quinta-feira, abril 14, 2005

Rumos Unveils a Host of New Brazilian Talents

Paris, 14/03/2005 - Rumos, a dynamic new project which aims to promote contemporary sounds from Brazil, is turning the spotlight on the best home-grown productions. And the mixed bag of sounds it has turned up makes a refreshing change from the usual "Bay of Rio, Sugarloaf, bossa nova" postcard!

"The Itaú Cultural is permanently working towards democratising and expanding Brazil's cultural production." And the public institution has certainly pulled out all the stops since launching an impressively wide-ranging multidisciplinary cultural programme in 1997. Eight sectors of the Brazilian arts now benefit from institutional support aimed at improving distribution and professional development. The sectors affected include the visual arts, literature, cinema and video, cultural journalism and, of course, music, which has always proved to be the most effective cultural ambassador for Brazil worldwide.

Thousands of projects have been submitted to the Itaú Cultural and officials have finally managed to wean the pile down to fund several hundred of these. In the musical sphere, some sixty different projects are currently under development within the framework of 'operation Rumos', a vast undertaking which includes everything from hip hop, classical music and samba throwbacks to pop-and-rock influenced choro, traditional music and cutting-edge electronica. Rumos attempts to provide a detailed musical map of the contemporary Brazilian music scene and all kinds of different styles and emerging talents have been included in the census. In short, Rumos gives us the perfect occasion to present our own round-up of artists who are little known, or indeed completely unknown, outside Brazil!

Beyond bossa and samba

A handful of Brazilian artists have already managed to make inroads in France. The singer Renata Rosa, charismatic frontwoman of a group who explore the diverse rural traditions of the Nordeste region, emerged on the French music scene thanks to a debut album (distributed here since 2004) and a recent concert tour. Meanwhile, in 2003, another Brazilian group, Cabruera, was busy shaking up audiences on the festival circuit with their original mix of rock and traditional Brazilian sounds. Barbatuques have also played a number of concerts in France, but as the Rumos project proves, there are still a host of new Brazilian talents waiting to be discovered on these shores.

One strong emerging trend on the contemporary Brazilian music scene has been fuelled by the groups reviving and reinventing traditional music from the Nordeste region. These include Banda de Pifanos (a typical orchestra from Recife) Maria Ingleterra, and Samba Coco de Raizes, an amazing family band from the town of Arcoverde in deepest Pernambuca. Meanwhile, new talents such as Loop B and Ricardo Siri have been busy reworking traditional sounds by fusing them with the latest techno and electro beats. As for Mombojo and ChicoCorrea & the Electronic Band, these acts have cooked up their own original sound which might best be described as Brazilian trip hop. Then there's Uniao Racial, entering the ring with their hard-hitting brand of hip hop which packs razor-sharp lyrics with a mighty musical punch.

Uniao Racial and their peers are fighting hard to dispel those eternal clichés about Brazilian music that insist on fixing the continent in a bossa nova and samba timewarp. While bossa nova and samba may still be emblematic of Rio, they have tended to overshadow the vast range of Brazilian musical production over the last forty years. To focus solely on bossa and samba is to forget the tropical sounds of the mid-60s, the funk and samba soul that emerged in the 70s, the diverse rock movements of the 80s and since the early 90s 'mangue-beat' (a dub fusion style promoted by the likes of Chico Science), hip hop and funk from the big city suburbs and the electro beats currently all the rage amongst the kids from nice middle-class families.

There have been successful exponents of all these styles, most of them looking to the musical traditions of the past to concoct their musical mix for the future. Banda Eddie and Silverio Pessoa are two outstanding examples who have both emerged from the hotbed of talent in Recife. Banda Eddie, founded by a musician who managed DJ Dolores for several years, play a heady mix of rock and dub infused with the infectious frevo dance beat of their native region. Meanwhile, Silverio Pessoa, a singer born in the Zona da Mata (in the north of Pernambuca) who has become an unofficial spokesperson for the alternative left, uses the traditional sound of forro to whip up a retro-futurist mix, featuring bursts of accordion, percussion, machines and human beatbox input from the local MC. His next album (due out some time later this year), is rather aptly entitled "Electronic head, acoustic heart!"

Rap & Electro

On the hardcore rap front, Marcelo D2 looks set to make waves in Europe later this year. The rapper, who emerged from the Rio 'underground', made his name with the group Planet Hemp (a sort of hardcore favela version of French rap outfit NTM) and his long-awaited album, A Procura da Batida Perfeita, has finally been released. Brazilian rap fans are also treated to an eagerly-awaited second album from Totonho (a rapper who spends his time off stage acting as a social worker for a Rio-based NGO). Totonho's album, produced by Kassin (the sound engineer behind Moreno Veloso's projects) should blow a few more Brazilian music clichés out of the water! Coming from more of a pop angle, Beto Villares's Excellentes Lugares Bonitos features an excellent mix of songs spliced with catchy samples. Then, of course, there's the 'Sao Paulo dandy' Arnaldo Antunès (a lesser-known member of the Tribalistas), 'noisy guitarist Davi Moraes (who made his name accompanying Caetano Veloso) and Lucas Santtana (whose talent was revealed on a number of recent tours with Gilberto Gil).

When it comes to electronica, Brazilian productions have tended to revolve around a vogue for heavy drum’n’bass with few acts attempting to experiment with anything more innovative than this. The few who have managed to stand out from the drum'n'bass crowd are Metro (think subtle electro mix) and Max de Castro with his Samba Raro. Another Sao Paulo name to watch out for in future is Bid, the hottest new music property in town since the release of Bambas & Biritas. In short, this wealth of new musical talent is proof that Brazil maintains its natural capacity for mixing up ingredients from elsewhere to concoct its own local specialities!

retirado do site http://www.rfimusique.com/

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