06 June 2011

Monday's mp3: Red Hot + Rio 2

A friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous here, has made a habit of making dramatic snoring noises whenever I play Brazilian music for her. Something about the soothing syllables of Portuguese I think, more than a lack of interest in the music itself. I think she might have a different reaction to the new double CD Red Hot + Rio 2.

The album, which hits stores on June 28, does include a serving of soft and smooth, which isn't surprising since it is billed as "a modern tribute to the late 60's Brazilian tropicalia movement. Most tracks pair Brazilian musicians (including Carlinhos Brown, Ceu, DJ Dolores, and Seu Jorge) with contemporary global artists (including Mayra Andrade, Brazilian Girls, Beck, and Beiruit).

Disc 1 (aka "Red") begins with the poppy bossa nova "Baby" by Alice Smith + Aloe Blacc. But it also includes more edgy tunes like "Aquele Abraço" by Forró In The Dark + Brazilian Girls + Angelique Kidjo, Curumin's reggae-flavored "Ela (Ticklah remix)," and a wild remix of Caetano Veloso's classic "Ilê Ale" by Superhuman Happiness + Cult called "Um Canto De Afoxé Para O Bloco Do Ilê."

Disc 2 (aka "Hot") is indeed a bit spicier, particularly when you hit songs like "Bat Macumba" by Of Montreal + Os Mutantes and the salsa-drenched "Soy Loco Por Ti, América" by Los Van Van + Carlinhos Brown, though there's not a bright distinction between the two disks. Both contain a wide variety of styles and some fascinating pairings, along with the occasional fluff (I'm looking at you, "Freak Le Boom Boom") and songs that wander around looking for some kind of musical footing ("Ogodô, Ano 2000").

No one song alone can convey the spirit of this wide-ranging release, but I'll share one that seems to get close, though it lacks international collaborative spirit. Emicida is a Sao Paulo rapper (interview), who is paired here with the open-minded Afro-Latin Orquestra Contemporânea De Olinda from Pernambuco.

[mp3] Orquestra Contemporânea De Olinda + Emicida: Roda
from Red Hot + Rio 2

And of course, as with all Red Hot projects, proceeds from this album benefit HIV/AIDS organizations -- a good enough reason to check out the CD if you have the least curiosity about contemporary Brazilian sounds. Well, retro-leaning contemporary Brazilian sounds.

listen / buy CD
Red Hot website (with free download of Beirut's song "O Leãozinho")
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