Tuesday, February 24, 2009

O Som Dos Blacks

I'm a big fan of Brazilian DJ records from the 1970s. Taking a look at the tracks that were picked and all of the pictures and documentation of that era is like a secret window into a scene that is long gone. Sure, the Baile Funk parties that continue to rage in the same neighborhoods of Rio owe alot to their precursors such as the the parties thrown by Luizinho Disc Jockey Soul and his cohorts. This particular LP is from 1977 and shows what the height of the Black Rio DJ scene was all about. This album has got some serious funk on it and most of it is pretty deep. I've picked my favorite four cuts from here, but there are some other great ones to sample. If this scene is interesting to you and you wanna learn more, check out Thomas Fawcett's excellent website - Brazil Soul Power. Further down, I embedded a clip from the film "City of God" otherwise known as "Cidade de Deus" which has a scene depicting a favela soul baile. If you haven't seen the movie, check it out (the music is SUPERB!) or just peep the video to get a taste of what one of these 1970s soul parties must have been like. You gotta love the cover of this album. You just couldn't do this in the US! But Brazilian racial politics are different and being a "white" guy who DJs "black" music you could legitimately dress up as a half-black-face uncle sam. God Bless Brazil!

Hudson County - Bim Sala Bim
This is a rare one that's been comped here and there. Killer track.

Brother Soul - Cookies
Love it. That opening must have been sampled somewhere. This should have been my theme song from my cookie-stealing adolescence.

Zulema - Wanna Be Where You Are
A great cover of this tune done in a really upbeat style.

Chocolate Milk - Never Ever Do Without You
I've always liked Chocolate Milk for their work with producer and songwriter Allen Toussaint, but I had never heard this uptempo number until Luizinho introduced me.

And here's the "City of God" video. Skip ahead to 14:00 for the beginning of the party. I recognized the following songs in this sequence:
1) Dance Across the Floor - Jimmy 'Bo' Horne
2) So Very Hard To Go - Tower of Power
3) Kung-Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas.

Also, Seu Jorge's character is getting down at this party, towards the end.

The following are all images from the back of the LP. The miracle of modern technology is that I can take pictures and blow them up. These are the best of the bunch. I particularly like Luizinho's "O Som Dos Blacks" logo!


slimfizzle said...

GREAT post, thanks a lot.

I have a feeling finding that lp won't be easy, but I'll be keeping an eye out. Respect!

Simon666 said...

that Zulema track is a killer, and yep great post, thanks!

paulomarginal said...

Great stuff. I'm almost done editing a documentary about the current Black Rio scene, which still lives on with some of the original DJs spinning records.


Ulysses Dutra said...

Very, very good!

John Mulrenan said...

My band Hudson County wrote this song in my living room in Port Monmout New Jersey in 1974. We never made a dime off it. Still, I'm glad people are dancing to it. We had a lot of fun recording it.

John Mulrenan said...

My group wrote this song in my living room in Port Monmouth NJ in 1973. We never made a dime off it. Still, I'm glad people are dancing to it and enjoying it. We had a great time recording it.

John Mulrenan