Wednesday, July 13, 2005


The most brutally raw music I've heard in ages is exploding from the ghettos of Rio De Janiero. Unlike most cities, where the rich are up in the hills, Rio's well-off are down on Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches, and the slum-dwellers have the great ocean views, and dance to a style so new, it doesn't have a definite name yet. Call it "baile funk," "funk do morro" ("of the hill,") or "carioca funk," it's all Miami-bass style hip-hop, hoarsley shouted (not really rapped) Portuguese, odd samples, and startlingly primitive production - this stuff isn't low-fi as an indie-rock pose, it really is garage-produced, sounding like vintage '80s floppy-disk samplers and eight (four?)-track recorders finally made it down to the favelas (slums). A lot of it sounds hissy, some tunes are over in less then a minute-and-a-half, songs abruptly cut off, and no-one sounds like they have any music training. Doesn't get any more punk then that, does it? Probably best enjoyed late at night, loud, while drunk.

Two collections were recently released in the States, "Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats," and "Slum Dunk Presents: Funk Carioca," but mostly this stuff is so far below the radar it's not even underground yet. The crucial Funky Do Morro website has been collecting recordings with names like "Funk Cruel" and "Funk Neurotica" by many often-anonymous baile funk artists:

"Sao Carlos" 1:27 of fun, from the collection "As Melhores do La"
"Funk Neurotica - track 10" throws in a bit of the Italian standard, the Tarantela. I don't know why.
"Rua Lucia Tabajara" This could make those "world-music" types who think all Brasilian music is 40-year-old Jobim-a-nova run screaming out of their Starbucks.

Tantan from Brasil provides us this link:
"Here's a video footage from a "baile funk" party in Rio de Janeiro. There's even a competition of the best bootie dancer of the night. And the prize is... yup, a book. hehehe"


Anonymous said...

This stuuff is brilliant. Many thanks!

favelado said...

Ta maneiro..gosto muito o baile funk!