Suba São Paulo Confessions (Six Degrees)
Caipiríssima: Batucada ElectRonica (Caipirinha Music)

São Paulo Confessions (Six Degrees)

Record Reviews


São Paulo Confessions (Six Degrees)

Caipiríssima: Batucada ElectRonica

(Caipirinha Music)

Midway through the dense jungle rhythms of Caipiríssima: Batucada Electonica, a spellbinding journey to the heart of Brazil's DJ cult(ure), "Pupila Dilatada" comes to life like a virus. Backward mastering gives way to a brainwave synth line overtaken by the six-minute-mile dance marathon pace of a rubboard-sounding percussive track studio processed to sound like an Atari game played on gravel. At first innocuous, it soon becomes insidious: DJ Shadow discovers São Paulo. Compiled by Béco Dranoff, responsible for the scorching Red Hot + Rio and Best of Os Mutantes, this 71-minute collection of mind-bending grooves catalogs an early Nineties movement that has achieved in its home state the same seminal relevance of bossa nova or Tropicália -- "Batucada Electronica." Opener "Central do Brasil" with its sleighbell beat and voodoo drive courtesy of acoustic drum sensation João Parahyba; DJ Dolores' second-line island beat-hop on "Monica No Samba (She Loves Drum 'n' Cavaco)"; the seven-minute acoustic shuffle of Amon Tobin's "Sub Tropic," with its echoing horn lines; New York-by-way-of-São Paulo jungleman DJ Soul Slinger's ghostly scratching on "Masterplan," whose prescient sample, "Neurological research finds that early music training can dramatically boost a children's brain power, building the kind of skills necessary to succeed in high level math and science," somehow quantifies Caipiríssima: organic sounds, synthetic processing. Not many tracks on Suba's São Paulo Confessions are as hypnotizing as "Pupila Dilatada," credited to Suba vs. M.A.U., but the Croatian-turned-Paulista studio sorcerer scores on his album's latter half: "Antropofagos," with its course gate and stinging strings; the burping studio sensations and wah-wah throb of "Un Dia Comun"; and two João Parahyba collaborations, "Samba do Gringo Paulista" (Suba's nickname) and "A Noite Sem Fim," both of which inject beguiling six-string work. The disc's front-loaded first half -- dreamy diva soundscapes -- wanders into ambient Astrud Gilberto territory, but the three-decade-famous Suba, who died suddenly last fall, never wants for musical ideas and textures. "Think Blade Runner in the Tropics," writes Suba in an introductory note to São Paulo Confessions. Think Caipiríssima that soundtrack.

(São Paulo Confessions) **.5

(Caipiríssima) ****

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