Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The hardest beats in Brazil

Every time I am here, back among the lush green peaks and endless, sun-bathing beaches of Rio de Janeiro, I am confident that this is the most beautiful city in the world. All the old clichés about cidade maravilhosa and the encanto do Rio, they are true. Despite the current weather - blazing heat and tropical rain taking turns - the city is as playful, sexy, wonderful, shamelesly sensual, exciting, elegant, outrageously incredible, dangerous, deadly and dirty as ever.

So, let's venture into the Brazilian music for a change and start the adventure with maybe the most succesful Brazilian band ever. Just to take a brief walk down the memory lane, a couple of tunes from, yes, that's it: Sepultura. Refresh your memories with a classic song Territory and a couple of bonus tracks included on some releases of albums Arise and Chaos AD. They actually fit in quite well with the palm trees gently swaying outside my window.

Sepultura: Territory (zShare)
Sepultura: C.I.U. (Criminals In Uniforms) (zShare)
Sepultura: Amen / Inner Self (live) (zShare)

And then to the point: For those following electronic music blogs it's nothing new that Seputura's former drummer Iggor Cavalera now has a very different project going on, called Mixhell. And it's fast becoming a very succesful project.

Though Mixhell, as we will soon find out, might sound very different from Sepultura's grinding death metal, the bottom line remains the same. To quote the Mixhell MySpace: "Hard beat is the main line of Iggor´s work. In his life, the beat has an intensive meaning and appears in everything he does." Which actually sounds pretty much like any Brazilian life.

Mixhell, with headquarters in Sao Paulo, is Iggor's DJing project, spiced up with live production elements like samplers and drummers. And Iggor actually is not alone on this mission: Mixhell is a duo consisting of Iggor and his wife and producer Laima Leyton. They describe their sound as "influenced by underground electronic music... DJ sets travel to many different places blending electro, discopunk and old school hip-hop, with lots of rocks and electronics. With the MPC Sampler they modify and increase elements to the songs so they fit perfectly to the dance floor."

Mixhell has made their own songs, worked with producers like DJ Hell, remixed songs of electro banger acts like Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya (for Kitsuné Maisón's new 12" release Fuck Friend) and MSTRKRFT - and made a bunch of great mixtapes. A lot of these have been circuiting around the blogs for a long time, but in case you missed them, here's a taste of their numerous parallel lines of work.

From own songs...

Mixhell: Kids are alright (zShare)
Mixhell: Sour Throat Break (zShare)

...and some fine remixes...

MSTRKRFT: Easy Love (Mixhell Favela Blast remix) (zShare)
The Bell: Target Group (Mixhell remix) (zShare) samples of their DJing work. I especially like the funk carioca flavors on the XLR8R podcast. And Iron Maiden-samples.

Mixhell: Electrobangertrashset (zShare)
Mixhell: XLR8R Podcast January 2008 (zShare)

And to put the respect where the respect is due, most of these songs are from a fine Swedish blog called Stockholm Beat Connection. They have been the first to put out the new stuff from Mixhell, so check 'em out, bookmark 'em and keep your eyes on 'em.

No comments: