Reviews

Bonde do Rolê

In ice-cool genre-mashup circles, Brazil is the de rigueur frontier for new hard-hitting, urban-sexy dance beats. Bonde do Rolê, hailing from Curitiba, is the first group from the baile funk scene to make international inroads, thanks to a chance discovery by American DJ/producer Diplo, of Hollertronix. On its first full-length, the trio begins with a midtempo take on that fast, aggressive formula, and then flips it with old-school electro, straight-up Miami bass, and a grab bag of other global city sounds. For non-Portuguese speakers, the mostly female vocals (courtesy of MC Marina Ribatski) are mainly another percussive tool. Their sing-song delivery sounds half taunt, half invitation to come shake your ass. Funny, because the language choice masks superraunchy, or just plain weird, lyrics. "Geremia" tells the story of a player so smooth he "makes lemonade with KY." On "Tieta," over an absurdly upbeat guitar riff and samba-esque drums, MC/producer Pedro D'eyrot blithely shouts, "When it all comes down to a hole, I don't see a difference." The beats, meanwhile, are almost insidiously catchy, with elements ranging from machine-age futuristic to ridiculously low-tech. Who can resist a dance track with a tribal drum backbone and a main riff courtesy of a kazoo? Basically nobody with a pulse and a sense of humor.

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo