'Levanta poreira' is a Brazilian expression meaning 'to kick up dust' and for his first compilation for the fine German label Jazz & Milk, he definitely does! The expression has its roots in the party, where people get together and dance, raising clouds of dust as they stomp and swing on the bare earth and Tahira has dug deep into the real spirit and soil of Brazil here, the country's indigenous and African influences well represented alongside classic rhythms and sounds.
A previous interviewee for us, Tahira is a humble soul as well as being one of São Paulo's best DJs and musical explorers. On Levanta Poeira (Afro-Brazilian music & rhythms from 1976 – 2016) he offers us insights into the country's vast musical culture and the hitherto secrets of his record box with many of these tracks never before available on vinyl. Tahira's rocking remix of "A Toda Menina Baiana" by one of Brazil's musical gods, Gilberto Gil is one such case. I've been lucky enough to own a digital file of this for a while but it will now be available only on the vinyl of this release. Worked over with the DJ in mind, he has added Ijexá beats, Afrobeat guitar and a horn section releasing this Gil classic into the future.
"Baiao Destemperado" by Barbatuques is a Forró tune that I also knew about and is unlike anything you will have heard before. A song created using their trademark body percussion, vocal clicks and pops, tap dance, bass guitar and flutes, you will dance to the sounds of the human body!
There's a discernible African influence to "Kiriê" by Georgette with the 'congo de outro' rhythm underpinning the skipping jazzy guitar and Georgette's superb vocal. Produced by Ed Lincoln in 1976, "Kiriê" sounds as fresh today as it was then.
Renata Rosa's "Brilhantina" has already been naughtily remixed and edited a number of times so it's great to actually hear the original and best version of this heavy and spiritual song. Renata is a contemporary artist who explores the sounds and heritage of the North-east of Brazil, the 'samba de coco' rhythms here driven by the down-tuned surdo drums managing to sound ancient and futuristic in one fell swoop. I'm totally in love with the Amerindian tone to her voice (learned from singing with a tribe in Alagoas called Kariri-Xocó).
(Check this live version below!).
Maga Bo is one of the new breed of Brazilian producers and a renowned name on the Global Bass scene. "No Balanço da Canoa" which is included here has been remixed by Chico Correa, another member of the vanguard of producers mixing electronic textures and sounds with traditional influences. Again the strong Afro influences of the North-east of Brazil are represented here but with added attitude
.Coco Raízes de Arcoverde are a band led by Lula Calixto and include his entire family, and you can tell, the group's vocals fit like records on a shelf and have a joy and vibrancy that reminds me of African church choirs. Drawing strongly on Afro and Amerindian culture, the band play a particular rhythm called Trupé, the distinctive 'clapping' sounds of the intro to "Gode Pavão" are wooden sandals played as percussion! Infectious and full of life, this is a standout track for me.
Banda de Pífanos de Caruaru are one of the longest surviving bands in South America, first formed in 1924 and as the original members passed away, their sons and nephews (always boys) have carried on the tradition. Tahira has already dabbled into their history with his bumping remix of 'Cavalinho Cavalao' on UK label Tiff's Joints but here he lets the band show what they do so uniquely with the life-affirming "Balao Azul". The band are known for making their own instruments such as the "pífanos" (fife flutes) that permeate their sound and long may this tradition continue and thrive, absolutely love it!
Previously available on Tahira's EBS Diggin, this is probably the most 'African' sounding tune on this compilation, “Sika Blawa” by the contemporary group Afroelectro utilises the bleeps and bangs of the city with looped Afro guitars and traditional rhythms. Dubby, hypnotic and unafraid of new avenues to explore.
I don't know much about the last act included on this record except that they are a young duo comprising of Geninho Nacanoa and Ramiro Galas who under the guise of Forró RED Light, experiment with live instrumentation and electronic beats and noises. "Baião Violossintético" contains all the ingredients needed for a rum-laden party on the beach, evocative acoustic guitar, odd beats and gentle synths, a simple and appropriate ending to this superb compilation.
Muito bom Tahira! A much needed addition to the massive Brazilian canon of releases.
Pre-order the record here: Levanta Poeira - Afr-razilian music & rhythms from 1976 – 2016 (compiled by Tahira)
Words by Ex-Friendly