There lives in São Paulo an Irishman called David McLoughlin who has been working in the music industry there for 20 years, helping to bring Brazilian acts to an international audience through Brasil Music Exchange. With World Cup excitement pinging around we asked David to put together a mixtape for us of his favourite current Brazilian acts, who would break our preconceptions and simultaneously maybe not be Sepultura*, to maximise the summer feeling. Unplanned, Ireland is currently being blessed with true, blue summer weather so put the speakers in your window, and kick back in the garden to best enjoy State’s exclusive Brazilian mixtape. Details by David on on each act are after the jump.
1. MC Sombra – O Homem Sem Face
MC Sombra comes from Brazil’s hip hop heartland, the megacity of São Paulo, home to 20 million people. One of the rising stars of Brazil’s high-grade hip hop scene. His second solo album was produced without a label, which is typical of so many Brazilian independent artists. Conscious lyrics, in Brazil hip-hop remains a channel for activism and social critique. The most outspoken genre in the country on issues of race and inequality.
2. Karol Conka – Boa Noite
One of the very few female Brazilian hip hop artists to break out of the underground she’s influenced by Brazilian Pop Music (MPB) and is a big Lauryn Hill fan. Winner of the 2013 Multishow Best New Artist award with over 2 million views of her video singles, ‘Boa Noite’ features on the FIFA 2014 EA game. She mashes up hip-hop with baile funk, trap and Afro-Brazilian beats – a uniquely Brazilian blend peppered with North-Eastern folk samples.
3. Holger – Pedro
São Paulo is at the buzz at the heart of the independent music scene in Brazil. Few independent Brazilian bands are getting everyone’s attention as Holger. The band first appeared with The Green Valley EP, that brought a collection of songs that could be described as influenced by the ‘classical’ indie rock from Pavement, Flaming Lips, Wilco and Dinossaur Jr.
4. Moxine – Tropical storm
Moxine are a disco rock, post-punk, shake-your-ass garage band from Brazil. With sick guitar riffs and a voluptuous voice, the lead singer and guitarist Monica Agena, along with her partners David Oliveira (bass) and Caju (drums), have been tearing up the underground scene of São Paulo over the past three years.
5. Nana Rizinni – Triste
At the end of 2013 Nana Rizinni left for Chicago, heading to the studio of legendary producer Steve Albini. There, she recorded her second album with Albini, also produced by Adriano Cintra, producer, songwriter and former member of the band CSS.
6. Pearls Negras – Make It Last (pictured)
Here comes Rio De Janeiro’s newest sensation, the girl group Pearls Negras! The three brazilian vocalists have been signed by UK based record label Bolabo. Their seven track strong debut mixtape features several tropical bass related bangers like their trap anthem ‘Pensando em Você’.
7. Gang do Eletro – Velocidade Do Eletro
One of the most important bands in the Techno Brega scene. The Pará-based group focuses on life in the suburbs of Belém and they create new electronic music from Amazonia – a blend of techno, Caribbean music, electro and house, creating a new rhythm – electromelody.
8. Daniel Peixoto – Don’t Give Up ft. Xis & NPP
Daniel Peixoto, Brazilian electroclash singer/dj/performer former of already well-known electro-punk band Montage, from Ceará, Brazil.
9. Mixhell – Exit Wound (Aeroplane Remix)
São Paulo rocktronica band Mixhell are now based in London. The group is made up of world famous Iggor Cavalera (*yay – Sepultura!), plus his wife, Laima Leyton, and friend and producer, Max Blum.
10. Maga Bo – No Balanço da Canoa feat. Rosângela Macedo and Marcelo Yuka
Maga Bo’s music and remixes have been released by Sound Way Records, Tru-Thoughts, Ninja Tune, Cumbancha, Soot and many others.
11. Aton Dub – Travessias
Aton Dub is a project inspired by the abstract roots of dub. Since their first recordings, the group has chanted words of ancient prophets and messages from far dimensions.
12. Anelis Assumpção – Bola Com Os Amigos
A young singer, songwriter and percussionist who mashes Brazilian and Jamaican rhythms (dub, reggae etc.) in her music. She also happens to be the daughter of Itamar Assumpção, one of the main exponents of the alternative music scene of São Paulo in the 1980s and 1990s. Her soothing low voice and theatrical interpretation on stage stress the Power of her lyrics: on ‘Bola com os amigos’ she directly addresses and common frustration amongst Brazilian women: her beau is out playing soccer with friends.
13. Os Nelsons – Olhe o Fogo
Salvador is the capital of the Bahia – the state with the strongest African cultural heritage in Brazil and the source of so much musical history. Injecting digital beats into Bahia’s powerhouse percussive traditions, Os Nelsons make the connect between Salvador and global ghetto tech. They see themselves as part of the ‘hi-fi diaspora’, the Afrofuturismo generation, making a new coda for MPB and dubbing it Música Periférica Brasileira – music from the disenfranchised periphery. Hailing from Bahia’s desert zone – the sertão – Os Nelsons flip the flow with playful dirty riffs and youth rebel energy, their sonic shock tribute to Brazil’s beating heart, its deep African heritage
14. Bixiga 70 – Kalimba (Cris Scabello & Bixiga 70)
This big band from São Paulo have their roots in Nigerian Afrobeat, with its relentless grooves and giant brass blasts, but on this second album the 10-piece weave in other strands. Isa borrows its sinuous melody from Ethio-jazz, Cinco Equinas has a James Brown beat and Kalimba lifts off into Congolese soukous. Elsewhere, swirls of psych-organ vie with dub and home-grown candomblé. It’s all instrumental but the energy and intelligence of the playing are irresistible
15. Me and the Plant – Death Cheating Tuna Cowboys
The one-man-psychedelic-band of Vitor Patalano.
16. Orange Disaster – John Cale Song
An attempt to overcome the very non-tropical boredom of a stressful existence in São Paulo. Orange Disaster sound like refined high-performance gasoline, to quote themselves.
17. Black Drawing Chalks – Smiling Curse
Rock for rockers. Influences, range from the music of the 1970s, Stoner Rock, and modern rock from in their own city, Goiania, plus indie bands all around the world.
18. Boogarins – Lucifernandis
Fernando Almeida and Benke Ferraz met in high school in the central Brazilian city of Goiânia, far from the thriving cultural metropolises of São Paulo and Rio, yet nevertheless in the shadow of the icons of their homeland’s great musical heritage – not bossa nova and samba, however, but psychedelic pop. Still in their late teens, the music they make together (recorded on borrowed gear and with self-taught technology in their parents’ basements) shares the spirit and soul of Tropicalismo, but it has also blossomed in the light of the current international DIY underground. Timeless pop untethered from categorisations.
19. Aldo – Reverse
A band of brothers from São Paulo, the band’s name is a tribute to the brother’s uncle Aldo, a crazy dude from the 1980s who is responsible for taking his nephews – while still kids – on a crazy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-style journey to the night of São Paulo, with unpredictable endings. The uncle went to church to repent his sins at the end of the 1990s and the brothers decided to exorcise those memories with the record ‘Is Love’. With a mix of eletronic beats, synths, bass and guitars, the band aims at the nightclub. The references goes from Happy Mondays, Prince and Chic to LCD Soundsystem, Chemical Brothers and some Brazilian soul and funk bands from the 1970s, like Maria Fumaça and Eumir Deodato.
20. Anna-Anna – Tiny Feathers
Sci-fi torch songs. See The Guardian’s piece on her here.