Title: Glücklich 4
Cat No: CPT 084-2
Summer 2000, the sounds and flavours of Brazilian music are once again everywhere, testimony to our enduring love affair with that most seductive of rhythms, the samba. This wonderful series of compilations has told the story of samba’s influence in Germany, Europe and beyond with tracks both ancient and modern, from “authentic” Brazilian rhythms, to samba – fusion, to contemporary club grooves that sometimes only bear a trace of Brazilian flavour yet still resonate with the happy feeling that is essentially “Glücklich”.
Sometimes it’s difficult for the rest of the world to understand Brazilian culture when we are constantly deluged with cliched images of carnival dancers and idyllic beaches, but even if we know about the grim economic realities and the still divisive racial inequalities, we still fell the joy in the music. And it’s this feeling that has inspired generations of musicians producers and DJs to draw from the rich and varied traditions of Brazilian music in their own work.
Perhaps starting back in the 1950s with the seminal movie “Black Orpheus” Brazilian music has reached out and touched the rest of the world. From the explosion of bossa-nova in the sixties to the popularity of the samba groove with seventies fusion artists.- The influence was there at the beginning of the jazz-dance movement and in the renaissance of bossa-nova in pop music during the early eighties. Through to the nineties when record dealers really started to plunder the wealth of Brazilian rare groove, and classic recordings started appearing on vinyl ‘reissues’. Just like it’s rhythms Brazilian music has that elastic quality, it keeps springing back. Just like it’s harmonies it comes in waves. And with each wave it seems to get stronger.
With Glücklich our estimable compiler, the DJ and member of the production trio that bears his name, Rainer Trüby, has focused on the influence of Brazilian music on other cultures. It started with the first volume’s strictly German selection, broadened the net with the second one to include a wealth of Euro rare grooves with a Brazilian flavour, and with the third embraced the new school artists who have been updating the tradition for the dance floor. This latest selection from our friend in Freiburg maintains the high quality with a truly international cast of contributors, focusing mainly on the way the Brazilian influence is reflected by a diverse bunch of contemporary producers. However alongside the new, there’s a clutch of classic grooves, testimony to aprevious generation’s inspiration. Glücklich is fusion old school and new, it’s music for the soulful dance floor, it’s bossa-jazz meets beats, samba house, call it what you want….
whatever it is, the music has an uplifting quality inspired by our Brazilian love affair.
Hailing from Norway and Belgium respectively, both Espen Horne’s “Magnetica” and Buscemi’s “Ramiro’s Theme” are examples of ‘loop’ tracks, where a bit of crafty larceny has introduced a classic groove into a new context. These tracks bear testimony to the way in which obscure recordings have influenced producers, (and found their way into their samplers!). There are more abstract moody excursions from Gotan Project’s “Triptico” (bossa-tango jazz breakbeat ?!) and Minus 8’s dreamy “Elysian Fields”.
Samba-fusion comes in both new and old school forms, you can hear the way in which the classic seventies sound is dragged into the now by Mark De Clive-Lowe on “El Dia Perfecto”, and represented in all it’s original glory by David Matthews’ slinky “Sambafrique”. Mark hails from New Zealand and his musical quest has taken him to Tokyo and New York through he has now settled in London where his keyboard talents have found their way into the heart of the thriving West London scene. David Matthews is one of those unsung heroes, an ace arranger who worked for James Brown in the seventies. And samba fusion is also included for the first time in it’s distinctly Japanese variety, hear the continuity between Himiko Kikuchi’s “What’s Baby Singin’” and Kyoto Jazz Massive’s “A Calmaria” through decades separate these two tracks they share a similar vibe. Brazilian music has always found an appreciative audience in Japan, and the new generation of fans is represented nowhere better than at Yoshihiro Okino’s legendary night Freedom Time in Osaka. With his brother Shuya and the awesome talents of keyboardist Hajime Yoshizawa the Kyoto Jazz Massive have lately been hitting the highs with some inspired productions.
Female vocals have always been another essential ingredient of Glücklich’s soulful stew, the classic shuffle of Madeline Bell’s “That’s What Friends Are For” is buoyant and heart-warming, Wei Chi’s “Heaven” is an up tempo bossa on the same tip, unashamedly optimistic! Of course the Trüby Trio had to come through on their home turf, “Alegre” is aimed at the dance floor of such nights as Rainer’s own incredible Root Down sessions where it will undoubtedly hit the spot. Supersempft are also from Rainer’s home town of Freiburg, their name is distinctively German but their music displays an appreciation of the authentic feel of Brazilian rhythm, “O Preguicoso” swings with a certain subtlety. Salome De Bahia has recently graced the work of French producers Bob Sinclair and DJ Gregory, “Procurando O Caminho” was recently rediscovered on an obscure seven inch release from Munich, a great funky Brazilian rare groove that brings a touch of authenticity to this selection. Finally Ready Made’s “Transcontinental” beats up a bossa vibe to great effect, a bit like Sergio Mendes with breaks.
Impressive and consistent the Glücklich series are proving to be that rare phenomenon, a cult success. Catch the vibe and get happy.