sampler contains some hot-shit tracks from some of Brazil’s coolest new artists…well, at least those whose music is released on Six Degrees Records, by way of Ziriguiboom, which is by way of Belgian label Crammed Discs. But whatever, they’re still really good tracks. This applies even if you are me and you already have most of them in their original versions, because just about all of them are either remixes or new tracks from upcoming albums. So score this quickly.

These are all examples of the way that native Brazilian musics (bossa nova, samba, various Carnival chants) work their funky magic together with technology. Zuco 103 represents with their Eurodisco hybrids (damn if that Lilian Vieira ain’t just the sexiest singer in the world); Erlon Chaves’ “Cosa Nostra,” which dates from the 1970s (and was featured on the great Samba Soul 70! comp) gets a swingin’ remix; we get two Bossacucanova tracks, which are cool as hell. This CD just cooks from stem to stern.

I’m a little worried about Six Degrees’/Ziriguiboom’s/Crammed’s relentless flogging of Suba, who died before his first album was even released up here – between this and the Tributo remix album of last year, there’s not a lot of horse left to flog – and it would be a lot better for Bebel Gilberto to actually release a new record sometime this century. But I’m a purist, and we’re cranky. Don’t listen to me: this is still a great record: fun, dancey/spacey, and chock full of that particular brand of melancholy that only people who speak Portuguese can pull off.

And there are great previews here. Cibelle, the stunning singer/songwriter who graced so many of Suba’s tracks, has a song from her upcoming album called “Dia de Yemanja,” which is all mystical and chanty and still funky, and the “Bom Sinal” track here from Celso Fonseca proves that he’s about more than just other people’s arrangements. Big score on these two, Six Degrees. Way to go. Now get your asses down to Brazil and find some dudes who we HAVEN’T heard of yet. Got that? Good.

Six Degrees Records:

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