Brilliant new compilation from the ever-excellent Strut label - a much appreciated second volume of the essential Black Rio album!
Funky 1970s sounds from Brazil!
Back in 2002, Strut released ‘Black Rio’ compiled by London DJ Cliffy, a snapshot of the ‘70s Black Rio soul and funk movement in Brazil. In June, Strut release the second volume in the series, delving deeper into the vaults to sample some of the lesser known gems emerging from the Carnival capital during the era.
Whilst Tropicalia had given Brazil’s musicians and songwriters a powerful political voice during the ‘60s, the Black Rio movement had to battle the odds – black soul was perceived as not being authentically Brazilian and the country was under the rule of General Emilio Garrastazu Medici’s oppressive dictatorship which effectively suffocated cultural expression between 1969 and 1974. Still, the movement took hold as disenchanted black Brazilian youth mirrored the struggles of their contemporaries in the US with their own potent brew of samba, soul and funk. Black Rio parties attracted thousands, bands including Banda Black Rio and Uniao Black were created from the scene and music figureheads like Jorge Ben began exploring more dense, Afro directions on albums including ‘Africa Brasil’.
While Black Rio Vol. 1 brought together pioneers of the movement like Tim Maia and Gerson King Combo, Volume 2 digs deeper still, exploring more of the key artists and many of the short-lived bands and smaller labels of the time. Highlights include the dynamite funk / samba jam ‘Faz Tanta Tempo’ by Renata Lu, a great funky cover of Gilberto Gil’s ‘Bananeira’ by Emilio Santiago and a rare slice of breezy soul, ‘Supermarket’, by Pete Dunaway aka Paulistano, one of a group of artists giving themselves a Western-sounding name at the time.
The album is compiled and annotated again by leading Brazilian music DJ Cliffy, the man behind London club night Batmacumba. the longest running Brazilian club night in England, now enjoying a bi-monthly residency at London’s Notting Hill Arts Club.