Beat Diaspora: Beats, Buses, Bricks

an omnivorous take on music of the beat-based variety and the urban spaces that nurture it

Friday, October 27, 2006

Totally Wired

The month-long saga that has been my attempt to get permanent Internet in my apartment finally came to a favorable conclusion this morning. Gone are the endless sessions in wi-fi equipped cafés or the pirated wireless that only shows up between midnight and 5 am. After five appointments, the first three of which the technician was AWOL, my network has been named "Sisyphus" in their honor. Or, for another literary paraphrase: L'enfer, ce n'est pas les autres, c'est France Telecom. [Hell isn't other people, it's France Telecom.]

More blogging to come: reflections on the banlieue a year on, Kraftwerk & friends last weekend (camera USB cable located), and still backlogged Brasil stories (want to meet the guy who first used the Rocky theme song in Rio funk? stay tuned).

For now, Mark E. Smith will help me celebrate.

The Fall - Totally Wired


Monday, October 23, 2006

anniversary, for better or worse

There's been a buzz around Paris w/r/t October 27, 2006: one year on from the death of two youths in Clichy-sous-bois, a poor neighborhood outside of Paris, who ran into an electrical grid while most likely fleeing police. The event sparked "riots" across the cités (large housing projects) of the banlieue (suburbs), from Clichy-sous-bois to the rest of Paris's suburbs to every major city in France (to even, as I just learned, Guadeloupe). They were vastly mischaracterized in the American press -- I recall, for example, a New York Times' editorial entitled "Paris is Burning", when the point was precisely that Paris was completely calm while the periphery had erupted into a conflagration. Or perhaps it was just a question of emphasis. Setting cars on fire was the typical MO, but it was only buried deep in an article that I would find a sentence along the lines of "riots in the French suburbs subsided last night as the number of car burnings dropped to average levels." Those average levels, meanwhile, were something like several hundred cars a night! Sure, the sharp spike was something to take notice of, but the basic act of protest wasn't anything new.

So I'm not surprised to read, as in this BBC piece, "The conditions that led to the 2005 unrest are still in place." That seems to be the main conclusion drawn by the outpouring of banlieue commentary. Le Monde, the country's leading newspaper, has certainly wanted their fill: an 8-page supplement on Thursday and the cover of their political magazine.

The two features make for an instructive contrast. On the left, "Banlieues un an après" (Banlieues one year after), and on the right, "Trente ans d'histoire et de révoltes" (Thirty years of history and revolts). The former is stuck in a naïve mindset, one that I imagine was shocked such events could happen in the first place and certainly hasn't learned much since, even though, for example, a popular movie like La Haine came out over ten years ago! Why talk of one year after when it's really a question of, as the latter seems to better understand, thirty years before?

Or longer, for that matter. Between 1945 and 1971, approximately 6.5 million units of housing were built in France. At an average occupancy of 4 persons per unit, that's 26 million people. In 1971, the population of France was roughly 50 million people. Astounding rates of post-war growth and construction? Sounds like a baby boom to me, not a big deal. Except that of those 6.5 million units of housing, 2 million were HLM (habitation à loyer modéré -- rent-controlled housing, aka cités) and 3 million were publicly financed in some manner. Given that those 3 million aren't necessarily all cités of some kind, you can calculate that roughly 15-35% of the French lived in such projects. And that was in 1971. Wikipedia picks up the slack and brings it to the present day: There are now approx. 4 million HLM housing units, home to roughly 14 million people, or one-quarter of France's population.

What makes cité life provoke such hostile reactions? Certainly there are obvious economic and cultural reasons: high unemployment, endemic job discrimination (a plan to institute anonymous résumés -- so employers can't immediately toss their Mohammets into the rejection pile because they're looking to hire Jacques -- recently got scrapped in the National Assembly), and the resentment of outsider status. Huge problems for which I'm hardly equipped to provide solutions.

A more manageable question, however, might center around where and how the violence was carried out. It struck me that, as far as I could tell from media coverage, those perpetrating the unrest mostly were doing so in their own neighborhoods. Paris proper was untouched for a reason, in that sense -- the geography of the banlieues keeps them a substantial train ride away. Granted, I have seen some bidonvilles tucked into corners along the Seine, but I have to imagine anyone squatting on central Parisian real estate wants to lay low (bidonville can refer to anything from a "tent city" to a "shanty town" -- in this case I'm referring to more of the former, the rows of tents you can find on some of the left bank quais).

So there's a geographical segregation, coupled with a built environment that, on the whole, isn't very appealing: large, co
ncrete apartment blocks. Lots of them. Moreover, and maybe even more importantly, they've been provided by the government. Crucially, this means there's no sense of ownership. Of course, no one was ready to go torch their homes, but to burn cars, police stations, even schools and community centers -- to add a lot of charred wreckage to an already bleak landscape -- probably wasn't accompanied by a lot of tears. An environment like that just doesn't engender a lot of attachment.

Naturally, I can't help but think about favelas in Rio by comparison -- where it's the exact opposite. Of course social unrest has occurred in the city for decades. The '90s in particular were considered something of a nadir, as I've been reading in Cidade Partida ("Divided City"). Of particular note in light of the banlieue are the clashes between funkeiros that occurred on the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana (around '93, I believe). When tension reached a head, they didn't destroy their own communities -- precisely because their communities are their own. I can't imagine anyone setting a car in their own favela on fire. The sense of pride and resilience is simply too strong. Destruction caused by warring gangs is of course another story, but I've never heard of a gang tearing down a favela -- that's the kind of thing the government is more likely to propose.

In Rio the poor build themselves homes they are proud of in spite of the government so they don't always have to live peripherally. / In Paris the government builds homes for the poor they have no attachment to and forces them to live peripherally.

So when Rio's huddled masses want to be heard, how do they do it? Throw a baile funk. Let that bass trickle down the hillsides -- and yes, you can be in a neighborhood of the asfalta and hear the soundsystem up on the morro. And outside Paris, they let flames cascade upward, hoping those lucky enough to be inside the Boulevard Périphérique look up & notice.

all just ways of rendering the invisible visible, some more destructive than others.

Easy to get grandiose & general, which can be dangerous & dishonest. To refocus:

1. banlieue, like favela, is a vastly overwrought term at this point, and can hardly be spoken of in monolithic terms
2. the cités are also there to stay -- it's a fait accompli: there's no chance the government is going to rip them all down and somehow integrate millions of people into already-dense Paris
3. so what's going on besides focusing on violence (of which, fortunately, there doesn't seem to have been any to "mark" the anniversary)? besides the same kind of sensationalization you deplored in opinions of favelas?

Well, Le Monde Diplomatique, the magazine cover on the right side that I never got back to, already seems to be pointing in that direction. The inside flap ad
sets the tone dramatically. "Banlieues: A positive energy!", "Creative Banlieues", "The Culture of the Cités." The "Banlieue One Year After" insert deserves some credit too, even if I don't like the presentation. In a particularly carioca moment, there's an article on the resident of a cité in Marseille who proudly shows off a commanding view of the city, port, and ocean that only his home turf offers.

I'm wondering too, with all the downtime unemployment offers, if there's a music scene of some kind stirring about on the outskirts of town & more importantly how I can find it. Le Monde was fascinated a week ago (en français, sorry) with one way the bored youth pass their time: blogging. The subtitle (translated) reads, "The cités of the banlieue play out rivalries with one another on the Net via hundreds of blogs. They're violent, territorial, provocative. Choice excerpts -- with their spelling." [the posts are full of slang, esp. verlan, where the syllables of a word are reversed. merits its own analysis some other time.]

The author of this piece clearly doesn't have a healthy sense of exaggeration. Someone's profile reads, "Welcome to Mureaux. Number of residents: around 30,000. Crime rate: 97%. Chance of visiting & leaving alive: Almost nil. From the moment you pass the sign, the game begins." Maybe Mureaux really is that rough, but I detect a pretty obvious tough guy façade there. It fits in line with what the article quotes at the beginning, that the blogs argue over which neighborhood is the scariest, "the hottest," "the ghettoest." Again I can't help but compare: the youth of the favela will instead take pride in having the best baile around.

I would link to some of the blogs -- and indeed have been meaning to try and contact the authors -- but as I just discovered, their host shut them all down for "not following the terms of the website." Somehow not surprising.

So where does that leave me? I didn't come to Paris to visit cités in the same way that favelas were an integral part of my plans in Rio. But I'm absolutely of the mindset that all parts of a city deserve attention -- peripheries as much as centers. It's remarkable how effective out of sight/out of mind is: I couldn't help but be reminded of favelas every day in Rio, while it's taken this artificial anniversary to get me thinking more seriously about the banlieue.

And yet, three days a week I'm heading to St-Denis (a municipality that, technically, is in the banlieue) for my classes at Université-Paris-VIII, the most radical of the post-'68 campuses (psychoanalysis program founded by Lacan, philosophy dept founded by Foucault . . . you get the idea). The kind of place that even has an academic program on connaissance
(familiarity or knowledge) de la banelieue. Soon enough, I suppose: I'm taking a class on the problems cities face in the era of globalization, and the professor promised to give me a list of architecturally- or archetypically-significant sites around the région parisienne w/r/t all this suburban fury.

Quick parting shot, from a random AP article reporting on last fall:

"The emergency decree invoked a 50-year-
old security law that dates to France's colonial war in Algeria that empowers officials to put troublemakers under house arrest, ban or limit the movement of people and vehicles, confiscate weapons and close public spaces where gangs gather."

Those colonial entanglements never do go away, do they?

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

T-Shirt Politics

I posted a drawing of Rocinha last week that, as it turns out, is actually for a t-shirt design. Aforementioned Rocinha native Zezinho DJ drafted the image to print on t-shirts as a fundraiser for the Two Brothers Foundation -- we're serious about this raising money business.

The concept is simple: a baile funk in Rocinha. On the back it will say "Tenho orgulho de morar na favela da Rocinha." ("I'm proud to live in the favela of Rocinha.")

I'm always sensitive about the semiotics of t-shirts (I got a Neighborhoodie with 'Botafogo' on it -- where my apartment was -- because I couldn't justify 'Rocinha'), so I realize the concept might seem a little off-putting, but you'll be putting your money where your, err, torso is. All proceeds go direct to Rocinha to benefit Two Brothers. Besides, you can always rely on the Portuguese illiteracy of Americans if you're worried about getting funny looks.

For those squeamish about the ethics of traficantes on your tee, understandable. I call that one the proibidão t-shirt. There's also a light version:

Zezinho assured me he'll put "ROCINHA" in those graffiti-style letters at the top of that one too. In place of the traficantes you get some capoeira and more funkeiros. Details from Ze below.

Shirt colors: black, royal blue
Ink: yellow (looks awesome!)
Sizes: L, XL, XXL..more sizes will come [he said small and medium are on their way]
$25US, includes S&H
For orders, e-mail [he speaks English & Portuguese]

In the semiotics of t-shirts dept, I'll be the coolest cyclist on the byways & back roads of eastern Massachusetts when it warms up this spring, sporting my Kraftwerk 'Tour de France' bike shirt. I Love Techno was a night of legendary music & a window into the wild world of European festivals. I would post tonight, but alas I can't find my camera's USB cable -- and trust me, the Kraftwerk pics are worth waiting for. Must be karma for not spending enough time listening to Carl Craig, esp. as the Tigers fold to the Cards, 7-2.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Put Your Hands Up for Detroit

No, I don't have any Detroit roots. But with my AL and NL faves having sputtered well before Fall Classic season settled in, a baseball fan has to root for somebody -- especially somebody who gives the Yankees a good thrashing.

Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up for Detroit

I heard this track on a Dev79 mix for Discobelle and then again in a men's underwear shop in the Marais (the Marais being Paris's burgeoning gay neighborhood, so . . . you can imagine). I wanted to exclaim to the salesman, "The Tigers are going to the World Series!", but then realized his association with the song doubtless didn't extend far outside of the gay club circuit, or at least certainly not to the hard-luck Tigers.

Of course, this character Fedde Le Grand wasn't exactly reared on the shores of the Great Lakes. But I'm not surprised by the fact that a Dutchman would be putting his hands up for Detroit much more eagerly than most stateside, for whom the city remains an industrial black sheep left in the cold, even to its poets -- find Levine's "Henry Ford Sonnets" if you want a more vitriolic take. (Although others certainly want to rehabilitate the shrinking landscape.) The general American attitude toward Detroit reminds me of what I read in Modulations (under film-->book) about the frustration of Detroit techno's originators. While eagerly embraced by Europeans, techno never became a part of Detroit's musical legacy, or even a type of resilient "black music" on par with hip-hop, like they had hoped. Success across the pond is better than no success at all, and I have a feeling old KISS songs will be trotted out in Detroit's sports bars across the next week sooner than Cybotron 12"s.

Although the gushing Motor City fans at Gorilla vs. Bear have been digging up old rallying songs for the Tigers that range from Broadway big band to an '80s motown throwback -- the video for that one is priceless -- to ersatz-Timberlake trash. The latter recalls a video that circulated among Washington Redskins fans when they improbably made the playoffs last season, with pro-Skins lyrics recorded to the tune of "Lean Back", the chorus running "My Skins can't lose they just batter and bruise." The video, naturally, has been taken down -- nothing left to get riled up about as the bitter taste of 2-4 settles in. Of course, I'm not sure why anyone would want to trifle with "Hail to the Redskins." In today's hyper-commercialized pro-sports environment, it's hard enough to find a stadium that doesn't have a corporate sponsor, much less a fight song with a pedigree most college sports teams can hardly claim. The move to "fight for old D.C." over "fight for old Dixie", however, was definitely a good call.

[I'll leaves arguments against racist mascots for another day. My experience with Nationals games these last two seasons saw a large majority of white faces in the stands -- in a large majority black city -- which, high ticket prices notwithstanding, isn't as much the case when it comes to Redskins fandom. Although sports aren't quite as strong a glue in sedating social conflict in the U.S. as they are in Brasil, where many lamented the quarterfinal loss to Les Bleus not only as a matter of national pride, but also because it meant there wouldn't be the typical honeymoon period of relative peace that follows a World Cup victory. (Unrelated find: more futébol-as-agent-of-social-change.) Then again, who wants social rage sedated? Sports as opiate of the masses redux, etc. My cheeky Marxist history teacher in high school speculated that professional sports is Marxism-consistent: The proletariat actually come out on top financially. Dead Prez would disagree.]

At any rate, Motown needs all the love it can get, so put your hands up for Detroit, like I'll hopefully be doing this weekend in Belgium. I love techno, don't you too? Hopefully a post-Carl Craig party report will coincide with more reason for Tigers celebration.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Machine Gun Voices

I promised months ago to post Paul Sneed's doctoral thesis on proibidão funk. I haven't a single a good reason why I've neglected to do so, but as I finally start classes here in Paris, there's no time like the present.

For all the students, professors, and otherwise academics out there (that includes beat researchers), add this to your syllabus:

Machine Gun Voices: Bandits, Favelas, and Utopia in Brazilian Funk

I did hold off until I finished it (which was while still in Rio, figures), as I wanted to present my thoughts in full. But I'm willing to sacrifice my book review ambitions just to get the damn thing out into the public domain, having received Paul's permission.

It's a brilliant work, in my opinion, as it takes the courageous step of treating funk as a musical style whose lyrical content and performative aspects are worthy of socio-political commentary. Not that I disagree, of course, but as Paul himself writes in the introduction, "Before moving to Rocinha in 1990, I had been living in a mansion in Rio’s chic beachfront São Conrado neighborhood. When I told dona Ilsa, the kindly, wealthy, white elderly woman with whom I had been living where I was moving, she asked me why, on Earth, I would want to live in a favela. I couldn’t move to Rocinha, she said, and surely I would be kidnapped, killed or worse! When I replied that I wanted to learn about the culture of the people in Rocinha, she laughed and informed me that, 'Those people don’t have culture!'"

Of course, opinions have progressed since then, but certainly his choice of thesis topic requires staking out more ground to justify such a project than, say, writing on Camões.

Beyond the ambition of the book, its execution is remarkable. As the above quote hints, Paul has lived in Rocinha on and off since 1990, making his study of funk a subjective one -- it comes from having become, as best as a gringo can, a funkeiro. This in medias res approach well positions him to perceive the role of the funk MC and the content of MC's lyrics vis-a-vis the traficantes and the community at large. The proibidão MC, Paul argues, is really in the role of social mediator. As an inbetween figure -- not quite a drug trafficker, but closer to the ruling gang than the average resident -- the MC articulates the rules of the favela. Moreover, he articulates them from the community to the gang leaders. The baile is a social stage, an event where communication occurs between the two constituents of the favela that couldn't otherwise take place.

From interviews with MCs to analysis of lyrics (don't sleep on the appendix of proibidão lyrics -- most of which had never been transcribed, much less translated), it's an internal study of funk, acknowledging the criticisms of the music, but certainly coming from the perspective of an unabashed fan. Not to say, of course, that it doesn't also bring a sharpened critical appartus to bear on it all.

N.B. It's long & academic in style (natch -- it's someone's doctoral thesis), but also doesn't translate a lot of Portuguese quotations because it was submitted within the Portuguese department. If you're really curious I'd be happy to help you out. Babelfish is always an unreliable tool for large amounts of text.

In conjunction with all this, if you happen to find you've got money to burn in your pockets, consider donating to the Two Brothers Foundation, the non-profit Paul founded to offer English classes and other cross-cultural opportunities in Rocinha. We're in the midst of a $10,000 fundraising campaign to finish renovations on their new building. Over halfway there, but every bit counts in getting to the finish line.

If you'd like more information -- or know of someone who might be interested -- I have a package prepared with text & video that explains Rio, Rocinha, and Two Brothers in layman's terms. I'm happy to send them out to anyone.

While we're all up on the Rocinha love right now, here, as a parting shot, is a fresh drawing from Zezinho DJ, a Rocinha resident studying music production in San Francisco. He's been very friendly & helpful to me re: all things funk ("o funk e minha vida" -- "funk is my life", as his motto goes), and clearly dreams often of his city on a hill and the sound that weaves it together.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Bass Connection, Part 1

Wayne asked if I could post a list of which Miami bass tracks caught the ears of the funk faithful down in Rio.

I picked up two CDs of Miami bass at the pirate stands of Uruguiana market. Unfortunately I don't have them physically with me, so I can't scan you the covers. But here's the track list of the first:

Miami Beat Vol. 11

1. The Beat Club - Security (Remix)
2. N2Deep - Toss Up
3. Toddy Tee - Just Say No
4. Svemtyle - Weekend Tool
5. Renard With No Regard - How Hard Can You Throw It?
6. Beat Master Clay D & The Get Funky Crew - Move Your Body to the Beat

This is one is incomplete because some of the tracks didn't rip to mp3 -- and without the CD, I can't recall what the other tracks were (nor does Google turn up anything for "Miami Beat Vol. 11" or similar searches).

Of the 6 tracks I do have, there are two odd ones out: N2Deep and Toddy Tee are both early 90s Southern California rap groups, examples of the sound that became popularized by the likes of 2Pac and Dre (cf "California Love", et al.). That's not terribly surprising given that this is theoretically volume 11 of a compilation series -- the roster gets a bit then by that point, I imagine. Doubly unsurprising given that Miami and California comprise two-thirds of most Brazilians impression of America. New York City is the other terra cognita, with Texas/Washington forming a bizarre twin identity in people's minds on account of Bush. I suspect that'll pass after '08, however.

What we're left with, meanwhile, are some decidedly Miami tracks, if not always identifiable ones.

The Beat Club
have a verified Miami history, although the track in question, "Security (Remix)", comes off the A-side from an eponymous 12" released in 1990 after they moved to the UK. That would help explain why this version sounds more like straight dance music (the Discogs' bio notes that they hooked up with New Order's manager upon arrival). This track also presents a good example of the Miami-Rio borrowing, live and direct:

First, note the keyboard stab at 1:13-1:16:
The Beat Club - Security (Remix)

Compare to the opening of one of my favorite recent funk tracks:
Peko, Marcelinho, and MC Gil do Andaraí - Treme Terra

Moving on, Renard With No Regard and Beat Master Clay D offer two fairly textbook examples of both strains in the Miami music scene of that era. "How Hard Can You Throw It?" winds a single chorus and snappy drum machine hits & handclaps across a very skeletal structure -- just a pure, deep bass track -- while "Move Your Body to the Beat" works the more lush sound of freestyle.

Unfortunately, I can't identify the last track. "Svemtyle" and "Weekend Toll" have both turned up nothing in my searches, nor have the scattered lyrics. Hear for yourself and let me know if it rings any bells, but it's definitely squarely in the bass tradition, feeding in trademark snippets of "Planet Rock" and "Whoomp There It Is"-style bass.

Svemtyle - Weekend Toll

The identification issue is definitely a tough one. It took some digging to get tracks 5 & 6 named properly. From the CD I had them as the fairly incomprehensible "Ther - How Hard Can You" and "Tamber Raider - Crow Time", respectively. But a disregard for accurate attribution is nothing new, as the mess of my pirated funk CDs can easily attest to. It all reinforces an attitude pervasive in the funk scene that names and ownership of the recording are not as important as the live performance. Why, indeed, so many recordings I did get were simply from live performances.

Certainly a lot of this stems from simple economics. If you're among Rio's poor (as funk MCs often are), studio time is expensive. It's worth cutting a track semi-professionally so you have something to give DJs and are able to promote yourself among those who can pay you. Why bother recording for the purpose of a CD release when it's only going to be sold as a pirated copy?

And so, without the music-as-industry that we're used to in the States (take another look at Wayne's article again -- I just finished it today and it resonates quite a bit, the general trends he discusses as present in Jamaica are surely universal for popular music in developping countries), the emphasis is less on the objective (recording) and more on the subjective (performance). Everything, it seems, is wrapped up in the performance. Paul's thesis elaborates upon the socio-political aspects of the performance, my understanding of funk's economics all point to the performance as the main revenue source, and as a result (or because of?) all this, the music itself is generated more at the performance than anywhere else. That is to say, baile and funk are inseparable.

It's a double-edged sword, ultimately. The MC's life is not an easy one, as I witnessed. From the hustle of trying to get gigs, to the frenetic weekends of singing at multiple parties in the same night, to the impossibility of income from recordings, funk's flexibility is also its curse. From a theoretical standpoint, I think it's fascinating -- the openness, the fluidity, the subjectivity, the bricolage, the perfomativity -- but I can't forget the human element of it all. Paul ultimately demures from calling funk revolutionary, and looking at how it works in practice, I can only agree.

[booty bass rumblings into philosophical speculations part 2, coming soon. more tracks, better tagged, but also more predictable.]

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Paris Postponed

While these recent Rio posts are coming to you c/o the 6th floor of Rue de Thorigny, I'm putting a moratorium on Paris blogging (barring anything really exciting) until I get up to date on Brasil business.

For the time being, check out another expat perspective: Luis in Paris. Expect food and techno, in equal doses. (Sort of like the SF Chowdown.)

What I'm on the lookout for:
Justice Medley


Favela on Cast

There's been some funk action on the podcast front for the last month or so, but the arrival of Sany DJ's new mix is too good not to holler about. Check these out:

  • DJ Mavi: Dropped in early August with his first set, but apparently fell off since there hasn't been anything since. Funk light for sure, if you want something pretty pop-oriented.

  • Mad Decent Worldwide Radio (click 'podcast' in the upper-right corner): "a sort of NPR for the streets" from Diplo & co., you've probably heard of it by now. It's crisscrossed from Bmore to Brasil to Buenos Aires to Nawlins, and even dropped by my new stomping grounds on its second to last incarnation. Deserves credit for not just uploading party mixes, but using the podcast as its own format by splicing interviews into the milieu.

  • Carioca Funk Clube: Launched by Adriana Pittigliani, who I've written about previously, the publicity manager (for lack of a better term) of Sany DJ. Definitely the most reliable podcast coming out of Rio right now. It starts with an old bossa nova bit by her father, who was apparently of some fame in Rio back in the '50s and '60s, but then segues into straight funk. "Rio Bootylegs 2006", "Faroeste Mixtape", and "Funkin' the Classics" all pretty much pull verbatim from the CDs she burned me the week before I left Rio. I guess I've become the bellweather of what Americans would want to listen to, for better or for worse. So if you like any of those three, I can probably pass on specific tracks -- drop a comment my way. I'll leave a few at the end of the post though. ("Funkin' the Classics" is more or less off-limits, however, as they're unreleased tracks from his upcoming album that I was told not to share. Sorry, you'll just have to wait for the Sany melody in my funk mix, once I get around to learning how to use Ableton properly.)
The best mix so far, however, is the just-released "Baile Funk Big Bang" (latest on Carioca Funk Clube, #8 on the Mad Decent roster). Sany pulls out turntables to take a tour through the Miami bass and freestyle that's one of the principle influences on funk, and expertly connects the dots with Rio tracks that borrow the Miami beat, but lay some of the earliest Portuguese rap vocals overtop.

  • The 13-minute mark, where "Summer Lovin'" gets the original funk treatment, far more legit than any obnoxious treatment by Bonde do Role (somehow I'm not surprised the "Funk da Esfiha" parody was about 10 years too late -- Curitiba's planned middle class neighborhoods [where BdR hails from] aren't exactly a hotbed of funk).
  • 16:24, as 2 Live Crew's "Do Wah Diddy" slips right over to a Brazilian interpretation, "Mêlo de Mulher Feia," the MC's humorous (and sexist -- obviously not too much was lost in translation) account of a mulher feia ("ugly woman") coming to the baile.
This mix is particularly exciting to me as a vindication of the Miami bass compilations I bought at Uruguiana, as over half of the two dozen songs I found are in Sany's mix. Even 15+ years later, the same Miami bass tracks are circulating in the pirate markets.

Gigolo Tony - It's the Gigolo
Madonna - Hung Up (Sany DJ Funk Remix)

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