Like most club music, Brazilian baile funk can trace its roots to physical drums pounded in physical space, but those have long since been set aside in pursuit of ever-bigger beats—really the quickest baile funk origin story is one of Brazilians running everything they could get their hands on through Miami bass. But Belo Horizonte producer VHOOR is bringing baile funk back to its roots, or even before. On the latest single, “Verde,” which was released today, VHOOR, brings in the rootsy percussion and rhythms of samba de coco together with the slower reggaeton-inflected branch of baile funk, rasteirinha.
VHOOR has been on a tear over the last year (considering
all that’s going on: good for him!), and his releases, Baile and
Drip, Baile and Sauce,
Baile and Trill, were about
connecting baile funk to the wider world of club music—trap, drill
and hip-hop. Ritmo is
about connecting baile funk to
other Brazilian music. “Verde” follows his collaboration with the
rapper FBC, Outro Rolê, which merged samples of candomblé
and umbanda hand percussion into baile funk forms.
hip-hop-enamored producer latching on to the distinct shuffling
rhythm of samba de coco is especially enticing—as
it was traditionally played in the north of Brazil, samba de coco had repente
challenges, poetic improvisations that are, in concept, not too
different from rap battles. Led
by Maga Bo, a producer also working where traditional and electronic
musics collide, Kafundo
Records released an
electronically inflected selection of songs from the Pernambuco
ensemble Samba De Coco Raizes de Arcoverde in 2018, retaining their foot-stomping and pandeiro percussion.
“Verde” is pretty sedate by VHOOR's standards and it’ll be interesting to tune in on April 2 when the full Ritmo album is released.