Gal Costa: Tropicalismo rocks

15 12 2015

New – well, newish – (it came out earlier this year, but I missed it) Gal Costa! Her astonishing “Recanto” record put the 1970s tropicalista diva back on my personal map with one of 2012’s great singles, the pounding Miami Maculele and an appealing and well-executed blend of Brazilian melody and up-to-the-minute electronic production.

Estratosferica treads a similar path with adventurous production and a who-is-who of Brazilian pop on writing and production credits. Mallu Magalhaes wrote the first single, Milton Nascimento and Criolo pop up as does Mallu’s boyfriend, Marcelo Camelo, plus Tom Ze. The whole thing is produced by Moreno Veloso (son of Caetano) and Alexandre Kassin.

Capicua: Feminista

29 11 2015

I recently got turned onto the (white, female, Portuguese) rapper Capicua through her lovely collaboration with Aline Frazao (Aline, where is the new album already???)

But this video, and specifically the concept behind it, also grabbed me. When is the last time you saw a rap video as interpreted purely by ten year old girls?

Rock on.

Brasil – wired

13 10 2015

I have just discovered the Brasil wire website, with its repository of articles on contemporary (though very Sampa-centred) Brazilian culture. There is lots of interesting stuff here for Brazil nuts like me, from this piece on Australian singer Nick Cave and his three-year stint in Sao Paulo in the nineties to a profile on an upcoming documentary “Reclaim the Jungle” made by a New Zealander now resident in the city, a Japanese-Brazilian documentarian and a local street fashion photographer and focusing on a movement spearheaded by the Voodoohop street parties to reclaim formerly derelict parts of the city as liberated and hedonistic party spaces.

As one of the organisers of the Voodoohop parties says: “(Sao Paulo) is a melting pot where a lot of different worlds coexist, full of workers during the day, transvestites at night, streets of African & Bolivian migrants freshly arrived, Brazilian families living in squats, dusty hippies selling bracelets, tattooed teenagers hanging out in the “Galeria do Rock”. The centre of Sao Paulo is like an old bazaar, not good for fashion or refined items but where you can find all the essentials, food by the kilo, fabrics, electronics, any type of material, each block has its speciality. The area where you used to find all the cinemas in the 50s, Antiga Cinelandia, for example has hosted a lot parties in the last few years, as well as the area with all the old brothels. In general, the center of SP is a refuge for people who cannot afford or refuse to pay for the expensive part of the city. With this mix of people and interests, the centre ends up being very flexible and open for experiment, you can walk in some crazy outfit in the centre and people will hardly notice you.”

Sound of the Sampa underground

13 10 2015


Brand new albums from Karina Buhr and Barbara Eugenia.

Anitta’s Brazilian Bang

12 10 2015

Grace Jones: the legacy goes on

7 10 2015

Grace’s influence lingers on, in her propulsive dance single with French avant garde poetess and folk singer Brigitte Fontaine above, and in the imagery of gender-bending Brazilian Jaloo below.

And in these images by her former partner and collaborator Jean-Paul Goude of Bjork, perhaps her truest successor in terms of spirit and attitude.

Disco Arrasou!

7 10 2015

After reading about Grace I was in a bit of a disco phase and stumbled upon this on youtube – a sweet flashback to 1999 when I was a naive twenty-two year old on my first trip to Brazil, and I watched “Planeta Xuxa” on TV with my then-Sao Paulo boyfriend, whose brother was the bassist of flamboyant disco singer Edson Cordeiro. Good times!


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