The music of Brazil is constantly being revitalized. The latest hotspot, the state of Pernambuco, doesn't boast the flavorful vibe of Rio or the hefty smack of São Paulo. In fact Pernambuco's capital city, Recife, was once named the fourth-worst city in the world to live in. But now, on David Byrne's world-conscious Luaka Bop label, Brazil Classics 7 represents the rural northeast coastal swamps of this region as the birthplace of the mangue beat movement.
The movement's goal is to make an old sound palatable to new audiences. Taking postmodern methods and marrying them with indigenous sounds, Brazil Classics 7 does what Brazilian musicians do best: interpreting what is familiar to you and melding it with what is familiar to them. The artists featured here have created a futuristic, hip-swiveling genre. The woody, percussive sound on Tino's "Cobrinha" gives his voice a platform to bounce off of, while frantic strings don't relent on Cabruera's "Erectuos Cactos." And watch out for Otto's "Bob," playing mind games with its tricky lyricism and fast chants.
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