20.12.07

A new, more complete baile funk dictionary on its way.

When I first thought about the dictionary, I only wanted to clear up some portuguese terms because I might be using some words common to the baile funk scene that don’t quite have equivalents in english. But as interest and feed-back has been plenty and I think it's time for you guys to begin to understand also the lyrics of baile funk, some expansion is needed. So here comes the first phase of a more complete baile funk dictionary by DJ Rideon!

I’ve consentrated on such words, expressions , different meanings and slang that you might not find in other dictionaries. Also suggestions of what could I add there are welcomed. And if you really wanna understand some phrase or word, post it on the comments of the dictionary and I’ll try to help.

Check it out:
http://riobailefunk.blogspot.com/2007/01/dictionary.html

12.12.07

Rideon - Back To Miami (New Mix Out!)

Yes yes ya'll, it's time for a new mix!

This time we're taking it back to the old school. As most of you know one of baile funk's greatest influencies in the early days was Miami Bass, the bass-heavy, car-booming 808 sound with dirty lyrics that dominated in Miami during 80's. So for this mix I dug into my crates and brought you some pieces of history, a few miami bass essentials and a couple of rarer ones. It's 42 minutes of booming bass.

And if we're talking about baile funk's putaria style and sex-filled lyrics, here's where it all comes from. Needless to say that for example 2 Live crew were hugely popular in the baile funk scene of Rio suring the mid-80's.

(And I also must note that this isn't for those who take sexist lyrics too up-tight and serious. And this is definately NOT to be played on your computers toy-speakers or those poor-quality iPod whitey-headphones, but on a good hi-fi stereo with a lot of BASS. Or more suitably on your pimped ride full car-bass-boosters...)

Anyway, here you go:

DJ Rideon: Back To Miami

Tracklist:

2Live Crew: Shake A Lil’ Somethin’
Freak Nasty: Down Low
Fresh Celeste & M-4 Sers: Give It All To Me
J.J.Fad: Eenie Meenie Beats
Soundmaster T: 2 Much Booty (In Da Pants)
The Boys From the Bottom: Megalittlemix
The Boys From The Bottom: My Girl’s Got That Booty
Future Shock: Just Go
DJ Magic Mike: The Booty Dub
Gigolo Tony: Shake Your Pants
Egyptian Lover: Girls
Stone Age: Raw Dog
P.F.P: She Like It Hard
2Live Crew: Me So Horny
2Live Crew: Head, Booty & Cock
Rideon: Fuck Me Baby
2Live Crew: C’Mon Baby

Click here to download

Cover art:

22.11.07

Is portuguese THE new language to learn for the clubbers?

There was an interesting blog entry on The Guardian's Music blog by Danny McFadden. He states that by the rise of baile funk and kuduro on the dancefloor of western world, portuguese is becoming one of the dominant languages of electronic music.

I myself think it's a pity that most of the people who dig baile funk can't understand the lyrics, because that prevents it to fully boom on the western market. The lyrics are often funny and full of double meanings and without understanding what the artists are saying, the beats and the rhythm can be a bit repetetive after a while. Like, what's the point on listening to hip-hop if you can't really understand what the MC is rapping about. Of course you can dance to it, but for you to really get envolved and follow the scene, it would be crucial to understand all the tendencies that the lyrics hold inside. In baile funk for example there are various songs that have given birth to response songs and a lot of jokes that open only to the ones following the scene. (though don't worry; not even all the portuguese speakers understand the baile funk lyrics, since they're so loaded with street slang...)

Danny McFadden is starting with an "obrigado", but how about you, my readers? How many of you are irritated of not being able to understand baile funk lyrics and trying to learn some portuguese?

(for you to start with there a baile funk dictionary on my blog)

8.11.07

Seleção do Gringo on Beat Diaspora blog

I came across this Beat Diaspora blog by Greg Scruggs and found out that he’s just put together a nice baile funk mix called Seleção do Gringo (you can download it from Blogariddims). It’s a nice journey through time from old shool funk antigo to some tamborzão and proibidão tunes and going off to pós-baile-funk beats. But the best thing about it is that in his blog he opens each track and tells about it: the artists, tracks, and other things connected (such as the favela communities). It’s a really nice read-through while listening and plenty of useful and interesting information for those not directly connected in the Rio baile funk scene.

Greg has volunteered at an NGO called Instituto Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Foundation) that’s based in the favela of Rocinha. He also highlights other favela based NGO’s like Nós do Morro. (At some point I’m gonna feature some of these organizations on my blog too: even though they’re not directly linked to baile funk, they do fabulous work there! Nós de Morro, Afroreggae and Dois Irmãos: Keep it up!)

He also brings out an interesting study about proibidão baile funk style. It’s written by Paul Sneed and called "Machine Gun Voices". But I’ll comment more on this after I’ve read it.

He also writes about Flamin Hotz, a record label that put out a bootleg 12” without any credits:
”The version of this song I got on relatively high-quality mp3 ripped from the Sou Funk EP, which I later discovered was 100% pirated, a pretty rough culture-vulture case. Fortunately, Flamin Hotz Records turned out not to be such bad guys, and I helped them track down which artists we could and pay them back. Júnior and Leonardo were one of them.”

Now this is an interesting case, as the guys from Flamin Hotz have publicly apologised for their bootleg actions on their website and aim to compensate the artists afterwords. They’re also planning on releasing another compilation directly with the artists. I hope this kind of responsibility is honest and leads to some good results. Anyway I’d like to hear more of this one!

But on the other hand Greg also makes some quite bold accusations:

Accusing Diplo of ”failing to credit artists” on his mixes I can understand; crediting the right artists is the only way they will ever get even some change to compensation by gaining some reputation. But as Greg and anyone who has bought CDs from the Uruguiana market or the streets of Rio knows, sometimes artist names and track titles are hard to find. And if I’d be Greg (having himself also has some unknown artists on his tracklist), I wouldn’t be so eager to judge others.

Accusing Bonde do Role as ”a cheap ripoff” and ”jokers from Curitiba” is another thing I don’t quite understand... I don’t see baile funk as a musical genre having some musical dogma or boundaries. So adding rock guitars to baile funk in De Falla style, in my opinion, isn’t any different then sampling Kratfwerk and indian chants as Sany Pitbull does. I believe Bonde do Role themselves have never claimed being ”authentic” baile funk, just having baile funk as one of their infuencies...

And then accusing Man Recordings of ”questionable contracts”. First I’d like to know how and what does Greg know about the contracts? And then arguments and some justification of how are they ”questionable”. I think it’s a bit low to throw in accusations without prooving anything and standing behind one’s words...

And I’m not trying to act as a judge or anything, I just feel that these kind of things should be argued and talked about properly.

But dispite of these it’s a very interesting blog and a good read. So I recommend to take a peek.

5.11.07

Kuduro vs Baile Funk – An interview of Frédéric Galliano (14.2.2007)

Last spring when I was in Rio I met there also a french producer called who is one of the world’s leading kuduro connoisseurs. He was in Rio on a project attempting to put together kuduro beats with baile funk MCs. We met at his rental appartment where he had set up his mobile recording studio. Right after me MC Xana was coming over to sing on top of one of Galliano’s kuduro rhythyms.


At this point some of you might ask what is kuduro. Well, to put it short kuduro is hyped up ghetto techno and house out of Angola; a mixture of electronic beats with traditional angolan carnaval music. By the name of kuduro goes also the crazy, freaky dancing style that combines with the music. Something of the music and the dance might tell the direct translation of the word kuduro that is ”tight ass”.

That’s about all I knew about it by that time, so that’s why I wanted Frédéric himself to explain more about the origins of kuduro:

”Kuduro was created by Tony Amado 1996. He used to listen house music. During that time songs like Reel 2 Real: I Like To Move It were international hits and he thought that it’s good but it lacks angolan flavour. So he wanted to do and angolan version of these. So kept the straight kick drum and all around the kick he produced traditional carnaval rhythms. It was an instant success. He called the style kuduro because he had created a dance style inspired by a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, in which he dances all stiff and with a tight ass. (Amado thought the Van Damme dance was really funny; white man's dance...)”

On this clip Tony Amado explains it himself (in portuguese) and you can see the Van Damme dance.
The creation of Kuduro by Tony Amado


”The dance is special; broken, stupid, funny; they fall on the floor, bounce to walls. It’s acrobatic and more like clownery. Everything is possible in kuduro dance.” As it def is better seen then described I searched some kuduro madness on video for you to check out:







After Tony Amado all the DJs in Luanda copied the style and 10 years after it’s really popular in Angola and spreading around the world. But still kuduro doens’t get really much airplay in the radio in Angola, because the lyrics are so harsh; some sexual slackness some social and political. But it gets played in the popular mini taxis of Luanda, so everybody hears the new songs anyway.”


”When I heard it for the first time two years ago Kuduro hit me right away: For me kuduro is the first and only original electronic music from Africa. It’s fast as techno, but groovy as zouk. The mixture is incredible and completely african. It’s contemporary like european electronic music scene, but with 100% african style and attitude.” Since then he’s been to Angola to learn and record kuduro three times. And went again in March 2007.

”The composition of kuduro is really strict. It comes from the traditional carnaval music of Angola and all the snares and hi-hat hits have to be on a certain place.”

Frédéric learned to produce kuduro with DJ Kito da Machina from Luanda. ”After two weeks of everyday practice with him to learn the rhythm and the composition he said that now you’re qualified to do it alone. But I still send my batidas to him to Luanda to be approved, because the DJs in Luanda are the ones who created the whole music. And you know if someone does kuduro without the strict composition, they say it’s a ”kuduro de branco” (=white man’s kuduro). Some people in Portugal do kuduro, but with europan vision, and that’s stupid, because angolan kuduro is stronger, more original. They miss the real nature of kuduro and that’s very unfortunate.”

It was also with Kito da Machina that he produced the exellent album Frédéric Galliano presents Kuduro Sound System, where many of the hottest kuduro MCs like Tony Amado, Dog Murras, Pai Diesel, Zoca Zoca, Pinta Tirrù and Gata Agressiva lay their vocals on top of their booming kuduro batidas. In the future he’s producing a dub version album of Kuduro Sound System, and he’s also touring live with different kuduro MCs and dancers: Paris, Mexico, USA, Portugal, Roskilde Festival... the list goes on.




8.11, next thursday, he’s gonna be performing with his Kuduro Sound System at Cargo in London, UK. Also DJ Marlboro is there. And so am I, so come and holla if you’re around.

30.10.07

Edu K - new 12", video and tour

Edu K - The Popuzuda Rock'n'Roll bailepunk artist has just released a new 12" on Man Recordings. "Gatas Gatas Gatas" is an anthem booming on Sony Ericsson's new ad campaign and the vinyl has 3 remixes, including a superb baltimore remix by Scottie B, that's also found on my latest mix. So def worth checking out!


As is his new video, directed by Bryan Barber who has done also the video for "Hey Ya" by Outkast. There some serious costume partying going on there!



And if you're around, don't miss his tour in Europe and Australia! Here are the dates:

15.11. YoYo, London, UK
16.11. AYCE, London, UK
23.11. Unity, Frankfurt, DE
24.11. Usine, Ceneva, CH
29.11. Little Sex Machine, Amsterdam, NL
30.11. Wasserpark, Bern, CH
7.12. Perth, AUS
8.12. Brisbane, AUS
14.12. Melbourne, AUS
15.12. Sydney, AUS
16.12. Bondai Beach, AUS

18.10.07

Ghetto 808 vol.3 out now!

Ghetto 808 vol.3 is finally here! This time we go crazy and get down on straight forward party mix. 55 minutes of baltimore club, baile funk, remixes and whatever that makes you go dumb on the dancefloor. Can you dig it?

This time I wanted to bring out a lot of fresh talent from Finland, big up to DJ Anonymous, Herman Prime, DJ Pushups, Sir Nenis and all the Top Billin crew! And also huge ups to Duda and Sany for the exclusives!

Ghetto 808 vol.3

Tracklist:

DJ Rideon & MC Duda do Borel vs Gnarls Barkley: Crazy rmx
Edu K: Gatas Gatas Gatas (Scottie B Baltimore Club Remix)(DJ Rideon Edit)
MIA: Jimmy (DJ Rideon Remix)
Rayvon: We Love To Party (DJ Anonymous Blend)
Ciara: Like a Boy (DJ Phinesse Club Remix)
DJ Pushups & Sir Nenis: U Don Kno Meh
Herman Prime: Take Me Out
DJ Anonymous: Name Brand Party Break
DJ Mentalcut: Gasolina Haterz
Makossa & Megablast feat. Gaiola Das Popozudas: Late Que Eu Tô Passando
Top Billin / Good As Gold: Shake My Ass
Sinden & Count Of Monte Cristal feat MC Thiaguinho: Tamborzuda
James Braun: James Brown is Dead
Pipo’s DJs: Hot feeling
DJ Phabyo: Despaired
Herman Prime: Fyah!
Top Billin / Good As Gold: Money For Nothing
DJ Junk: That’s Fresh
Top Billin / Good As Gold: Dancefloor
Pipo’s DJs: Dance With Me
Os Hawaianos: Vai Que Vai
Sany Pitbull vs Red Hot Chili Peppers: Other Side
Nina Gordon: Straight Outta Compton

Click here to download

And here are the links for the podcast:

RSS-feed:
http://ghetto808.podOmatic.com/rss2.xml

Hotlink to the podcast:
http://ghetto808.podomatic.com/

And here are the sleeves for the cd version:


And tomorrow we are puttin it all to practice as we celebrate the grand opening of Ghetto 808 party in Helsinki. It's Rideon, Sir Nenis and Polar Soul on the line, and if you're around don't let yourself miss it.


If you feel like it you can also join the Ghetto 808 on Facebook and Myspace:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5596675039
http://www.myspace.com/ghetto808helsinki

15.10.07

Download Big Mix 2007 baile funk hit CD

A reader of my blog asked if I could provide a list of the current hit songs in the bailes of Rio and even though there are no such things as Billboard Top100 Charts in the baile funk scene of Brazil, I thought that maybe the biggest nationwide hits of each year are published by the Big Mix of DJ Marlboro. So through these compilations you can get a feel of what's hot in the radio and tv in Brazil. Though I'd like to note that what plays in the radio and what plays in the favela bailes in usually a bit different...

Anyway I found on a blog called Eterno Contestador DJ Marlboro's Big Mix 2007 CD for download. It includes almost all the huge hits of past few years. It's 128kps mp3, but at least you get to know what's playing in Rio now.

9.10.07

New baile funk website

Jim from Czech Republic made this bailefunk.info site and specially the mixtape selection is quite nice, so if you're needing to heat up your iPod with some baile funk, check it out!


26.9.07

Another fairtilizer playlist


Here's again one fairtilizer playlist for your listening pleasure. 15 tracks of pure baile funk, just click play to listen! (and please send me some feedback if you think it's a good idea to post some music on the blog to listen...)

I also added on the right column two players: The first one features a whole lotta baile funk and related tracks, and the second one some of my own remixes. Enjoy!

17.9.07

Gaiola Das Popozudas & Os Hawaianos on Youtube

Finally some video goodies!

Gaiola Das Popozudas must be the hottest girl group there is at the moment. It’s no wonder they’re a huge hit in Rio. This one at a party of Unidos do Morro at Baixada Santista shows the live show just like it normally is: Down right dirty, sexy and with bad sound quality. But just listen the people screaming when the lead singer Waleska shouts ”Who wants to have sex?!?”



But it’s not only gals that can do it - male groups are just as good and popular. Just check out Os Hawaianos doing one of their hit songs of 2006, Passinho do Bonequinho. And do the girls go wild in the audience!



I’ll keep these coming as soon as good ones come around. Also if you find or come across some really good clips on youtube or elsewhere, please send me the link so I can feature them on the blog.

16.9.07

Fairtilizer

After all the conversation that if I should post baile funk mp3s on this blog, here comes the solution!

Fairtilizer is a new internet music community that's bringing the freshest tunes out, a great way for artists and labels to promote themselves and of course a great way to discover new music from pretty much any genre or country. I was asked to do them a regular playlist of baile funk, and this is the first result. 14 songs for your listening pleasure as you browse through this blog. Enjoy!




At the moment the site is invitation only, but once it open up publicly for everyone, I'll write more about the whole thing. Meanwhile check out
www.fairtilizer.com and www.myspace.com/fairtilizer

30.8.07

Sany Pitbull & Duda do Borel in Finland

18-21.7. I had the pleasure of meeting again DJ Sany Pitbull and MC Duda do Borel. I interviewed them already in Rio, but this time it was in Finland where we all 3 were heading to Pori Jazz Festival to throw 4 funk bailes.


Elsewhere in Europe the audiences have been lucky to see many great gigs by different baile funk artists, but in Finland this was the very first time ever. And straight ahead we started with the best! Here’s some little memories about the parties, but mainly I just wanted to show you some great photos I took...


The program was pretty much the same every night: We started around 1am and first Sany banged for about a one and half hour playing mostly old school miami bass and electro and little by little moving towards more hard edged electro rave and future funk beats as the floor filled steadily. And then slipping the tamborzão beats in by playing a lot of remixes with vocals in english. And then full on tamborzão for a while before Duda grabs the mic. By this time people were already pretty hyped up by Sany’s set and both were greeted with loud cheering and applauding as I introduced them on stage.


Then starting with the new hit beat ”Macumbinha”, Duda tearing up the audience with raw lyrics with his booming low rapping. And I can tell you Duda was on fire! When he gets some ”gasoline” to his engine, he just goes on hyping the crowd with some hits like ”Crazy” and ”Menina da Matemática”. Duda bounces, cheers the crowd, dances the stage away and even goes Kikando! (dance that’s done sitting on the floor, bouncing forward.) He even sings lying down on the stage! And you should have heard the crowd cheering and shouting when he ended. Then ”Rap de Felicidade” and some others for encore.


But that wasn’t it yet. Then Sany did his craft: Some 20 minutes of pure MPC live. Incredible live banging with well known samples re-worked with unbelievable agility. Flirting with rock samples like ”Satisfaction” by Rolling Stones and ”Come As You Are” by Nirvana. And the crowd went absolutely bananas!


Saturday night there was even a ”bonde do sacanagem” (a dirty dance done in a line tightly in touch with the ass of the person in front of you...) in the stage danced by the producers, singers, musicans and dancers of the festival... So you can really say that Sany and Duda rocked Pori Jazz festival and Finland!


After the last evening, when we were sitting together outside the venue 6am, a girl came up to us and showed her shoes. ”I danced so much my shoes tore up, thanks!”


Thanks indeed for Sany & Duda for throwing a hell of a baile and putting up a show we won’t forget that easily! Now there are at least 2000 finns more that know what baile funk is really about...


And to get a real feeling about what it is at it's best check out this video from Youtube:



11.7.07

My remix out on Top Billin 12"

It's Finally out!


One of my baile funk remixes "Fuck Me Baby" is featured on a brand new 12" remix EP "Tales from Top Billin". It's released by Top Billin, a hot DJ crew that run spectacular parties in Helsinki and also features some superb baltimore remixes, like my favourite "Shake My Ass" by Good As Gold. All together there are 6 tracks; the finest new remix shit coming out of Helsinki, Finland. The vinyl is a very limited edition, so get yours before it's too late. Available of record stores that know where it's at these days and also on Turntablelab.

You can listen to the sampler here:
http://www.zshare.net/audio/1416667d64d601/

check out Top Billin at myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/topbillinmusic

and read more on their site:
http://topbillinmusic.com/?cat=6

20.6.07

Ghetto 808 vol. 2 out now!

The second edition of Ghetto 808 mix/podcast is finally here! It's 33 minutes of pure dancefloor killers guaranteed to make you dance your ass off!

Ghetto 808 vol.2

Tracklist:

Diplo: Gold Digger rmx
MC Pé de Pano & MC Rael: Ta Doida Pra Rebolar
Malha Funk: Vira de Ladinho
Edu K: Bundalele Baile Jean
Michael Jackson vs DJ Sandrinho: Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough rmx
Sany Pitbull: Funk Alemão
Justice vs Simian vs DJ Sandrinho: Never Be Alone rmx
DJ Rideon: Scorpius ripoff
Eurythmics vs DJ Sandrinho: Sweet Dreams rmx
Rolling Stones vs DJ Sandrinho: Satisfaction rmx
Pipo’s DJs: The Good, The Bad
Madonna vs Sany Pitbull: Hung Up (Baile Funk remix)
Pipo’s DJs: Megamix of Alone

Click here to download

And here are the links for the podcast:

RSS-feed:
http://ghetto808.podOmatic.com/rss2.xml

Hotlink to the podcast:
http://ghetto808.podomatic.com/

Ghetto 808 club is proud to present also it's Grand Opening party 19.10. at Kuudes Linja, Helsinki.

I'm also planning an european tour for Ghetto 808 during September/October 2007, so if you wanna book the best baile funk dj set in Europe for your venue/club/party/whatever or know someone who would or should be interested give a holla to me at timo.santala(at)gmail.com

And here are the sleeves for the cd version:


10.5.07

Pushing baile funk forward - An interview of DJ Sandrinho (7.3.2007)

When we climb up the winding, narrow streets and allyes inside the favela of Borel I understand why Sandrinho wanted to come to pick me up from the bus stop - I would have gotten helplessly lost in the midst of this drug and violence ridden favela, trying to wonder my way up to his home. Once there, he takes me through a tiny entrance to his studio upstairs. The room is small with some records lying around and the studio-part is formed by a computer, a technics turntable, a good pair of speakers, a couple of audio mixers and microphones and of course his beloved MPC 2000. ”Nice view, huh?” he asks when we go to chat on the small roof terrace that opens up to the shack filled hill slope of Borel.

Sandrinho is one of the best acclaimed new school baile funk djs. Something of this tells that he was elected by the baile funk artists as the best producer of the year 2006. This hasn’t been left unnoticed by anyone who has seen him working his MPC live. And opportunities for this have been plenty, even outside of Brazil.

27-years old Sandrinho was born in Borel and lived there ever since. Even though life can be ruff sometimes... ”Just a little while ago a 12-year old girl got shot by a bala perdida (=stray bullet.) Or that’s what they call them even though everybody knows it’s the police and the drug gangs confronting. I’m not against security, but I’m against the covardice of police when they enter the favela shooting all over the place! Everybody knows what follows of that. The authorities just don’t treat favela dwellers as normal citizens. I mean most of the people living in the favelas are normal people; workers, students, elderly people, children... People who live here need to live in the favela; they don’t choose it, they don’t have options.”

”Luckily life in the favela has also been improved a little bit by the city lately; we’ve got here a new asphalt road. You know, earlier it was a dirt road only and the stairways that lead up the hill were in bad condition and dangerous, specially for the older people. Now we’ve got also a new Wlan house for the internet, new football field, new basquet ball field, that kind of things. So good things are also happening, despite of the bad reputation of the favela. But we still need more; the politicans don’t often see favelas as a part of the city and their inhabitants are neglected the basic citizen rights. So we need also a change of attitudes. But I think we’re going to a better direction. Just take a look at Rochinha: There’s a supermarket, a bank and even a McDonalds. So there are good things happening also.”

Still he considers moving out someday, after raising up enough money. ”How can I live here with all this violence? If my son is out there playing with his mates, flying kites and police invades the favela shooting madly all over... What can I do to save him? So I have to leave, sooner or later... Nobody stays living in the favela voluntarily you know.”

When he tells about his youth and the bailes, Sandrinho still feels for the old days. ”My older brother was also a DJ and he was well respected back then. So when I was about 13-14 he used to take me to the bailes. Back in the days all was bigger; the sound systems used to clash against each other and compete about who had best sound and lights and all. Once there was a clash of 8 different sounds all piled up on the different corners and walls of the hall. And I tell you, the sound systems were HUGE in those days, nothing like today anymore. For me the era of -95, -96 was the best time of baile funk in Rio. Since then many of the sound systems have disappeared and I think it’s a pity. Nowadays it’s only proibidão and putaria...”

”When my brother was playing I used to watch him mixing and I was thinking: ”Shit, that must be so difficult, all these people and it’s live; you can’t make a single mistake.” And it’s like a marathon playing all night, but then when you see the crowd responding you realise what it’s all about.” Having an older brother as a role model Sandrinho got soon interested in the trade of DJing. ”I owe him a lot; he used to push me forward as he saw that I was interested. He gave me some advice, records, let me open the baile when he was playing. By the time I was 15 I was already DJing.”

”1998 I got my opportunity; they were looking for new DJs at Furacão 2000 and I participated in the auditions. I even lied to my boss I was going to a radio, in order to get there and not lose my job.” Sandrinho tells laughing. ”When I came, there were over 50 DJs lining up for 5 places... But I did my best and hoped the best. That was on wednesday and on friday I got a call, that I’m on the stage the next day. So I guess I passed the test.”

”It was Furacão 2000 who really trained me to be a professional DJ; I got to work with the best DJs; Jefferson, Dennis... and I learned a lot from them about DJing and producing. After that I played for 5 years with Mr Catra. Nowadays I don’t DJ for any MC anymore, because you have to be in it 100%. You have to go touring with the MC, you have to live for the MC. It was like where Catra was I was also. I learned a lot from Catra also and he is one of the icons of baile funk. It was through him that I got to play in Europe for the first times also. But nowadays I wanna concentrate on producing. You know how many tracks I produce per week? 20, I do 20 tracks per week and for that I can’t go fooling around with any MCs anymore.”

”So I produce tracks for many MCs; I still work with Catra a lot, also with Galo, Sapão, Mascote, Deize, Tikão, Frank, Menor do Chapa and so on. But whom I work most with is Didô. I’m my opinion he’s definately the most talented newcomer around. And I’m telling you man, more then half of the MCs in Rio use my beats. At the time I was working with Catra I did more simple beats, you know, raw and dirty. But those beats worked full on. And still even nowadays MCs are using those beats. And also many DJs use them. they loop them and recycle my beats, because they work. And they work because raw is the essence and flavor of the baile funk; it’s gotta be heavy and down low dirty.”

If you listen to Sandrinho’s beats and tracks you’ll understand what he’s talking about. He really is one of the most innovative DJs/producers in the Rio scene. If you listen a lot to baile funk, you’ll see that the same samples are used over and over again and when a new thing breaks out, everybody’s doing their version of it. And it’s not really the artists who keep it going, but the DJs and producers who do endlessly montagens and remixes. All the DJs have their own special versions that they play at the bailes. Even though tamborzão is ever present, Sandrinho has lately been moving on from the used miami bass and techno samples to experiementing more with the elecrto rave side and baltimore club sounds. ”I get ideas also from Jamaican sounds, drum’n’bass, house... 5 years ago we still used 125bpm, but I grew faster a little by little. Nowadays I do all my beats in 130 bpm. It’s easier to mix. And goes perfectly together with the baltimore club beats...” And as those who know something about baltimore will surely notice, it has a lot to do with baile funk after all. ”But these new sounds are only for night clubs; in the favela you play baile funk, and only baile funk. Maybe a little bit of comercial hip-hop, but still baile funk with tamborzão is the sound of the favela.”

Nowadays Sandrinho is known in Europe of his amazing live gigs with the MPC. And when you see him working it live, you really can’t help wondering how he gets it all out of the box and puts it together so smoothly. Sandrinho estimates that nowadays 60% of the DJs in Rio use MPC in their live gigs, but it hasn’t always been like this. So where does this special way of playing it live come from? ”The first time I saw someone using MPC here in Rio was in 1999 at the Furacão 2000 studio. It was Dennis doing some programming. Also Jefferson and Grandmaster Raphael were experiementing some things on it. But at the time it was more for producing beats. Next year, in 2000, Dennis was already using it live for effects and so. But it was simple, MPCs they had weren’t that avanced yet. But from there people picked up the habit and created more styles. The most amazing thing I saw was DJ Marcelinho at Castelo de Pedras doing live an remix of ”Saturday Love”. First I thought it was a recording, but then when I got up the stage I saw he was banging it out live. And I was just wondering how the hell he was doing that. ”

”Another great one in DJ Pokemon. Once I saw him play with 2 MPCs at the same time. It was at the grand opening of the ”Evolution” sound system by Pipo’s. It was the biggest wall of sound system I ever saw, enormous, new, shining and still smelling of fresh paint! Pipo’s was playing against Big Mix of Marlboro and they were doing the opening. The new ”Evolution” sound wasn’t still on. And everybody was like: ”Look at the SIZE of that wall, just imagine the sound coming out of that...” So Big Mix ended their part and Pokemon gets on the stage with 2 MPCs. I was wondering what’s he gonna do with 2 MPCs; I mean he doesn’t have 4 hands! When he started banging out the beat: ”tum, tum, ta, tum, ta, tum, tah”, everybody was pushed backwords. The pure pressure of the soundwave hitting your chest was enourmous! He kept fooling around with the MPCs, releasing the beat loops from the other one and sampling and effecting with the other. It was absurb man!”

MCs in Rio usually have a regular DJ that produces for them. But along that all the MCs get beats and tracks from other DJs also. The beats are sold on a single hit basis for the MC or for the label. Afterwords most never hear from any royalties or radio play benefits. ”When I sell by beats... 5 years ago I sold them for about 50-80 R$ (18-30€) each. Nowadays it’s a bit more. Or if it’s a friend then less. When Didô was starting his career, I did beats for him for free, because I saw that he has talent, but he doesn’t have any money on him. So then it’s like an investment for the future. When it’s a friend price, like for example MC Gringo, whom I like to help out, he pays about 80R$ (30€). But if it’s a regular artist who’s on the radio and tv it can be from 200R$ to 300R$ (75€ to 110€)for the production.”

Sandrinho has also done some remixes, both bootleg and official, like the ”Aumenta O Som” for Gotan Project. ”When I was asked if I wanna do a remix for Gotan Project, I was like ”what the hell why not? Send me the material.” I had never heard about the group and when I listened the track I was thinking: ”Shit, this hasn’t got anything to do with baile funk.” But heck with it, I started trying out something; took some samples from it constructed a funk beats around it... And it came out good!” Sandrinho says also that he likes to do his own production, but remixing is also fun, so if someone wants a booming baile remix of their track, contact this man!
Sandrinho is propably the most seen baile funk artist in Europe. ”First time I went to Europe was in 2004 with Mr Catra. We were invited to play at the Favela Chic in Paris. All went perfectly and the people loved it. So because of that I’ve been back to Europe already 12 times, more or less every 3 months. I always stay in France, it’s like my second home; I have friends there, people like my sound. And from there I do other shows in other countries. Since I’ve been there so many times and I got a 12” out on Man Recordings and some remixes like the one for Gotan Project, people are already recognizing my name. So I think year 2007 will be a good year for me. A year to collect what I’ve planted.”

Now Sandrinho is coming to Europe again and staying here for almost a month and touring with Tchiky Al Dente. So if you’re around, be sure not to miss this one, because Sandrinho is without a doubt one of the best DJs coming out of Rio and he’s sure to throw a hell of a party!


Dj Sandrinho on Myspace
Sandrinho's 12" EP on Man Recordings

21.4.07

Ghetto 808 mix and podcast out now!

And here's another thing I was promising:

Ghetto 808 is a regular club night I'm going to start hosting here in Helsinki in the nearby future. And the first promo mix is finally ready. It's 58 minutes full of the hottest baile funk and kuduro and some other joints too.

Dj Rideon presents Ghetto 808:

Tracklist:

Bass Check
DJ Rideon: This My Shit
Os Hawaianos: Vem Kikando Rmx
DJ Sany Pitbull feat DJ Woody: I Feel Good (James Brown Funk Carioca Mix)
DJ Cabide: Montagem Baile Lotadão
Menor do Chapa: Vida Loka (DJ 17 Pistola Mix)
Bomba Funk 2: Aquecimento 2006
Bomba Funk 2: Mega Doido
DJ Rideon: Fuck Me Baby
Gaiola das Popozudas: Late Que Eu To Passando
Os Ousados: Passinho do Basquete
DJ Sandrinho: Pump It Up
DJ Sandrinho: Serrote Funk (Cleck Cleck Boom)
Bonde Neurose: 100% Neurose 2006
DJ Sandrinho vs. Justin Timberlake: Sexy Back
Puto Prata: Sai La Daqui
Buraka Som Sistema feat. Petty: Wawaba
Luky Gomes: Patiri
Leo Canhoto & Robertinho: Chumbo Quente (DJ Edgar Rmx)
DJ Sandrinho: Pump Friction
SD Boyz: Uh! Uh! Tá Tomado
95 South: Wet’n’Wild (DJ Laz Booty Bounce Mix)
DJ Assault: Sex On The Beach

Click here to download

Or subscribe to the Ghetto 808 -podcast in order to get the future episodes automatically:

RSS-feed:
http://ghetto808.podOmatic.com/rss2.xml

Hotlink to the podcast:
http://ghetto808.podomatic.com/

In the future there'll be more mixes and maybe also some interview and radioshow stuff, mainly on baile funk, but also other hot ghetto stuff that's out there. So tune in!

And here are also the sleeves for the cd-version, or if you wanna add them to your iPod or something.


Two sites to get some baile funk on mp3

Here are couple of nice links to get mp3s of baile funk:

Funk Neurótico is a pretty famous site, where you can get proibidão songs as well as other stuff. The good thing is: There is plenty of stuff available for download and they put more on the site every week. There's a lot to go through and since you can listen before downloading, it can be frustrating shooting in the dark. The quality is also always 128kps so it's nothing to dj with... Also every song ends on a vinheta (= a radio hook) advertising the site and it's pretty annoying. Anyhow, loads of stuff there, browse through! (From the main site you choose músicas and then either atuais, rap's, melody's or montagens) And don't forget to peep through the video section...

http://www.funkneurotico.net/

Another one lesser known is DJ's club, which is aimed mainly for the producers. Here you'll be able to find songs from some of the top DJs in the produções section. But what's more important there's loops and samples and instrumentals for producing baile funk. Some of them are in wav, but others in 128kps mp3s and since you can't tell before you've downloaded them, it can be pretty frustrating going them through. Once I've browsed more I'll let you know which one's are in wav and worth while. If you find some, please leave a comment and I'll link them on the blog. Besides the loops and a capelas that everybody understands, browse through also the pontos (=sample-loops taken from other songs) and viradas (=the "turnings" which is more or less like a break or a bridge). Bases means instrumentals.

http://www.djsclub.net/

Enjoy!

2.4.07

About posting mp3s

Some people have asked me to post mp3s to my blog, but since these artists are poor and getting ripped off so much anyway, I don’t feel too comfortable supporting this trend without the permission of the artists.

However there are some great mixes and podcasts available totally free in the internet. And in the future I promise you’ll hear more of my mixes too.

And down on the other post are most of the main players provided, so just put Limewire (or whatever peer-to-peer network your using) singing and search by the artist names if you need to get the mp3s.

But anyway this issue is something I'd like to hear some of your opinions too! The main purpose of this blog is to spread the music and information about Rio Baile Funk and I know providing people with the music is vital for it to spread. But is there enough music available or should I post some lo-fi mp3s? Please leave some comments to have some conversation about it!

Different styles of Baile Funk

Even though to western ears it all might sound pretty much the same, in Brazil baile funk has different styles inside the genre. It’s no wonder since the division is made pretty much by the content of the lyrics, not how the music actually sounds like. The four categories baile funk styles are normally devided into are funk sensual, funk melody, funk realidade and montagem.

Funk sensual is the most popular of the styles. It includes all the slackness; the most openly sexual and nasty stuff, including putaria. The lyrics are often straight forward ”advices” of how the girls should shake their booty. (”down to the floor winding slowly, put your hands on your knees and throw your ass up” etc.) Some of the songs are cleaned up of all the dirty words for radio, but everybody knows the nasty versions anyway and sings them out loud when ever a song is played. But it’s not only men who sing putaria; some of the most dirty and sexual songs are sung by women like Tati Quebra Barraco and Deise Tigrona. Singers, mcs and groups doing funk sensual are many, but here are some names to check out: Mr Catra, Os Ousados, Os Hawaianos, Os K-rrascos, Vanessinha do Picatchu, Gaiola das Popozudas, As Experiementas, As Divinas, As Tchutchucas, Bonde do Tigrão, Bonde do Vinho and Bonde Neurose.

Funk melody is a soft, romantic, melodic style of singing baile funk. The lyrics normally deal with love and passion and the beats might be softened with acoustic guitars. It’s suitable for radio play, tv and also for children. Dj Marlboro, who calls it funk novo (new funk) is pushing the style forward introducing new artits all the time. One of the forefathers of the style is a slick artist called Latino and nowadays artists like Perla, Leozinho, Marcihno and Andinho are popular. For many of the old school funkeiros, funk melody isn’t real funk, but only a try to please white and middle class audiencies, neglecting the roots of baile funk of favelas. Any how the style is getting ever more popular in Brazil.

Funk realidade is the harshest and the most hard edged of the styles. Into this category fall all the gun lyrics about ghetto violence and suffering, all the songs about the inhuman living standards favela dwellers have to face. Many of the songs also deal openly about the drug traffic and the factions and insert not so convinient truths about police brutality and that’s mainly why most of funk realidade is also proibidão (highly prohibited) and it’s is forbidden to record, make, sell or even listen to it (and you can get fined by doing so). The name funk realidade (reality funk) suggests the this problematics of the proibidão in brazilian society; the people against such lyrics insist they are an ode to the drug factions and violence and there as encouraging young kids to become outlaws. Where as the artists and the funk audiencies consider they are only showing to the elite the reality of the favelas. But I’ll deal more of that controversy is another post. Even though many artists sing proibidão geared to the favela audiencies along with other styles, the main contributors to the style are pretty much Menor do Chapa, Mr Catra, MC Galo, Duda do Borel, Cidinho & Doca, MC Sapão and MC Sabrina to name some.

Montagem translates pretty much to remix and this is where the DJs step into the front row (though besides that DJs do also all the production and the beats for the MCs and singers). Baile funk remixes are made very simply with loops and samples in a colláge style. When a song comes out by an MC it’s already in the first place kind of an interpretation by a DJ. Then when it becomes popular, pretty much all other DJs also do their version of it. Then there are the classic vocal samples and gunshots everyone uses. Those with recording studio devices can call up the artists to do specials in a dubplate style, but most of the DJs trade vocal samples with each other and most are recorded from live preformances. Nowadays most of Rio’s established DJs also do live montagem with MPCs. Some of the best DJs putting out remixes include Sandrinho, Sany Pitbull, Grandmaster Raphael, Edgar, Dennis, Marlboro, Eliel Campos, Cabide, Jefferson and Mancha.

6.3.07

Tamborzão ruling the nation – An interview with Sany Pitbull (12.1.)

Sany Pitbull is one the pioneer DJs and producers dominating the Rio scene. 38 years old, he’s been working with baile funk for over 20 years now and today he’s one of the most respected DJs around. I’ve been to he’s bailes really often since he does regularly the Cantagalo baile, which is close to my home. I had this interview session with him in January and here are the results.


The MPC master.

”You know, I’ve gone to bailes since 1983 and soon from the beginning I got very exited of the whole magic of it; making people dance, loud music and all, and I though; I wanna be a DJ. At that time I went to bailes of Cashbox, Marcão and so on, and that’s really where I learned about the music.”

But actually it had started already before that: ”My father liked parties at home and every time we had one he was like: ”Serginho (Sergio is Sany’s real name) go put some nice music on.” So I ended up as the responsible of the records and the music equipment, because he trusted me not to mistreat them. So it’s actually my father who pushed me into this career.”

The first record he ever bought was Gigolo Tony’s Smurf Rock. And as he didn’t have much money then, he bought it together with a friend of his, DJ Pancada. ”It’s was a deal like: You have the B-side and I’ll get the A-side.” Sany tells laughing.


First Sany played at equipes like Cova and Explosão, but now he’s been with Pitbull sound system for 9 years and that where the name Sany Pitbull also comes from.

As DJing more and more pretty much all the Rio DJs who have the means to do it will do some remixes and their own production. Sany is known for his creative use of samples like on the White Stripes beat he did: ”I love music in all it’s forms and I mostly listen music inside my car while driving. But I don’t listen to baile funk, I listen to jazz, rock, trance, opera... whatever. And I always find something new to mix up with funk beats.” he explains. ”In baile funk there’s no prejudism, people who like it are no purists, so why should I limit myself to the samples other people have used already. I also like the vibe and the effects of western electronic music, so I always try to search new ideas from there.”

Sany is also well known for his abilities to use MPC sampler to create live beats on the pads while DJing. ”Seven out ten bailes in Rio have nowadays DJs playing live funk; or it’s electronic drum kit, or MPC, or then computer software or syntetisizer. And while playing MPC, I don’t even use the sequencer, only the sampler and it’s always running out of memory or pads, so I wish someone would make a simple sampler with bigger capacity to use playing baile funk live. But MPC is what really gives authenticity to baile funk; the brazilian DJs pretty much rediscovered it to use it live on stage. Because baile funk is all about percussion, it’s all about drums. But we also use human voice, or guitar as a percussion through this special style of using MPC. But personally I don’t like computer DJs, it’s like machine replacing human art. I like to play with vinyl and MPC because it’s art made live with our own hands. Even though you’re sampling somebody, your not only copying, but creating something new based on it.”


Sany, like most of the DJs who work with their equipes and don’t go touring around with an artist, organize one baile per evening from thursday to sunday, every week. The bailes will take place in various locations, but Cantagalo is Sany’s regular where he plays every week. ”I’ve played here for 12 years already; I love playing here and always insist doing it. Cantagalo has a very special audience. Since we are 300m away from the rich Zona Sul neighbourhoods, it’s a mixed crowd. Of course the majority are local favela dwellers from the community here, but this baile also attracts a lot of middle class audience and foreigners who want to enjoy funk carioca.”


The social role of baile funk.

Inside the communities baile funk creates an independent, peer-to-peer economy. It’s one of the few activities that are done by the local community and geared towards the local community; it’s not something an aid organization or government offers from outside:
”Baile funk has a huge importance for the local favela community: In addition that it’s a way of spending free-time; a secure party, free of charge, close to home; it creates jobs. Not only the DJs, the artists and the people mounting the sound system, but also the people selling drinks and food on the street; all benefit from the bailes.”

Even though violent corridor bailes are over, and police don’t invade and raid bailes that much anymore, the relationship with the officials isn’t still the healthiest one: ”The authorities have still a lot prejudism against baile funk: They say there’s crime in funk, but they don’t see the positive sides of it; baile funk creates happiness and positive role models for the outcast favela kids. And if the MCs are singing about the factions and all that, it’s because those are the problems and day-to-day reality they are living All this shit with drug factions and wars, it’s a police case; they should be able to resolve it, not funk. Baile funk is only about having fun and dancing.”

Sany also sees baile funk as a possibility to solve some of the problems favelas are facing:
”Baile funk is the voice of the community. There is a lot of music inside the favelas, but funk has the most power and influence on people. And I even have an advice for the government: If you wanna make a campaign about Aids prevention, don’t take as a model a novela star, but a baile funk artist. The people identify themselves more with the baile funk artists, then white pop stars.”


Tamborzão ruling the nation.

”20 years ago I didn’t think baile funk would become this big. At the time it was only some parties for the local community. Nowadays the internet is opening big doors for all of us. It’s like you’ve been raised up in a house that’s surrounded by a wall. And one day you’re big enough to raise your head and have a peak on the other side and you see the world out there. The world to conquer and to take your music to. And I’m really happy that I’m given all these opportunities to go abroad and all. And many times out there I’m learning more then teaching and that’s what’s best of it. Because baile funk is only in the beginning now. I might not even be alive anymore when funk reaches the level it should, because it’s an huge process. And I want these kids that are starting now to be able to look back after 20 years and see even more progress then I’m seeing now.”


Baile funk sung in portuguese came out only in 1989, before that in the bailes DJs played 100% international music, mainly miami bass. ”All the djs who have been in the baile funk bisnes for more then 10 years, have played in the era when we still included in the sets a lot of miami bass, like 2 Live Crew, Egyptian Lover, Trinere and Stevie B. So we have the influences from there. So first when we did funk here it was like brazilians imitating americans, but after that we added our own flavor to it.”

However the success of the national brazilian style was immediate and the DJs started using more brazilian music samples and the MCs singing in a language all the audience would understand started coming up. ”What rules the scene now is tamborzão (baile funk with heavy, syncopated brazilian percussion), which is completely carioca. Tamborzão is what makes people really dance here. If you put anything else on the middle of the set, the people come to complain immediately: ”What’s with you? Put on some tamborzão!” Sometimes when I play a miami bass tune the younger kids come to ask when will I begin to play baile funk! It’s these younger kids who don’t know the roots; they’ve grown with tamborzão and it’s the only funk they know. And tamborzão is really the style that is our own, what were now taking abroad and what is enjoying the most success.”

The move from the vinyl to the cd era became around 1997 and the adaptation was fast and complete. Sany laments the situation that in Rio no one produces vinyl anymore; all the stuff goes out on cds and is normally pirated right away. ”Now that I’ve seen the other side of the wall, I do much production geared towards foreign public. But even though I produce quite a lot music to Europe and USA, I also can’t abandon the local funk scene in Rio, so it’s about 50% to the local market and 50% outside. For the stuff I do to foreign labels, I use a lot of brazilian influences and samples, for example from chorinho and bossa nova and for the music I produce for brazilian audience I try to mix up with foreign influences. To have some exchange and to teach about the great brazilian music people don’t know about in Europe and vice versa about the european and american electronic music for brazilian audiences.”


Hitting hard abroad.

Last year Sany went for a tour in Europe that passed through Germany, France, England, Sweden and Denmark. Sany regards the experience very positive and hopes to be able to do more gigs abroad in the future. ”I don’t speak english, so it was quite difficult to break the language barrier, but it was really cool to notice that the public in Europe loves and respects brazilian music and I was really well received there.”


Even though the scale is different in Europe, the audiences get his approval: ”It’s quite different to play there. Here in Brazil you play in a quadra for 3 000 or 4 000 people, once I even played for 11 000 in the quadra of Salgueiro samba school in Tijuca. In Europe the clubs are smaller, but the people are as energetic and enthusiastic as here. The best crowd reactions I got probably in Stockholm, but the parties were really cool also in Berlin and Stuttgart.”

In the nearby future Sany is going for a North American tour in the end of March. The tour passes at least through Miami, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Portland, Orlando and even Hawaii in the US and Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto in Canada. So don’t miss his superb MPC live gigs if you’re around.

The success of baile funk in US and in Europe ows much to DJ Diplo, who pushed it to the spotlight of a wider audiences through his ground breaking mixes and DJ-sets. Sany remembers Diplo coming to Rio for the first time to learn about baile funk: ”Diplo came here with M.I.A. in 2005 and he wanted to see baile funk in a favela, so he came here to Cantagalo. In the beginning I didn’t like him that much, because he came and wanted everything instantly. On every second song I played he said through his translator, that he wants that song. So I was like wait a second man, take it easy: In 1500 the portuguese came here, took all the gold and gave pieces of mirror to the indians; it’s not like this anymore. But after that I talked a lot with him and saw that he’s a cool person and a great DJ; and I really consider that he’s the ambassador of baile funk outside of Brazil. And that’s really cool, because he’s not brazilian; he just loves the music and the culture. After that first encounter we’ve done many things together; I’ve organized some bailes for him to play, when he comes to Rio and I’ve participated on the documentary he’s filming about baile funk. And maybe we’ll produce something together for Bonde do Role also.”

Meanwhile Sany’s own productions and beats are about to get a boost on the western markets. During this spring his 12” EP is gonna come out in the Baile Funk Masters series of german Man Recordings. The release is much awaited by many baile funk DJs, including myself. And rumours are that Sany would be returning for another European tour still this year.


Sany's beats on myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/sanypitbull

Remember to check out also Sany’s videos and mixes from the blog of Carioca Funk Clube podcasts:
http://pitti.podomatic.com
http://cariocafunkclube.podomatic.com

An austrian radio journalist Natalie Brunner was doing the interview with me so I you can read german, check out her version on fm4 website:
http://fm4.orf.at/lunaluce/217024

Sany and me.

15.2.07

"Baile funk is like the favela CNN" - An interview with Daniel Haaksman of Man Recordings (11.2.)

Daniel Haaksman was visiting Rio and he was kind enough to find some time on his last night here to do an interview for me. He is a 38-year old dj/producer/journalist from Berlin who has been playing since 1989 and nowadays runs in Germany a record label called Man Recordings, that is specialised in publishing brazilian electronic music, mostly baile funk.

Daniel and Mr Catra in Rio. (Photo by Natalie Brunner)

For Daniel it all started in 2002 when a friend of his brought two cds of baile funk from Rio. "That really opened my eyes. I had been a big fan of brazilian music, but at one point I got really bored of the whole bossa and samba thing and also it's european interpretations. I thought they just reproduced the clishé of brazilian music, 60's and 70's bossa, that is music of the past. That's why I was so enthusiastic when I heard baile funk for the first time. I didn't know there was this whole electronic music movement happening in Brazil, totally autonomous, existing outside of the western electronic music realm. As a Berlin guy I always thought I know everything that happens in electronic music, but when I heard baile funk I thought: "Wow, no one plays this music and it's so energetic and raw."

Besides brazilian music Daniel was also fed up with over produced, bling hip-hop: "I thought baile funk was a sonic hip-hop innovation, still unknown to me. It reminded me of old Def Jam recordings: Public Enemy, LL Cool J and Run-DMC."

So he started doing research on baile funk and got frustrated quite soon because you couldn't hear any of it in Europe at that time: "So in January 2004 I decided to go to Rio and check out the scene myself. But as I didn't speak any portuguese, it was really difficult for me to communicate with people." Luckily a friend of his, Andreas Schoyerer, was living in Rio and started to investigate baile funk with him and they managed to establish connections with labels, DJs and producers in Rio. "Before 2004 there were no international labels interested in licensing baile funk, so the local labels were astonished when we wanted to publish their music in Europe. And they didn't know anything about licensing, they didn't know about invoicing, so we had to establish a whole new infrastructure."

Out of that trip came out the first compilation, which was Rio Baile Funk - Favela Booty Beats, released in the summer of 2004 on Essay Recordings, run by Daniel and Shantel, a Frankfurt based DJ. "It was the first official baile funk compilation in Europe and I think it gave access to baile funk to many people around the world. I mean some tracks were available before that in the internet, but it was quite difficult the find the good ones and to get them in a proper sound quality. For me it was a nice task to compile the best of baile funk, because all the labels were very cooperative. In the beginning it was so strange to them that a gringo would come and want to license their music, that they would happily give me any tracks I wanted. So the first compilation is based on tracks from Furacão 2000, Curtisom and Link, which is Marlboro's label. But for the second compilation we released (Rio Baile Funk - More Favela Booty Beats) Marlboro kind of spoiled the game, because I wanted to get some of his tracks for the compilation and he said that "Either you use exclusively Link tracks, or you don't use them at all." I didn't want to be black mailed so I didn't take any of his tracks.

In a situation where Marlboro owns the rights of at least half the baile funk produced in Rio, it made the licensing more difficult. "Yeah, he has many of the cool tracks and some of the best artists, but he has this kind of 'fuck off' mentality towards foreign labels. But some people also obey to his demands; so far he's realesed three albums in Europe of exclusively his catalogue. Compilations like ’Funk Carioca’ on Mr.Bongo, or the two Funk Carioca compilations that were released in Portugal are all exclusively based on Link catalogue material. But I think it's really harming for baile funk, because if music can't flow freely, it's damaging the music."

Nowadays Daniel is mainly working directly with the artists and producers themsleves. "It's better to pay the artists directly, because brazilian labels are notorius for not paying their artists. They get a flat fee per track they deliver and never see any royalties. For example when I met Dennis DJ in October 2005, he didn't know that he's tracks had been featured on my compilation and played in clubs in Europe, simply because Furacão 2000 hadn't bothered to tell him. Many of the artists on the compilations probably still don't know that they have stuff out in Europe."

After the two succesful compilations Daniel left Essay Recordings and founded his own label Man Recordings in 2005. "I wasn't agreeing on the artistic direction Essey was going. They were focusing on gypsy music, and I wanted to focus more on baile funk and hip-hop orientated music. So that's why I started Man Recordings." So far he has released nine vinyls and two cds, most of them material with Edu K, an mc from Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil, Edu K is the author of "Popuzuda Rock'n'roll", one of the biggest cross-over baile funk hits with heavy guitars, opening the way to current hit groups like Bonde do Role.

By nature baile funk is not music played on vinyl, but on cd. Since the late nineties CD-DJ-players became more popular and affordable for the Rio DJs and pressing of vinyls stopped. "Baile funk on vinyl is luxury. So for me as a label, I really don't get any money out of it, I do it because I love baile funk. I'd like to put more stuff out, but it's still not so easy to license it from the Rio labels. There are some people finding tracks in internet and putting the out on bootleg white labels, without any cretids, without paying royalties and I really can't support this. These artists are already ripped off by Rio labels and then again by some middle class white kids. I mean, these artists live in shitty houses and never get access to play in Europe because people practicly steal their music. So that's why I don't do any bootlegs, I license the music, artists get paid, they get advance and proper contracts; I wanna treat them as proper artists."

This year Daniel is beginning two new series of releases on vinyl: Funk Mundial and Baile Funk Masters. "Funk Mundial is a series where the brazilian mcs get to work with european producers. First one already came out and has Edu K with Stereotyp and the second is gonna be mc Xana with Zynden and Hervie from Dubside Records."

Baile Funk Masters is a series dedicated to the producers. "I want to show the producer side of baile funk, because many of the sonic innovations in baile funk are created by the DJs and the producers and not the mcs who are always on the spotlight. There are hundreds of producers in Rio, but there are few that stick out. The first one, which is DJ Sandrinho's EP, is instrumental only. It's also a DJ tool and I wanted to offer it to people as a base for remixes and mash-ups. More and more people are doing baile mash ups with r'n'b and hip-hop acapellas, but they always use the same tamborzão beat and the same samples, so I wanted to present some alternatives. But the series also works as promotion for the DJs; Sandrinho is one of the few who have been playing in Europe frequently, but he is still quite unknown for the public. And as he intends to do more live gigs and production in Europe, he can use this as a card to present himself and to get some name."


Sandrinho's vinyl EP comes out during March and it's also available in digital formats from Beat Port and iTunes. Coming up are releases with Sany Pitbull (who was finishing the mixing at the time of the interview), DJ Edgar, who is Mr. Catra's Dj, and Grand Master Raphael or Amazing Clay.

Sandrinho has also been playing in Berlin as a guest in Daniel's party series, Berlin Baile Funk Sessions, along with Marlboro, Diplo and Mr Catra with DJ Edgar. "Even though there's a new generation of DJs and clubbers searching for alternatives for the dominant 4/4 beat, It's always difficult to get the audience going the whole night on baile funk, you have to mix it with hip-hop, grime or reggaeton. I've been trying to cultivate baile funk in Europe for three years now, and I can see that there's more and more people getting into it, but it's not like it's a revolution for the average electronic music listeners."

Still, Daniel believes baile funk has a lot of potential to gain. "When I heard it for the first time, I thought this is gonna be a big thing, because it's energetic, it's party music and great to rave to. There's no other way of consuming baile funk then with your body; you can't just lay on the bed listening to it, you have to get up and dance. Baile funk is not yet at it's peak in Europe. But it still lacks the critical mass, to make a movement out of it; there are still so few people doing it. There's Johan in Stockholm, Rumble in Gothenburg, Rio Rocks parties of LJ Small in London, Favela Chic in Paris, DJ Gü-mix in Vienna and that's about it. But now there's a good network of people playing baile funk, so we can bring more artists to Europe. Sany Pitbull will come in June, DJ Sandrinho and Deise Tigrona is coming in April. And anybody who's interested in booking them or anybody else, please contact me by e-mail or at myspace."

"If a DJ from Rio plays in Europe a one on one Rio set, people probably won't understand it. Funk needs to be brought and translated to european audiences. The success of Bonde do Role could be one key to it." But baile funk is already going European: "There's a swiss guy who has baile funk songs in swiss german on his myspace and in Bucharest a friend of mine saw a gypsy rapper doing baile funk in romanian. So it's obvious it will happen sooner or later. Historically all the music coming across the atlantic have had some european intrepretations. For example, today basically every european country has already a local native tongue reggae scene."

"It's interesting time for baile funk now. Western people will eventually twist it someway, it probably would never have gone in Brazil. Just imagine if some guy like Timbaland would pick up baile funk and its production style, and make something new out of it with western production standards; with a good hi-fi sound and crisp bass lines. Or if ragga mcs would pick up baile funk beats and chant over them. So now it gets interesting to see what kind of fruits all this will produce and what will be its repercussion in Brazil."

"It's the nature of music, it travels and emerges out of dialogue with other cultures and other music. That's also what happened with baile funk itself: It started from Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk in Germany, which was sampled by Afrika Bambaataa in NY in Planet Rock, that led to Miami Bass and that came down to Brazil, transformed to baile funk and now it's going back to Germany again. It's like a circle closing. Before the musical innovations were connected to certain cities, but I think in the future they will be made in the internet communities. But of course there will always be regional sounds and flavors and I'm shure that in the next couple of years there will be hundreds of regional styles of electronic music, like kuduro and kwaito, emerging for the world audience."

The success of baile funk abroad has lifted it's profile also in Brazil. "In Rio baile funk was always considered to be gutter music: ganster music from the favelas, not worthy for the average brazilians, but now the focus has changed in the media."

In Daniel's opinion baile funk's popularity in Brazil also spoils a bit it's edge and ruffness, since the artists want to please a wider audience. "Since Leozinho's Ela Só Pensa Em Beijar with this romantic mood and acoustic guitar was a huge hit in 2005, I noticed there was more these kind of soft, melodic songs made. Some artists realised that if you do this kind of romantic songs you get to the pop charts and tv. Earlier there was only Bonde do Tigrão signed to a major label, but then the lead singer killed his girlfriend and the press jumped on them: "You see, even though they were on Sony and tv, but they are still the same roughnecks we always warned you of." So now with Leozinho there is this new cheesy, romantic side of baile funk that could spoil it's edge."

"Some people in Rio are scared of baile funk because it's violent and sexual and relfects the favela complex, but really it's a platform in which the favelas can communicate to each other, because they don't have access to the official media. It's like the favela CNN."



Check out also:
Daniel’s homepage
Man Recordings
Mixes and videos
Edu K
Sandrinho’s EP
Stereotyp with Edu K 12”