Blog June 25, 2014
Featured Artists: Party and Dissent--World Cup Brazil 2014
In Party and Dissent: World Cup Brazil 2014, we take you on a tour through Brazil's many fantastic regional scenes--checking out new baile funk styles, and looking at some of the country's top female MCs and experimental artists. Since there was so much good music to choose from, we need a little extra space for a more in-depth look at the artists we featured. Check it out! MC Ti Pocki MC Ti Pocki is one of the leaders of the new rasterinha style that has taken Rio's baile funk scene by storm. His track "Quero Bunda," which dropped last fall, was one of rasterinha's earliest hits--before there was even a name for the genre. In fact, Ti Pocki can be credited with turning rasterinha from a one-off YouTube novelty into a full-blown sensation. After hearing "Joga Teia Homem Aranha," a YouTube hit that was released as a joke, Ti Pocki was inspired to make "Quero Bunda," a song that seriously is not messing around. MC Romântico MC Romântico is another leader of the rasterinha movement. His track, "As Novinhas Tão Sensacional" helped the genre gain new ground when it was released last September. Romântico worked on that song with DJ BamBam, who helped give rasterinha its name by comparing it with the '90s rasteiro funk sound. MC Japa MC Japa is a veteran funkeiro from São Paulo, whose "Perereca Suicida" is, an outrageously catchy rasterinha track that happens to be about a suicidal frog. MC Bin Laden MC Bin Laden is the leading figure of passinho do romano--a new baile funk style that is controversial for its subject matter (drugs or prohibidão, as it's known in baile funk terminology), but has an undeniable booty-shaking power. Bin Laden comes from the Villa Romano neighborhood that the style is named after. His flair for slowed-down grinding rhythm and strange style choices (check the Shrek masks) help make "Lança de Côco" one of the most memorable baile funk hits of 2014. Arnaldo Antunes Arnaldo Antunes has, for decades, been one of the greatest innovators within the hugely diverse São Paulo music scene. He began his career as a member of the band Aguilar e Banda Performática in the late 1970s, and, in the '80s, was a member of the popular alternative rock group, Titãs. In recent years, he has worked on everything from a pop album with Marisa Monte to a recent record with Malian kora legend Toumani Diabate, though his post-punk spirit hasn't gone anywhere. Ba-Boom Ba-Boom began a decade ago as a punk group in São Paulo's ABC neighborhood. Since then, their style has shifted to a merger between Brazilian traditions like afoxé and capoeira with Jamaican ragga and dancehall. Bixiga 70 Bixiga 70, a 10-piece Latin funk orchestra, is one of the most impressive live groups in São Paulo today. The band's name is a reference to Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band, but Bixiga are more than just a Brazilian Afrobeat group. Their new album, Ocupai, has a much more varied sound, with influences coming from Ethiofunk, cumbia and Afro-Brazilian traditions. Metá Metá Close friends of Bixiga 70, Metá Metá also has a diverse sound with roots in Afro-Brazilian tradition--a little bit of punk guitar, some jazz saxophone, and a name that means "Trio Trio" in the Yoruba language of West Africa. Like Bixiga 70, they are notorious for rocking stages around São Paulo. Caetano Veloso Caetano Veloso is one of the greatest living legends of Brazilian music. Along with performers like Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa, Caetano was one of the leader of the '60s Tropicália movement, which revolutionized pop music in Brazil, while creatively protesting the military dictatorship of the period. Now in his 70s, Caetano's voice sounds as strong as ever, and, if anything, he has only grown more musically adventurous in his later years. His new album, Abraçaço combines his early roots in bossa nova with an experimental indie rock sound and shades of baile funk rhythm. Coletivo di Tambor Bahian supergroup Coletivo di Tambor mixes up Bahian styles like samba and ixejá with Amazonian carmibó, Latin funk, merengue and a little bit of electro. They're one of a growing group of artists proving that Brazilian traditions, Afro-diasporic sounds, and new musical innovations can all get along quite comfortably. Russo Passapusso A member of BaianaSystem, a band that does an electronic take on the Bahian guitar style, Russo Passapusso has gone off on a different route for his new solo work. Revisiting the joyful, but rarely emulated, classic sound of '70s MPB (Brazilian popular music) and funk, Russo's "Paraquedas" is simply one of the best pop songs you will hear in 2014. Also let's face it--few names have ever been more fun to say. Siba Siba, a hugely innovative figure in modern Brazilian music, began his career at the center of the mangue bit movement of the '90s, which brought styles from Brazil's northeast to the nation's mainstream while fusing them with the spirit of alternative rock (think Brazilian grunge, but only barely.) He was a founding member of the band Mestre Ambrosio, one of the most popular bands from Recife during that period. Since then, Siba delved deeper into folklore, working with a 15-piece brass orchestra playing frevo and maracatu. Now, for his latest album, Avante, he went back from the rabeca to the guitar for a more rock 'n' roll sound. He still hasn't abandoned the Northeastern roots, but he also added a little Congolese guitar flavor on the new record. Zé Brown Like Siba, Zé Brown is another veteran of Recife's mangue bit scene who has gone on to explore new musical directions without losing his Northeastern roots. Originally a member of Faces do Subúrbio in the '90s, Brown now makes hip-hop that uses traditional rhythms from Pernambuco. Pearls Negras Pearls Negras consists of three teenage MCs–17-year-old Alice Coelho, and Mariana Alves and Jennifer Loiola, both 16–who grew up Rio de Janeiro's Vidigal favela, and formed a group after they met at an after-school theater program. Upon releasing their first mixtape,  Biggie Apple, in December, they've garnered acclaim across the world. Karol Conka Karol Conka has broken new ground for women in Brazilian hip-hop, becoming a nationwide star after the success of her "Boa Noite" single in 2011. Karol's new debut album, Batuk Freak, solidifies her status as one of the most exciting MCs to come out of Brazil in recent memory. VHS Logos VHS Logos is a pseudonym for Jarrier Modrow, a producer and video artist from Porto Alegre. Modrow bases his work on '80s electro-funk (made from the same source material as baile funk, but making it sound completely different). Abdala An experimental artist from Catalão, Abdala combines a sort of "musical verité" approach--using field recordings and sounds from nature--combined with old-school keyboards and synths. Felipe Cordeiro Felipe Cordeiro is a brega artist from Belém in Brazil's Amazonia region. The title (and the music) of his 2012 release Kitch Pop Cult sums up the cheesy, referential charm of brega (Portuguese for "tacky").