With the utterly justifiable rejection of that most grotesque, generic pigeonhole — World Music — comes the problem of engaging with compilations, like Chico Dub’s latest, that claim to offer a representative musical slice of a really rather massive geographic area.
It doesn’t help that many of the main protagonists in our little cross-cultural musical drama happen, like Chico Dub, to have silly names. And yet, in Hy Brazil Vol 1: Fresh Electronic Music From Brazil 2013, we get such a wonderfully eclectic, high-quality selection of tunes that it’s quite easy (and reasonable) to discard such post-colonial worries, at least for a little while, and enjoy ourselves.
Highlights include Tropkillaz’s gnarly, rough-edged trap; Paze’s perfectly executed jelly mould of squelching loops, and the rusty hi-hats on Bruno Real’s dark, uneasy tech-house.
In case that all sounds a bit serious, there’s also the expected selection of techno-brega, that most silly of Rio club sounds, which literally translates as “cheesy techno” and is probably brilliant when your not sat in badly lit Edinburgh office, like me. Strausz’s particular effort ends up morphing into what could easily be a junglist remix of Os Mutantes, and as such, walks a very thin line between brilliant and atrocious.
The compilation ends with Leo Justi’s “Invasor (Baile Metal),” apparently a hint at what some of the production in the new M.I.A. album might sound like. Slayer guitar riffs? Gratuitous gun shots? Baile Funk beat boxing? Sounds about right.
Perhaps more exciting is what didn’t make it onto the compilation, as our man Chico informs us that the “next chapter is going to be dedicated to experimental music: drone, noise, dark ambient, kraut, IDM, improv, free jazz, music concrete and sound art.”
Sounds great, Chico.
• Chico Dub: http://chicodub.bandcamp.com