V.A. - DANIEL HAAKSMAN PRESENTS TECNO BREGA
Man 071 | November 23, 2012
Tecno Brega is Portuguese for “cheesy techno” and it’s the sound of the Amazon finally getting its hands on cheap technology. Cheesy by name and cheesy by nature this is the sound of a simple preset drum pattern and mid to high range synth lines being pushed to the max. Brega can be seen as a further example of the musical possibilities emerging from the world’s developing areas, yet another third world peripheral music that is based on a rigid but at the same time ever-evolving structure. This is no underground phenomenon, it is popular music, reviled by the urbane sophisticates but designed to appeal to and move the maximum number of Saturday-night revellers.
“Daniel Haaksman Presents Tecno Brega” gives a thorough overview of what is happening to Tecno Brega at the moment, in Pará, Brazil and the rest of the world by including a range of the most cutting edge producers and artists working within this genre. The compilation kicks off with three heavyweight names together, Man’s own genius of mash-up João Brasil teaming up with ex-Bonde de Rolê Marina Gasolina and remixed by DJ Cremoso, a recent new kid on the block whose remixes have been shaking up the genre with his indie crossovers. Banda Uó have two tracks on the compilation, their namesake track showing off their signature style, while “Chorei” seems to be their attempt to get a song played on the Novella (soap opera) at nine o’clock, a sure-fire way to have a hit in Brazil. This strategy seems to have worked for Gaby Amarantos, now a household name in Brazil, who turns up here for the tasteful “Aguas de Março”, again with Man’s own João Brasil.
Banda Uó’s producer, DJ Gorky, this time working with Bonde de Rolê, turns out the joyous and uplifting remix of Major Lazer’s “Get Free”, Gorky again showing why he is the man most likely to move Brazil’s music scene forward with a stunning remix of an already great track (the track is only available in the Germany/Austria/Switzerland edition of the compilation) . No Brega compilation would be complete without contributions from Pará’s own DJ Waldo Squash, here weighing in with two contributions as well as his work with Gang do Eletro. Squash’s signature sound of wailing synths and juddering stop/starts are an important contribution to the development of Brega, and key track “Bass Melody” is a lesson in short sharp minimalism. Elsewhere on the compilation you can find him inventively adapting anything from Kraftwerk to “Popcorn”.
The João Brasil remix of Daniel Haaksman’s own “Kid Conga”is the track that introduced Brega to Europe and deserves inclusion for it’s pioneering spirit and for demonstrating the blueprint synth sounds and drum pattern. Elsewhere Edu K’s remix of charque’s version of “Money” is channelling Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Belgium techno, Pink Floyd have never sounded so good (and let’s face it, energetic), there’s life in the old dogs yet! Part of the new generation coming out of Belém, Felipe Cordeiro offers up the kitsch but charming “Fim de Festa” a track that nicely encapsulates that melancholy feeling at the end of the party, where the punters are leaving and there’s a few stragglers on the dancefloor, a great example of the traditional meeting the new.
The disc finishes with compiler Haaksman’s own take on Brega with the aptly named “Berlin Brega”, for where else would a strangely kitsch sound from the most northern region of Brazil be adopted and accepted with such loving care.