BRAZILBEAT SOUND SYSTEM is an electronic band formed in San Fransisco in 2000, and currently based in New Zealand. Renowned Brazilian percussionist Nego Beto created the project after playing music on four continents, touring with top Brazilian acts and reggae legends The Wailers, and producing for MTV Brazil. Together with Californian DJ Mara, the BBSS sound is forged: a dirty Latin hybrid of roots and four-on-the-floor. BBSS deliver explosive live shows, packed with heavy bass, percussion and hard-case MCing.
Nova means "new" in Portuguese, the language spoken in Brazil. Brazil is a vast and incredibly diverse country, where music is part of daily life. Genres like samba, bossa-nova, and baile funk command immense popularity the world over. BBSS offer a new electronic hybrid with true Brazilian rhythmic sensibility and percussion instruments at the core.
The record was produced and recorded between California and New Zealand. BrazilBeat's New Zealand studios are housed in a house-truck. Nego Beto and Mara tapped Tongan/New Zealand DJ & producer Soane Watkins for executive production and co-production on two tracks of the record. With a catalogue of forward-thinking electronica and house, and a profound respect for Brazilian music, Soane was a natural choice.
The result of this collaboration is a solid slice of four-on-the-floor club-wise grooves, full of witty percussive detail. With a stellar team of guest musicians from NZ, the US and Canada on board, BBSS have sculpted a highly original audio experience. You won’t hear anything like it. Anywhere.
A L B U M T R A C K S
Essa Nega updates the hip-shaking Brazilian rhythms of baião and forro, injecting the language of dub. Traditional instruments triangle, ganza (shaker) and drums combine with a rock-solid bassline, creating a sound that is both haunting and inviting.
Itaparica With the heavy boom of the surdo drum, hypnotic repinique drum and catchy brass hook, this track takes samba-reggae to a new place. Samba-reggae is a rhythm from the northern Brazilian state of Bahia, steeped in African heritage and carnival folly, and is the most popular rhythm played by batucada groups in NZ. Auckland-based musician Andrew Cook (aka. DJ Exile - bFM) sews it up with his tenor sax solo.
Capoeira Dub draws on the raw energy of capoeira dance to create a deep-rooted, refreshing jaunt.
Funk da Chupeta Baile funk is the soundtrack of the favelas (hillside ghettos) of Rio de Janeiro. It has been called the most exciting music in the world, a phenomenon that is pounding its way through Europe and the US. Pumped-up booty-bass crosses with '80s style Miami riddims and unrelenting Brazilian rapping style. BBSS pay tribute with this hard-edged number.
Future is Now is the first single on the album. The song powers out of the speakers with all the trappings of a huge club banger, with sizzling percussive bridge and penetrating vocals. When Nego Beto sings “Forget your past... Let’s have a good time,” it’s a reminder that in our fast-paced world, we never know what tomorrow will bring. The answer is to take pleasure in the present!
Rain, featuring glistening scat-vocals of New York-based Jamaican singer Sparlha Swa, is one of those songs you can hear over and over. Produced by San Francisco studio-heads Alan Phulps and Jory Cunningham, Rain is a paragon of understated elegance balanced squarely atop weighty bass.
Mexe Menina means "shake it, girl." This reggae-inspired funk number bounces with Nego Beto's dancehall-style vocals and vigorous bassline.
How U Like unfurls bit by bit, peeling back layers to reveal sonic gems like the provocative voice of San Francisco Bay Area-based vocalist Jeana Cacandin and shimmering guitar leads from another SF musician Sean Griffin.
Bonito is a completely unique bossa-nova love song set to a broken beat tempo. Intimate and unassuming, the track is a definite high note of the record.
Gold Coast rounds out the album in style, an instant classic of a house track with big, grinning samba instrumentals from Canadian multi-instrumentalist Adrian Schamberger, and a magnetic pull toward the dance floor.
Mexe Menina (Maaka Phat Mix) High-profile Wellington drummer and producer Maaka Phat, of the Maori band Wai, was part of the OE:Brazil project which took New Zealand musicians to record an album in Sao Paulo in 2006 with some of their Brazilian counterparts. The resulting disc and the documentary film created a sensation in New Zealand. Maaka fell in love with the song "Mexe Menina" and created a powerful remix.