Friday 12 May 2023

If you're a fan of YATM, you're more than likely a fan of labels like Far Out Recordings, Soul Jazz Records and many others that have released compilations of music from Brasil.  

Top of your list might be Mr Bongo, so have they really been able to find 22 tracks that are "Strange and Sublime" and from Rio de Janeiro too?

In short, those sceptics out there are going to have to tip your hats off to the Mr Bongo's trawlings of the beaches of Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon in in the shadows of Mount Corcovado as they have found some magical tracks that match/surpass  MRB074 frm over ten years ago; that's 'Psychedelic Pernambuco' to you and me.

And it's not from 1960/70s either as this is the 'current' [re]evolution of modern sounds from Bazil have roots in despot Military dictatorship regimes to the current political madness that's re-ignited with the debarcle of the World Cup 2014 with disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter.   

The most incredible track, 'Lua Comanche' by Bala Desejo only came out last year! Bala Desejo's Dora Morelenbaum has a solo track on here too, 'Vento de Beirada' that's all baritone sax moody brilliant and the Joana Queiroz track 'Dois Litorais' has a similar Mai Todd Dia feel.

From the leftfield electronica, 'La Cacundê Iauê' sounds like it could have been sampled from traditional Mauri chanting a la DJ Shadow to grunge pysch-pop 'Lê Almeida to Brazil does Motown/Northern Soul madness 'Gigolô' by Jonas Sa and not forgetting the jazzdance, António Neves & Thiaguinho Silva 'Das Neves' and Ava Rocha's electronic opus 'Boca do Céu' (Mouth of Heaven').

And did somebody say, "Psychedelic" 'Moços' by Ovo Ou Bicho which is 60s mod-rock Byrds end of it and then Latin fuzzbox meets jazz flute gang of Marcelo Callado's 'Simbora' featuring Silvia Machete.  In fact, these two tracks could have made a 7" for Mike D's recent RSD, Brazil 45s Boxset (see Review HERE) they are that 'out there'.

We end with some electronic surf reggae from Os Ritmistas' 'Sambolero', could Torvill and Dean (ask your grand parents) have danced to this? I'm saying no but this compilation is so well conceived and executed, every track is your new favourite track. 

Brilliantly researched with essays by professor and music critic Bernardo Oliveira and music journalist Leonardo Lichote, plus extensive notes on each track by the artists themselves and that great artwork designed by Rio music’s leading album artwork designer, Caio Paiva.

It is odd that the exiled community in my area have such a love of British pop/rock and so little interest in new or old pop/MPB from the home country; having more interest in even Paul Di'anno's Battlezone (well, that's what Paul once told me anyway).  But with 'Strange and Sublime Sounds' would seem to me to be a way to re-kindle the love and let's hop this 'Rio de Janeiro' edition is just the start of a revolving series from different parts of Brasil.

Artist: Various Artists

Title: Hidden Waters: Strange and Sublime Sounds of Rio de Janeiro

Release date : 12th May, 2023

Label : Mr Bongo

Catalog Number : MRBLPCD271

Format: LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp


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