DJ Contracapa’s Afro Brazil Orixá Mix Segundo

By | 22 September, 2017

We’re real happy to have another fine mix of Brazilian tunes on the site from Epic Vinyls from Brazil’s very own DJ Contracapa. A passionate researcher of Brazilian music this one is very much a sequel to his previous Afro Brazil Orixá Mix, a mix that took a trip through the archives of Brazilian music, picking out the tunes with a strong Afro-Brazilian heart. It’s a trick repeated here, though this time focusing primarily on music from Bahia, with classic Afro-Brazilian anthems from artists like Jorge Ben, Os Tincõas, Alcione, Martinho da Vila and so many more great artists. Axé indeed!

Here’s Contracapa to give you the lowdown – and check out the extensive track notes after the mix to find out plenty more about these tracks and the featured artists.

This year, EVFB’s DJ Contracapa rode through the dense bamboo forest outside Salvador’s Magalhães Airport for the first time. A first visit to the land of happiness, rolling drums, capoeira and spirituality. Bahia is just. something. else.

It’s the home of Afro-Brazilian culture and pride. From the vibrating streets of Pelourinho to the traditional Mercado Modelo Market and beyond, Bahia is full of food, art, and music that can be discovered or rediscovered. It’s also a great place to dig for records!

The musical traditions and heritage is deeply intertwined with Africa and the Orixás – the Afro-Brazilian spirits and deities brought to Brazil by the slaves – and almost all artists on this mixtape call out these spirits and deities – with the most popular being Iemanjá (Fertility) and Xangô (Justice). The Orixás are the centre of religions called Umbanda (South) and Candomblé (North), African diasporic religions shared with many other Caribbean and Latin American countries. But nowhere are these religions as strong, organised or acknowledged as they are in Brazil.

And so in this continuous journey to expose the strong connection between Brazil and Africa through the music of the past, this second Afro Brazil Orixá Mix mixtape is dedicated to Salvador and the Brazilian state of Bahia.

Traditional Rio artists like Jorge Ben and Martinho da Vila have been placed in the mix – but not without homage to Bahia through their songs. The mixtape runs from 1971 to 1987 and was greatly inspired by listening to the work of the Bahian harmonic group Os Tincoãs. The two tracks from their self-titled 1974 album serve as bridges through the mixtape that grows in intensity along the way. Their subtle spirituality and strong, underplayed rhythms vibrate intensely.

And as EVFB continues to dig deep into the Brazilian fountain of music, the opening track is a newly discovered song not featured anywhere else online. Axé!

Epic Vinyls of Brazil will be doing a 5-hour DJ set at Spiritland in London on September 30th, which will also be free entry, so get yourself down there Londoners!

Track Info by DJ Contracapa

00:00-02:25

Artist: Izidoro com Conjunto Morenos Vibrantex
Track name: Tempo de Muganga
Written by: Izodoro
Label: Dex Discos do Brasil
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Cheguei na Bahia (I came to Bahia..) is the perfect opener for this mixtape.

Notes: To our knowledge, this “samba de roda” style seven inch with two strong tracks found at the end of a long and dirty flight of stairs opposite Salvador’s Mercado Modelo is getting shared for the first time. A long negotiation followed over this dirty little piece of wax following a hunch that it would be special and luckily it is. And it cleaned up nicely!

02:25-03:49

Artist: Ritmo e Vozes (Rhythm and Voices)
Track name: Bahia, Berço Do Brasil (Bahia, cradle of Brazil)
LP name: Agora É Samba (Time for Samba)
Written by: Baianinho
Year: 1973
Label: Odeon
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Bahia, land of capoeira and the famous candomblé – a tribute to the first capital and still the Afro-Brazilian capital of Brazil.
Notes: The master José Briamonte on production and arrangements on this whole album.

03:49-06:26

Artist: Jorge Ben
Track name: Bahia, Berço Do Brasil (Bahia, cradle of Brazil)
Seven inch non album track. Later appeared on several Jorge Ben compilations.
Written by: Baianinho
Year: 1973
Label: Philips
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: See above.
Notes: Jorge Ben makes one of his rare cover versions on this “compacto” – Brazilian seven inch record. As seen earlier in his career, he is quick to pick up on current trends in music and just nails it. The original record is still available at reasonable prices.

06:26-08:47

Artist: Os Tincõas
Track name: A Capela D’Ajuda (The Helper’s Chapel)
LP name: Os Tincoãs
Written by: Os Tincoãs
Year: 1974
Label: EMI
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: “Se quiser sambar aparece”. If you want to samba, just come. This dreamy song calls people out to share the samba and worship a virgin saint with spirit and not necessarily with materialistic goods.
Notes: This album is growing in popularity. And not without reason, because the sound of Os Tincoãs is just unique. They started as a cover group but quickly decided to go all in on candomblé music in a very mellow and harmonic way.

08:47-11:15

Artist: Trio Abaete
Track name: Pisa No Taboado (Step on the board)
Written by: Bonfim
Year: 1973
Label: Copacabana
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: All the kriolas [usually spelt crioulas] and kriolos are called out to step on the dance floor and the party starts!
Notes: Abaeté comes from the indian Tupi language and means “a true man”. The 1977 Abaeté LP has a score of amazingly funky samba rock style tracks. But this seven inch version is different and more mellow than the album version.
It differs also by the fact that on this compacto (Brazilian 7 inch) the band is called Trio Abaeté – but Abaeté on the album. Not a group easy to access info about. Another super rare album exists, the album Nasce Uma Flor (A Flower is Born). It has a version of the hit song “Bananeira” (Gil + João Donato) – probably the album is from 1979 or early 1980s.

11:15-14:23

Artist: Wanderléa
Track name: Kriola
Written by: Helio Matheus
Year: 1973
Label: Polypro
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: The lyrics says not to dance too close with a certain kriola (dark) girl because it brings some responsibilities.
Notes: Written by funk master Hélio Matheus this is a sure great dance floor stomper. Slowly building to a funky crescendo, Kriola has dominated dance floors for decades. Wanderléa also recorded a top wanted version of Erasmo Carlos’ funky anthem “Mané João”.

14:23-16:37

Artist: Renata Lu
Track name: Jogo de Jongo (A Game of Jongo)
Written by: Totonho & Paulinho Rezende
Year: 1977
Label: CBS
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Opens with “Clareia, clareia”. The song hails the Afro-Brazilian traditions, some which take place in the moonlight. Jongo is samba’s predecessor.
Notes: Renata Lu’s powerful voice recorded a score of singles-only tracks in addition to her super strong 1971 debut album.

16:37-19:25

Artist: Sonia Lemos
Track name: Pérola De Agonitá (Pearl of Agonita)LP name: Pérola De Agonitá (Pearl of Agonita)
Written by: C. Alves & Mhariazzinha
Year: 1976
Label: Continental
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: The opening word Ganga is in fact “Nganga” word of origin kimbundo (Angolan bantu language). It means magician, sorcerer or seer. The ganga has seen Sonia as a gypsy women – being one of the deities within the Afro-Brazilian umbanda religion.
Notes: Title track from the samba LP on the same year. A beautiful spiritual song drawing strong reactions on the dance floor these days.

19:25-22:10

Artist: Marcia Maria
Track name: De Pé, De Mão Ou De Bico (With foot, hand or beak)
LP name: Marcia Maria
Written by: Paulinho Camafeu
Year: 1978
Label: Capitol
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: This fighting song is built on a traditional capoeira chant going “hit the orange on the floor” and building extra verses on top of that to a beautiful homage to capoeira, Bahia and the city of Salvador.
Notes: Written by Bahian percussionist – and surely – capoeirista Paulinho Camafeu. His name is a homage to capoeira and berimbau master Camafeu de Oxossi. This song is on the Amigo Branco famed album by Marcia Maria and is a strong Afro-Brazilian anthem.

22:10-24:12

Artist: Aparecida
Track name: Vovo Catarina (Grandmother Catarina)
LP name: Aparecida
Written by: Evaldevino P. Xavier & João Ricardo Xavier
Year: 1975
Label: CID
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Umbanda song about how “Old Black” doesn’t go to town. The old blacks are the spirits of strong and knowledgeable slaves of the past and will inhabit mediums during an umbanda session.
Notes: Aparecida was associated with samba schools before becoming a composer and singer. Her first album is rumoured to be released in 1966 but I’ve never seen that one.

24:12-26:20

Artist: Alcione
Track name: Tiê
LP name: Morte De Um Poeta (Death of a poet)
Written by: Dona Ivona Lara
Year: 1976
Label: Philips
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Roots samba praising a caged songbird (Tiê) of her childhood and chanting oxá.
Notes: Originally written by Dona Ivone Lara, one of Rio’s best traditional female samba singers.

26:20-29:00

Artist: Antonio Carlos E Jocafi
Track name: Conceição da Praia
LP name: Mudei De Idéia (Change of mind)
Written by: Antonio Carlos E Jocafi
Year: 1971
Label: RCA Victor
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Dedication to Salvador de Bahia and the Conceição neighbourhood. You need the samba to survive.
Notes: When looking around in the record stores in Bahia, the Bahianos make sure to mentioned that both Jocafi and the all girl group Quarteto em Cy are from Bahia.

29:00-31:22

Artist: Os Tincõas
Track name: Deixa A Gira Girar
LP name: Os Tincoãs
Written by:
Year: 1974
Label: EMI
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Let the rituals flow and shout-outs to the Orixás.
Notes: An anthem these days. “Deixa a Gira Gira” is being remixed, remade and played live by the powerful Bixiga 70 and other groups.

31:22-34:14

Artist: Martinho da Vila
Track name: Iemanjá, Desperta (Iemanjá, wake up)
LP name: Presente (The gift)
Written by: Martinho da Vila
Year: 1977
Label: RCA Victor
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: A long beautiful dedication to Goddess Iemanjá: “I know you live in Bahia, but take care of Rio de Janeiro”.
Notes: Martinho has one of the most impressive streaks of great songs on elaborated samba albums running through the 1970s and 1980s putting out an average one LP per year and creating huge hits like “Canta, Canta, Minha Gente” and “Casa de Bamba”.

34:14-37:49

Artist: Clara Nunes
Track name: Jogo De Angola
LP name: Guerreira (Warrioress)
Written by: Clara Nunes
Year: 1978
Label: EMI
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Great capoeira anthem with dense lyrics weaving the story of the African slaves and capoeira together in a merciless language.
Notes: Clara Nunes is one of the clearest and most thorough voices of samba and the African Brazilian roots. Like Martinho da Vila she left a string of pearly albums throughout the 1970s before she died way too early from an extreme allergic reaction following an operation in 1983. The first female singer in Brazil to sell over 100.000 albums and she sold more than 1 million of her most popular albums.

37:49-40:55

Artist: Alcione
Track name: Afrekete
LP name: Nosso Nome: Resistência (Our name: Resistance)
Written by: Alcione
Year: 1987
Label: RCA Victor
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Afrekete. King of the Sea. A song about Bahia, candomblé and spiritual guidance.
Notes: Alcione. This classic sambista from Maranhao delivered her 1st album in 1975 with the hugely popular anthem “Não Deixa o Samba Morrer” (Don’t Let Samba Die). Afrekete is a strong afoxé track a style that needs to be represented on this mixtape.

40:55-44:00

Artist: Vilma Nascimento
Track name: Lamento Africano
LP name: Conquistado (Conquered)
Written by: Gilberto Gil
Year: 1980
Label: Top Tape
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: Far from the instrumental jazz anthem with the same name by Art Blakey, this song features African lyrics by the Bahian master Gilberto Gil.
Notes: This was picked for its powerful African vibes and percussive breakdowns. Vilma is the cousin of Milton Nascimento. From what we can gather she married and moved to Bahia. There she worked and perhaps still works as a backing vocalist. This seems to be the only solo album. It’s got great songs and a really crystal clear 1980s production and sound throughout – it almost has a Paul Simon “Graceland” sound to it.

44:00-46:10

Artist: Carlos Buby (Babalaô)* E Templo Espírita de Umbanda Caboclo Guaracy
Track name: Saudação ao Povo da Bahia
LP name: Abertura E Encerramento – Umbanda Nas Sete Linhas (Opening and closing – the 7 lines of umbanda).
Written by: Ritual song
Year: 1984
Label: Cáritas
Country: Brazil
Lyrics: This closing ritual song praising the people and culture of Bahia.
Notes: This album is put out on the umbanda/candomblé label Caritas. The song is by an umbanda center in São Paulo that still exists to this day. Caritas has been responsible for a string of great Afro-Brazilian religious records mostly used for rituals and inspiration for to other worshipping groups.


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