Tag Archives: Baile Funk

Diamantes

Although he’s been quiet the last couple of months, Volumes of Bass affiliate DJ Panaflex has been anything but unoccupied. Since last July, when we brought you his series of dispatches covering the tracks on his first mix, he’s gone on to put out no fewer than 3 full-length mixes as well as a mini-mix (to catch up, check out our mix section).

The artwork for Girando by DJ Panaflex features some of the artists whose tracks appear in the mix

For his latest, Girando, the Portland native returns to territory he explored in two of the tracks featured on Summer is a State of Mind. “Baile Funk is a style that’s been on my radar for a while,” he told V of B, “but it really took me by suprise recently when it began showing up in some of the remixes of trap and reggaeton being put out in mixes by other deejays I follow.”

key_wheel
The Key Wheel

Panaflex explained to us that the tracks in Girando are arranged by key, with nearly every transition made to a track directly adjacent on the key wheel to the track before it. “While trying to learn how to mix reggaeton, I discovered the importance of minimizing the amount of dissonance, which is what you get when you layer tracks that are in clashing keys.”

He says that building the playlist was his favorite part. “The Brazilian ‘funk’ artists are some of the most ecumenical in their sample sources. I’ve heard tracks based on everything from Talking Heads to the theme from Tom and Jerry.” As for the production style, he remarked that it was very forgiving to a beginner deejay like himself. “You can find places in nearly all of these tracks where it’s just the drums, or just a horn groove. It makes it easy when you’re looking for a place to start mixing in the next track.”

A Kiss on the Shoulder

Artist: Valesca Popozuda (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Title: Beijinho No Ombro (2013)

I think the fact that the video for this song has over 50 million views on YouTube is a testament to baile funk’s transformation into a mainstream phenomenon. It wasn’t always that way, though. According to the unofficial narrative, baile funk (aka funk carioca) came about within the context of massive parties thrown by drug dealers in the ghettos of Rio de Janeiro to win favor within the community and show to law enforcement their clout. In the 80’s Deejays spun Miami Bass jams at those parties and one such record, 808 Voltmix, formed the foundation over which artists recorded their own groove, often using little more than their own voices. As time went on, all recognition of the original 808-driven Miami club sound faded into the background leaving behind a wholly original backdrop upon which to record tracks like Beijinho No Ombro.

Portland’s DJ Panaflex has been spinning the weirdest of mixes in his bedroom since late last year. We’re proud to bring you his freshmen effort, Summer is a State of Mind. At just over 50 minutes, this mix features 17 examples of why getting a midi controller and a copy of Traktor Pro was something he couldn’t put off a second longer.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing with you his notes on the tracks that make up Summer is a State of Mind.

Showin Off

Artist: MC Nego Bam (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Title: Ela Tira Onda (DJ F2) (2014)

In Portuguese, the phrase ela tira onda means something like, “she flosses” or “she shows off”. I don’t know much Portuguese, so it’s lucky for me that “Armani” and “Louis Vuitton” require no translation. I have to admit, it took me a while to fully embrace the sound of funk carioca from Brazil, but now that it’s infected me, I find I’m often grasping to find all the hits that were my introduction to the style. When you do find a good, seminal mix of the stuff from the 90’s, good luck ever getting a tracklisting. I’m grateful to DJ Edgar for breaking the norm and actually publishing the names of the artists and titles of tracks like this one. It’s a perfect example of the genre’s brazen forthrightness, with the singer holding for a whole note the swear word that in English rhymes with “truck”.

Portland’s DJ Panaflex has been spinning the weirdest of mixes in his bedroom since late last year. We’re proud to bring you his freshmen effort, Summer is a State of Mind. At just over 50 minutes, this mix features 17 examples of why getting a midi controller and a copy of Traktor Pro was something he couldn’t put off a second longer.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing with you his notes on the tracks that make up Summer is a State of Mind.

Getting to Know Passinho

Regular readers of Volumes of Bass will remember the time we shared the story of Rio de Janeiro’s latest dance craze breaking out of the ghetto and into the international limelight. If you’re like us, the last place you anticipated for dancers to take the style is from aggressive club-oriented Funk Carioca to the more laid-back grooves of raggae. But if the numerous examples found on YouTube are any indication, that’s exactly the direction passinho has taken.

Youths perform a passinho do reggae routine

While considerably less spectacular, it seems this is a significant development along with the emergence of projects that clearly have the budgets for more than a neighborhood bodega’s borrowed sound system and a base-model Nokia camera phone for recording video. In case you’ve been wondering what Ricky Martin has been up to since falling off North America’s radar with the fading success of She Bangs in 2000, the latest answer is actually a single with a video that prominently features the dance:

Ricky Martin feat. Dream Team do Passinho – Vida

For the uninitiated, the best introduction to passinho is undoubtedly the 2012 documentary, A Batalha do Passinho that tells the stories of some of the favelas kids responsible for the style’s early development and activist Julio Ludemir’s efforts to get it the recognition and widespread acceptance it deserves by organizing dance battles for inner-city youths. The whole thing can be watched in its entirety for free on IMDB.

The trailer to A Batalha do Passinho

Dutch Latin House from Brazil

A few months ago, a sound I had yet to discover made its way into my SoundCloud. It consisted mostly of baile funk, US top 40 hits, and big room house bangers from the likes of Hardwell, Showtek, and members of the Spinnin’ Records roster remixed in a very specific way, with a characteristic kind of high-pitched groove, a super-wet slapping kind of drum sample, two notes back and forth in the bass, and a predictable intro/build-up/break-down/drop sequence. I don’t know why, but it spoke to me. If you haven’t heard what I’m talking about, I’ll let your introduction be the same as mine:

Kelvin Douglas & Guilherme Morais – Podcast Abril 2014

If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised to find that the handful of young producers putting out tracks in this unusual micro-genre all hail from the same town in Western Brazil and all tend to label the stuff Dutch House or Latin House.

Yvan Serano & Gleydson Werneck – Dingo Zee (Original Mix)

In much the same way that not all “Dutch House” comes from the Netherlands, it is evident that the label “Latin House” is liberally applied outside of Latin America, and while I’ll concede that Brazil is a Latin American country, its contributions to popular music tend to stand apart from what most of us think of when we characterize the region’s music.

Holland’s Latin Festival

LatinVillagePeople
An example of some people you might meet at the LatinVillage festival in Amsterdam

The choice of “Latin House” as a label for the genre discussed in my latest post remained a mystery to me until I discovered a Dutch music festival called LatinVillage. A quick perusal of “LatinVillage” search results turns up an interesting variety from typical festival house fair, to dancehall, to trap. More interestingly, though, are glimpses like this of what may be inspiring the Porto Velho scene:

D-Rashid’s Minimix for LatinVillage 2013

If we can agree that this is where artists like Kelvin Douglas and Guilherme Morais are looking for inspiration, it is still unclear what exactly makes this “Latin”. Of course it seems pretty arbitrary what words electronic musicians use to define their sounds. For example, if you look up “Baile Funk” or “UK Funky“, you won’t hear anything like James Brown or Parliament.

Valesca Popozuda’s baile funk hit, Beijinho No Ombro has 37,094,055 views on YouTube

While their tracks possess a more “polished” quality, I am beginning to find Dutch producers whose tracks roughly follow the formula found in the Porto Velho style (including liberal use of flange and phaser). Here’s an example:

Skillz N Fame – Essa (Moganga Recordings)

More Current Than Thou

A theme a familiar to the citizens of Portland, Oregon and indeed to hipsterdom worldwide is the phenomenon of being into something “before it was cool”.

Q: Why did the hipster burn his mouth
A: He was drinking coffee before it was cool

The fact of the matter is that we are constantly drinking from a fire hose of media. The content that gets pushed out the most is most likely to be familiar. The volume you’d have consume to be the first person “into” everything that later becomes a fad makes it impossible. Even the most committed of us are surprised when it actually happens even once.

The sea is too mainstream for hipter Ariel

Frequent readers of Volumes of Bass will notice that we are usually anything but timely. We recently had the good fortune to stumble onto a dance phenomenon, however, which we were informed yesterday is having it’s day in the sun:

If you look at DJ Ripley’s comment in response, you’ll see that some of the kids featured in the documentary just performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. It turns out they even got a big write-up on NBC News, and whose unmistakable face is that behind the decks in the banner for the article? Why, it’s none other than DJ Edgar: