Tag: samba fusion

Martinho da Vila, “Lusofonia” (2000)

I’ve been meaning to post about this album for the longest. I was introduced to it around 2007 and it became a fast favorite, introducing me to rhythms, history, artists, and lands of the “Lusophone” world. Cabo Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe, Angola, Guinea Bissau. Maybe it can be called a fusion album — samba and  lots of pandeiro but with lilting bass lines, cheerful horn arrangements and guitar riffs that are undoubtedly African. It felt like traveling without moving. It may have been the first time I heard different Portuguese language accents besides Brazilian in song. I was already a fan of beloved living samba legend Martinho da Vila, and this album made me appreciate his oeuvre even more.

 

I’m tempted to skip ballad “Vasco da Gama” (ft. Mart’nalia) and slow march/marchinha “Viva Timor Leste” (ft. Luis Represas), which recount significant histories pertaining to the Portuguese empire. One covers exploration/conquest, the other revolution, so I guess I appreciate the balance there. Taking the album as a whole I can dig that those songs were included for their slower tempos and rounding out the variety of rhythms. Besides, I’d rather learn history via song than read it, and I always appreciate a larger historical context for the music I enjoy.

Favorite track: “Carambola (São Tomé e Príncipe)”.

Sample Series II: Looking for the Perfect Beat in Samba: "A Procura da Batida Perfeita"

(This post is the second installment in my Sample Series)

My students were asking what song we have been dancing to in class the past few weeks. Here it is:

\”A Procura da Batida Perfeita\” by Marcelo D2 (on A Procura da Batida Perfeita, Sony BMG Brasil, 2003)
A Procura da Batida Perfeita means \”looking for the perfect beat\”; probably a reference to Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force\’s \”Looking for the Perfect Beat\” (single released 1983 from Planet Rock).

\”A Procura da Batida Perfeita\” starts out telling the story of an artist who makes it big and becomes focused on pursuing material wealth and status, of which D2 is critical. He puts himself in opposition to the materialistic type saying it\’s not money that makes him happy (\”não é um saco de dinheiro que me deixa feliz\”). Instead D2 states he is about staying true to the music, committed to the roots of samba and hip hop. As the hook says, \”Eu vou no samba, a procura da batida perfeita\” (I go through samba to look for the perfect beat).

Some Brazilians are critical of D2 saying he is not really as \”true\” or genuine a part of Brazilian hip hop culture as other talented yet less internationally recognized rap acts like DMN (one of the founders of which happens to be based in the Bronx), Racionais MCs or Rappin\’ Hood.

But this may be a subject for another post…

Lyrics aside, the production on this track is undeniably great, and the sample goes perfectly with a hip hop beat.

Personnel: produced and mixed by Davi Corcos; bass: Kool G Murder; drums: Mamão; percussion: Tuca; moog: Davi Corcos; scratching: Mixmastermike; sample: \”Bonfa Nova\” by Luiz Bonfá (Universal Music).

(Fellow music heads may find it interesting that Luiz Bonfá\’s guitar was sampled by late producer Jay Dee for California-based hip hop group The Pharcyde. See my 10/24/2010 Sample Series post on this)