Sunday, March 15, 2009

Global funk connections: Gal Costa

Brazilian singer Gal Costa was prominent in the 60s and 70s, releasing numerous albums of Musica Popular Brasileira and tropicalia. Tropicalia (or tropicalismo) is a musical and artistic movement that arose in the 60s, pioneered by artists like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. With many parallels to the American counter-culture of the time, one of the movement's foundations was the concept of antropofagia (cannibalism), referring to the Brazilian tradition of "cannibalising" other cultures and producing the melting pot that is Brazilian society. Tropicalia's diverse sound drew from elements of Brazilian traditional and popular musics, together with American rock, R&B and psychedelia.

Keeping with that theme, one of Costa's early tropicalia releases was the sonically amazing "Vou Recomecar". Mashing up psychedelic rock elements and a killer funk rhythm with classical Brazilian breezy vocal elegance, its a song that has so much going on that it almost sounds like it was haphazardly thrown together - yet somehow works perfectly. Belongs on every discerning dancefloor.

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