Brazil heats up for carnival! Ilê Aiyê, Brazil’s first Afro Bloco created in 1974 and inventor of Samba-Reggae, just released a great playlist:
01. Rafael Aragon – Mi Secreto
02. DJ Nirso – Cumbiambera Tripolar (Señor Chancho Remix)
03. Los Titanes – Linda Yolita
04. Sonidos Profundos de la Cumbia – Tierra madre
05. DJ Neber – Ven Mi Amore
06. El Remolón – El Preferido (Qechuaboi remix)
07. SidiRum – La Danza De Las Trompas (Cocotaxi Remix)
08. Tribilin Sound – Barrancore (TropiKhongo Remix)
09. Reptilian Commander – Kay Pacha
10. Panther Panther! – Sueños Profundos
11. Cuerdas de Venezuela – La Arpita Mágica (El Búho Remix)
12. frijoleroryddim – Zouk-Tiken jah-Amadou Et Mariam-Salif Keita (Cumbia Edit)
13. Panchasila – Lam Pheune (Cumbia Molam)
IFÁ from Salvador/Bahia just release their first album entitled “Ijexá Funk Afrobeat”. Apart of the music styles mentioned in the title they incorporate elements of Dub and Reggae and reference other African traditions while using sounds and groove from Bahia. Like that, they they point to future with their own vision of Afro-brazilian music.
The high speed lo-fi music from South Africa called Shangaan Electro came to the ears of a wider global public with the release of a compilation in 2010 and due to its insane dance style. Created by Nozinja (watch him in the video below) this music style combines uptempo midi beats with marimbas, African chants and traditional influences from the Shangaan/Tsonga people of Eastern South Africa. The mixtape presents a selection of this pure craziness I grabbed when visiting Soweto some years ago.
Outstanding compilation from São Paulos cultural underground activists of Voodoohop collective.
Here is what they say:
“VOODOOHOP is an outlandish art collective born from a series of underground parties. Djs, performers, dancers and visual artists together create a multi sensory tropical cabaret. Brazilian traditional heritage mix with ritualistic performance. Nomadic in nature, the collective transforms spaces from abandoned buildings to natural hideaways. Always experimenting Voodoohop is in constant flux.”
“Among hot asphalt and the freshness of the waterfall you create a meeting that spins a new story. A living organism resurrecting the ghost of ancient chants. Out of the imperfections disordered melodies are born. Entropy and collective joy of a great compilation made with care in chaos.”
Èkó Afrobeat is one more excellent Afrobeat band coming out of Brazil where the renaissance of this music style seems not coming to an end.
Created in 2009 with the name “Clube de Bolso Afrobeat” as a parallel project of a Jazz-Funk band they re-named themselves to “Èkó Afrobeat” as they have been very accepted by the audience and seven more musicians joind the group. Their sound is a mixture of Afrobeat, MPB (música popular brasileira – Brazilian popular music) and Afro-Brazilian music. Political and social content is very important for their lyrics.
Here are some of the tracks that will appear on their album which will be released soon:
Thiago França from São Paulo plays saxophone with Metá Metá among many other projects. On his last album “Coisas Invisíveis” (Invisible Things) with his solo project “Sambanzo” he created a great minimal but rhythm fueled mix of just Afro-Brazilian percussion and saxophone. The record aims to capture energy, invisible, but concrete from a nearby and distant Africa, present and past. The intention, according to França, is to evoke the myth of a pre-diasporic African unity, in which several societies have developed by taking a horizon with habits and relatively common beliefs.
The second album of the Abayomy Afrobeat Orchestra is less Afrobeat than its predecessor exploring new sound elements and speaking of ancestry with delicacy of who perceives the world of possibilities and combinations. There is greater diversity of influences that guarantee a new freshness and strength of sound. Produced by Pupillo (drummer of Nação Zumbi) the album features Brazilian musicians such as Céu, Otto and Jorge do Peixe and as well as Tony Allen.
From the press release on their website:
“Alabê presents the traditional percussion of the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé in a jazz context. The compositions are dialogues between the percussion of the Ketu nation and the saxophone, like the Rum (the drum that leads the ceremony) converses with the Orisha (a spirit embodied by a person in trance).
Brazilian music has its roots in the African rhythms which were played in places of worship of the Candomblé. Around the world, African musical heritage has spread giving birth to Blues, Jazz, Rumba, Salsa and Samba.
The riches of African percussion are immense. This knowledge is transmitted from master to apprentice in ritual spaces and ceremonies. Each sacred drummer, called an Ogan, possesses a piece of that knowledge. In this oral tradition, where there is no formal study, it is rare for outsiders to encounter archives of these musical treasures. Many famous Brazilian percussionists are inspired by this tradition, but it is very rare to encounter it in its original form outside of the Candomblé.
Bringing this traditional knowledge in a contemporary setting and making it accessible to a larger public is a way to contribute to the preservation and the valorisation of this intangible culture.
The group was founded by Antoine Olivier, a French percussionist living in Rio de Janeiro who performs as an Ogan in the Candomblé, and Brazilian saxophonist Glaucus Linx (Isaac Hayes, Salif Keita, Elza Soares, Carlinhos Brown…). The band also features the Grand Master of the Candomblé drums : Dofono de Omolu and percussionists Tiago Magalhães e Gabriel Guenther.
The sacred rhythms of the Candomblé offer their power and complexity in a modern context: this is Alabê Ketujazz. Four percussionists and a saxophonist explore new musical landscapes with original compositions and classics by the likes of Baden Powell.”