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.


gregzinho said...

Hey Timo, thanks for linking over! You're absolutely right that I have some explaining to do with my snide URLs -- all of which I'm happy to follow up on. It's probably grounds for another post, which I hope to do this weekend, although I'm notoriously sloth-like with blogging. The mix went up 3 weeks ago and I just finished the commentary this week!

I never got in touch directly with you, but I did see your blog back over the summer -- it's too bad we weren't in Rio at the same time. And I do love the phrase "Tamborzão Ruling the Nation," I hope you don't mind I borrowed it for the second section of the mix (I did link to the interview later on).

p.s. I saw Sany the weekend after he came back from the Jazz Festival in Finland and he was aglow about it. Sounds like it was a really great show.

*timo said...

Phrases are free to borrow! no problem. Yeah, it would have been nice to meet in Rio. But maybe we still do some day. Once I raise the money and the time to go...