New Internationalist

Oi! A Nova Musica Brasileira!

November 2010

By Various Artists

Most compilation albums are retrospective events, tying up loose ends for posterity, so it’s rare that you get one that’s a survey of what’s going on right now without making any completist claims for itself. The joy heard in all 40 of the tracks contained on the double-disc Oi! A Nova Música Brasileira! is the lack of pressure that attaches to it.

There’s a lot to listen to on Oi! (the Brazilian for ‘hi!’), from Afro-Brazilian hiphop (M Takura and R Brandão), folk revival (Siba E Roberto Corrêa), jerky pop (Do Amor) and post-tropicalista sounds from too many to mention. So the record label have helpfully provided an insert with a map of Brazil annotated with its musical regions and all the album’s artists and albums (flip it over for a nice poster by artist Derlon Almeida). Just as well – the acid-influenced manguebeat or electro-funk of tecnobrega tracks are intoxicating: take the ‘Balkan tecnobrega’ of Catarina Dee Jah, a lapsed DJ who goes places far off the beaten track, or Gaby Amarantos, the ‘Amazonian Beyoncé’. For those who want a navigational tool, Eddie’s ‘Bairro Novo/Casa Caiada’ is as sober as this exuberant and groundbreaking compilation, gets.

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Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 437 This column was published in the November 2010 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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