DJ Contracapa’s Afro Brazil Orixá Mix

By 09 January, 2015

Here we present our first ever mix from Epic Vinyls from Brazil aka DJ Contracapa, a Danish musicologist and huge Brazilian music fanatic. This mix seeks to show the deep connection with Africa that exists in Brazilian music, with famous names such as Gal Costa, Martinho da Vila and Sergio Mendes all exploring the country’s African roots. Here’s DJ Contracapa to introduce the mix – scroll down for the audio and in-depth tracklisting.

Brazil 2014
The African heritage in Brazil is ever present. And perhaps in the music more than anywhere else. The beats of samba, bossa, maracatu, coco and the many other regional rhythms have influences stretching back to the Motherland. In the words of The Chemical Brothers: “It Began in Africa”.

Brazil is by far the country in the world that received the most African slaves – estimated at more than 3 million – and also the last country to ban slavery [as a comparison the US in total received only 600.000]. The Brazilian afro-catholic religions candomblé and umbanda are directly linked to the Yoruba gods of western Africa. In Brazil the African deities became mixed with catholic saints and practices in order to “survive”. Like other religions, it’s about spirituality, energy and storytelling. Music is knowledge. Vinyl is culture. Disco é Cultura.

Afro Brazil Orixá Mix is a percussion driven journey into Brazilian Afro-rhythms, strong voices and spirituality. From pop music to capoeira rituals. It shows how deeply the orixás have been rooted in Brazilian music, rhythms and language – in music like samba, funk, bossa and MPB. A lot of artists and bands took great pride in writing songs to or about the orixás – especially in the 70s. Hopefully this cultural diversity will continue in the future. It is only one of the fascinating discoveries you can make digging deeper into Brazilian music and language.

Copenhagen 2014
The mix starts with Amazon recordings by the Danish descendant Johan Dalgas Frisch. The album does not say when it is published but my guess from what I can find is around 1970 – probably exactly that year. He devoted his private life in Brazil to the preservation of the forest and did some rare and unique recordings of the indians, birds and forest sounds.

The mix ends with a Danish version of Dorival Caymmi’s fisherman chant “Promessa do Pescador” by legendary Danish jazz/latin guitarist Christian Sievert. I’d like to underline again the importance of the Afro-Brazilian heritage and the uniqueness in Brazil’s cultural mix. This version was recorded close to my house – in Nørrebro, Copenhagen – in 1976. Even back then the impact from this music spread all over the world and influenced many people. Without the internet. It is obvious on the track that it is not Brazilians singing because of the pronounciation of “Iemanjá” – but still it’s very powerful music! This song is only a little over one minute long. The liner notes states that they over recorded 1 hour straight, but for some reason they cut it down to two 1 minut versions in the studio. I’m trying to see if the master tapes are still around.

– DJ Contracapa (Epic Vinyls from Brazil)


1. Field Recording “Anoitecer Na Floresta E Alvorada” [Recorded by Johan Dalgas Frisch and Featured on Sons da Transamazônica e o Canto do Sabiá, Sabiá, 1971];
2. Sérgio Mendes & Brazil ’77 “Promise Of A Fisherman” (Promessa De Pescador) [Featured on Primal Roots, A&M, 1972];
3. Clara Nunes “Sindorerê” [Featured on Alvorecer, Odeon, 1974];
4. Gal Costa “Rainha Do Mar” [Featured on Gal Canta Caymmi, Philips, 1976];
5. Wando “Xavante, Lágrimas E Poesia” [Featured on Wando, Beverly, 1975];
6. Djavan “Nereci” [Featured on Djavan, EMI Odeon, 1978];
7. Eliana Pittman “Aruê-Lá” [Featured on Eliana Pittman, Imperial, 1972];
8. Roberto Ribeiro “Prece a Xangô” [Featured on Poeira Pura, EMI Odeon, 1977];
9. Mestre Suassuna e Dirceu “Os Negros de Aruanda” [Featured on Capoeira Cordão de Ouro Vol. 2, Continental, 1978];
10. Mestre Acordeon, Mestre Suassuna and His Students “Berimbau and Guitar” [Featured on Music of Brazil – Music of Capoeira, Ethnic Folkways, 1985];
11. Zezé Motta “Pensamento Iorubá” [Featured on Negritude, Atlantic, 1979];
12. Maria Creuza “Ossain” [Featured on Você Abusou, Trova, 1972];
13. Antonio Carlos e Jocafi “Ossain” [Featured on …cada segundo, RCA, 1972];
14. Trio Ternura “Oxalá” [Featured on Succesos de Ouro Vol. 5, Polydor, 1973];
15. Gal Costa “Dois de Fevereiro (Excerpt)” [Featured on Gal Canta Caymmi, Philips, 1976];
16. Martinho da Vila “Festa de Umbanda / Sete Flechas / Vestimenta de Caboclo” [Featured on Canta Canta, Minha Gente, Victor, 1974];
17. Christian Sievert “Promessa De Pescador” [Featured on Entrada to Equator, Hookfarm, 1976]

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