OK - I will get it right out of the way and tell you that I think you should buy this CD. Brazilian Beats 6 has been a joy to listen to these past few weeks as I prepared for this review. I don't know near as much about the artists on this disc as my gullbuy partner Patrick, but I DO know that I really enjoy listening to this disc, and it crosses many genres and will find favor in almost any set of music loving people.
Unlike other recent Brazilian theme compilations (Rio Baile Funk, Não Wave, The Sexual Life of The Savages), Brazilian Beats 6 does not require investing yourself into a particular time period or genre: the songs on this disc will appeal to fans of the French Hotel Costes series as well as to collectors of Chico Science influenced Swamp Beat or original Tropicalia.
The disc starts off with No Tranco, a two minute instrumental with traffic sounds, a motorcycle starting up, a brass section and drums. The mood is set. The second song Riva opens with a pounding house beat, turns to a rhythm fest as strong as Pigbag's Papa Got A Brand New Pigbag, them becomes a Portuguese vocal track that is very upbeat and positive.
Next is Cotidiano, a track that starts off with a drum n' bass sounding beat that moves into a classic tropicalia groove with melodic male vocals sung in in Portuguese - very catchy and pleasant, kind of like Otto.
Leaving for Cala Bassa starts off with various wood percussions. It becomes an instrumental samba track with a quick beat and Rhodes solos. Take Me Back to Paiui has a disco reggae sound. The song is quite infectious, with cheerleader-styled female vocals, brass, and syndrum accents. As is becoming of a 'Dubben mix' there is some echo and reverb, and a lot of deep bass too.
Um Dia Inteiro is a straight-up direct vocal track with male vocals sung in Portuguese. There is ace production, and many backing vocals. Most of all, the feeling is upbeat and fun. The instrumentation is acoustic guitar in an electric band. There is even a short turntable scratching break. Super strong!
Flamengao reminds me of early Caetano Veloso. The track has a ton-of-bricks melody, great music, and lots of catchy changes and male/female backing vocals.
O Xamengo de Ina sounds like Afrobeat as interpreted by Brasil 66, with a shuffling funky beat and dual lead male vocalists singing in Portuguese. Someone is making bird sounds a la Martin Denny.
Golden Boys were a big discovery for me on this disc. If you like Tony Rivers and the Castaways, or his later group Harmony Grass, you will be all over Se Voce Quiser Mas Sem Bronquear too. Incredibly perfect male chorus voices and a killer song to hold them.
Moreno De Angola is a female vocal track with a fast meringue beat you just want to dance to. Take It Easy My Brother Charley is a track that many people have covered, even Kahimi Karie! The version here reminds me of Slim Gaillard somehow.
Dang Dang is a 50s skiffle styled instrumental featuring sax. It is followed by a cover of Tequila.
Agora Chega reminds me of the 70s Polish vocal/jazz group Novi Singers. There are male and female singers in the chorus, and the beat swings.
Black Alien is the only artist that has two tracks on Brazilian Beats 6. Babylon by Gus (a take-off on Bob Marley's Babylon By Bus) is the first of three songs that veer fairly close to rap. Even though Black Alien does 'rap' on this track, it is not a rap track, it is more of a pop-reggae number. his second cut Como Eu Te Quero skirts the same territories with the same OK result. Even though I don't strongly dislike this song, it is my least favorite on the disc. I wonder why they added a second track from him?
Lodeando has rap styled vocals, but they are so good natured and the music is so fine, that even if you don't like rap you may find yourself loving this song. The dueling vocalists are a guy and a little boy.
Num Deu Pra Credita sounds like someone taking a village elder singing and putting percussive music to it. Some of the singing is mumbled, some is in a deep throat voice. The sound of the rain forest!
Orientação closes out the disc. The disc has background voices that remind me of the David Bowie song After All from The Man Who Sold the World. The song is a relaxing close to a great record that I highly recommend to you.
There is nothing on this disc that will cause you to cringe or hit the skip button. Seriously - I just double checked every song on this CD and I could not find a single dud. Brazilian Beats is a vague title. Is it drum n' bass? House? Nope: the artists are both new and old, the sounds are filled with rhythm. Some sing in English, most in Portuguese. All songs have amazing melody and construction.