La Danza Poetica #5 Brasil, Poética Elétrica

The February podcast of La Danza Poetica focuses on Brazil, em Português. New spoken word from the Ponte Aérea Elétrica project (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro), Rio hip hop, São Paulo poetas, Afro-Brazilian rhythms, the folk/song traditions of the Nordeste, and the avant-pop-mangue-folk Tropicália of now! The father of poesia concreta, Augusto De Campos features, and our honoured ghost is 'O Poetinha', Vinícius de Moraes.


Zuzuka Poderosa - Psicodelia (Sonora Remix) 
Caçapa - Rojão No1
Daniel Minchoni (Ponte Aérea Elétrica) - PsiuLenPsiu
SinHa (Ponte Aérea Elétrica) Olhos da cara
Curumin - Acorda
Aline Gaia (Ponte Aérea Elétrica) - Somente Somos II
Lucas Santtana - Night-time in the backyard (Deerhoof John Dieterich Remix)
Amabis - Pena Mais Que Perfeita
Antônio Carlos Jobim & Vinícius de Moraes - Monologo de Orfeu
Céu - Retrovisor
SinHa (Ponte Aérea Elétrica) - Invernin
Curumin - Treme Terra
Augusto De Campos - Cidade City Cite
Paulo Castro (Ponte Aérea Elétrica) - Fragmentos de aviao
Curumin - Bambora! 
Marcelo D2 - Oquêcêqué? 
Vinicius Terra - Alvará de Licença
Augusto De Campos - Pulsar
BNegão & Seletores de Frequência - Vamo!
Caçapa, Hugo Linns & Alessandra Leão - Samba de Rojão No1
Camila Passatuto - Relato
Augusto De Campos - Dias Dias Dias
Maga Bo - Eu Vim de Longe feat. Rosângela Macedo
Renata Rosa - Na Janela Do Dia
Tubarao (Ponte Aérea Elétrica) - Buceta
Cícero - Açucar ou Adoçante?

Notes on the show

In Brazil, 2013 is the year of Vinícius de Moraes - the centenary of his birth. There are concerts and tributes, commemorative stamps, even (because, apparently, of his "bohemian ways" and great love of women, not so much because of his own natural beauty...) a beauty contest planned. The man who wrote the original (Portuguese) lyric for Girl from Ipanema, part of the original band with Tom Jobim and Joao Gilberto, Vinícius was a playwright, a diplomat, and, a poet, in the real sense a poet. In the show I play his Monologo de Orfeu, from the soundtrack to Moraes' play Orfeu da Conceição with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim.The retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice - set in the favelas of Rio where Orfeu, poet-musician, falls in love, and into tragedy - was made into the film Black Orpheus (Orpheus of the Carnival) in 1959 and again, with Carlos Diegues' much harder (and according to the director much closer to Vinicius' own vision) Orfeu in 1999. 'O Poetinha', 'the little poet', in his musical and poetic works, united both forms as manifestations of the same art and thought. In the Monologo for Orfeu love is agony, Eurydice makes him both weak and strong, is his silence as well as his music, his distraction as much as his muse. It's a heated, passionate love poem essentially and it's the energy of La Danza this month, so let's lose our cool...

Featured in this dance, plenty of great Brazilian poetry, sampling from the poets of the Ponte Aérea Elétrica project - a live and recorded project bringing together artists, clowns, professors, all the poets of life in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo under the production of Byra Dorneles and Miguel Stevele Lobao, with music from DJ Robhinson and MaicknucleaR. Aline Gaia, Daniel Minchoni, Paulo Castro, Sinhá and Tubarão feature in the show, but there is many more on the album - I wrote more about the project last week, check that here.

Our second 'honoured ghost' is the father of concrete poetry - or poesia concreta - in Brazil, Augusto De Campos (another son of São Paulo). If you've followed this blog a while you'll know my love for the man. The wonderful Cidade City Cite as well as Pulsar and Dias Dias Dias all feature in this month's dance.

I should not really call Augusto a ghost - he is still very much with us - here, from late 2012, is Augusto onstage with his son Cid Campos for the End of the World project:

...But my meaning is respectful. The 'honoured ghosts' of La Danza Poetica are those poets who inspire the generations who follow. They are our muses, our catalysts, our fathers, mothers and teachers. Their works and their voices infuse the poets of their country - or tradition if you like - who follow and in the young artists, they are echoed. As Tropicália was said to be the fusion of pop and experimental; the fusion of traditional culture with visions of the future, so we all in our work carry with us our honoured ghosts. In the best of what is called "global bass music" this respect is shown. In this show, and in all my work, I aim to honour the echoes, and name the ghosts of inspiration who are travelling with us.

Else-wise - let's dive into the rich mix of La Danza Poetica, musically and poetically:

Caçapa features both at the outset, and later in the hour where I mix up his beautiful guitar/percussion instrumental with the up-close poetry breathings of Camilla Passatuto, from São Paulo. I've featured Camilla before in live mixes.

Caçapa is a part of the new wave folk scene in north east Brazil. Reviving traditional percussive styles specifically coco, forró, maracatu, and baião, and the 10-string guitarrada, and fusing with modern rock/pop moods, the music was been dubbed "manguefolk" by Mais Um Discos a couple of years back. On his debut album Elefantes Na Rua Nova Caçapa collaborated with guitarist Hugo Linns and percussionist Alessandra Leão on a series of gorgeous instrumentals, that up to now I've been savouring mainly in headphones - so nice to include them here!

Curumin - "self-professed tropicália and funk addict" brings some seriously interesting (in the best sense of that word) funk to the mix. Acorda, Treme Terra and  Bambora! all come from Arrocha, one of my favourite albums of 2012. Curumin's Japanese heritage comes through in his minimalist use of electronic sounds, his Brazilian culture in the samba rhythms but really, this music is not so classifiable. It is poetic - both musically and vocally - one of Brazil's great poets Arnaldo Antunes in fact wrote one of the songs.

From the early 2012 remix album of his acclaimed Sem Nostalgia (called Remix Nostalgia) Lucas Santtana's Night-time in the backyard made darker, glitchier and even more ominous somehow, by Deerhoof's John Dieterich. Here is the original video, filmed in Rio's Jardim Botânico by Bruno Natal and Tiago Lins:

...And, new from Céu in 2012, Retrovisor (from the album Caravana Sereia Bloom) brings the soulful avant-pop, the artist driving deep into Tropicália territory. The video, filmed in Itamaracá - Pernambuco, is a grainy road-movie pop styling, taking cues from Kerouac as much as from the north east of Brazil:

To Rio for the Hip Hop - specifically, the hip hop drawing on Brazilian musical traditions.

Vinicius Terra, who proves that the bossa nova smooth is an excellent companion to the strength of spoken lyrics. Quando a Bossa Encontra o Rap is a work of craft, coming out in 2009 and taking Vinicius on tour globally. This is the best poetry of social consciousness, from a poet born into hardship who strives to tell the story, at the same time using his success to help young people out of the cycle of poverty in the slums of Rio with a series of production and education projects. Clever, sophisticated and awake.

Marcelo D2 - uniting samba and rap, Oquêcêqué? is from the 2008 album Arte do Barulho. Formerly of hip hop collective Planet Hemp, Marcelo D2 solo brings a fusion of Hip Hip and samba, bossa nova, rhythms that wake up the music, vibrancy that infuse the words. Try on this 2010 video "My Drum" with Zuzuka Poderosa:

BNegão & Seletores de Frequência - Sintoniza Lá ... Carioca MC Bernardo Santos aka BNegão is also alumni of Planet Hemp, in 2012 hooking up with Seletores de Frequência after a number of years' hiatus to make this fusion of afrobeat, reggae, funk, punk psychedelia ... pop and experiment in one, humour and party and killer horns - this is the Tropicália of now! Also, love the slightly goofy video for Alteração (Éa!) a track dedicated to and carrying forward the funk of Fela Kuti

Taking it back (forward?) to the roots, the gorgeous voice of  São Paulo's Rosângela Macedo lifts and drives Eu Vim de Longe, from Maga Bo's 2012 release Quilombo do Futuro, where tradition and innovation come together as resistance. The below video, in the quilimbo ... is No Balanço da Canoa featuring Rosângela's lyrics, call and response ... "I want to see who comes, I want to see who arrives, I want to see who's going to kick up dust in my ray..."

Another great and powerful voice bringing tradition to our present is Renata Rosa, and she takes us into our last dance with Na Janela Do Dia, from her 2009 album Manto so Sonhos. In this album Renata explores the traditions of vocal polyphonies (two or more independent melodic voices building in texture) in amba de coco, coco de roda, toré, rojão, and the sacred Indian torés - joined by an Indian women’s choir from the village Kariri-Xocó (a place decimated by a hydroelectric plant diverting their water for the global food industry, an all too common story in Brazil) The voice as storyteller, the song as story, the story as healer.

And the last dance is from Cícero, from his 2011 debut album Canções de Apartamento - a passionate and irresistible tune - Russ Slater put it nicely back in '11 on the Sounds and Colours website: ".....he somehow manages to convince you that these are songs you’ve known your whole life." Cícero's songs are, in a way, nostalgic. Bossa nova-influenced of course, but also in the sense of fusing tradition and 'new' it could be said to be a part of the Tropicália of now. Cícero cites Caetano Veloso as a major influence - making him another 'honoured ghost' (also not literally!) of this Danza Poetica, another great poetic and musical mind, many of the sounds we now hear are his creations' children.

Ok, cool satisfactorily lost? Until the next dance, paz e boa!