Various Artists – Black Rio 2: Original Samba Soul 1968-1981 (Honest Jons)
Outside of body waxing and soccer, Brazil is famous for its music. And while genres like samba, bossa nova and tropicalia gained international attention and commercial success, other localized styles required the unified efforts of a handful of fans to bring it across the equator to wider listenership. Brazil’s Black Rio movement pinpoints a moment when the influence of American soul and funk cross-fertilized their rhythms as well as their self-identity. Here, on Black Rio 2, London’s DJ Cliffy assembles a collection of tracks that swing from outright funk replication to samba soul that bears minor resembles to its American counterpart. Listen to Som Nossa’s “Pra Swingar”, and you’ll hear immediate mimicking of Kool & The Gangs oversized horn production, while James Brown is stamped all over the Cry Babies quick-paced version of “It’s My Thing”. But even when the tracks miss the album’s subtitled directive -the sunny, percussive bounce of Watusi’s “Oio Gere” seems authentically Brazilian – you can’t argue with the happy groove this collection will set you in. Squeeze it before summer’s last gasp.
Listen To: Som Nossa’s “Pra Swingar”