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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Inspiring Sounds of Rio de Janeiro

Posted on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The Inspiring Sounds of Rio de Janeiro
Label: Verge
Length: LP
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Inspiring Sounds of Rio de Janeiro, The
There's nothing like a socially committed label delivering a potent brew of soulful hip-hop fusion spiked with lyrical verve to stir up the dormant activist in anyone. This urban blend of cutting-edge artists from Rio aims to do just that. Soothing textures and dubbed-out beats are informed by the cadence of samba and maracatu, the infectiousness of funk, the cool nuances of jazz and the mellow groove of bossa nova. Featuring five artists from Rio's music underground, 13 tracks segue from hip-hop to neo-samba to dub with lyrics fluctuating from hard-hitting to laid-back. While on 'Soldados Nunca Maisâ?� Movimento Na Rua's MC and lyricist Samuca delivers a rocked-out anthem about front-line child soldiers in Rio's favela drug wars, A. Filial saunters across genres filtered through positive-soul/hop on 'Cartilha.â?� Think De La Soul meets Tom Jobim at the Mangueira samba school rehearsals on a Sunday afternoon. Gabriel Moura waxes poetic on Brazil's contradictions on a propulsive maracatu suitably titled 'Brasis.â?� By the time Bnegao e Os Seletores de Frequencia offer a lush instrumental respite for reflection on 'No Hayâ?� it may dawn upon you, as the languid trumpet weaves in and out of the strumming bossa guitar, that in Rio's disenfranchised though musically fecund communities, social change is often born from the sonic musings that seem to miraculously rise amid all the chaos. Add the thumping backbeat and the pummeling bass heard here, and Verge's mission will have been accomplished.

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