Friday, May 27, 2011

DA CRUZ-Sistema Subversiva (Six Degrees, 2011)

My friends at Six Degrees Records have a thing for Brazilians living abroad (they are the ones who ten years ago introduced us to Bebel Gilberto and Zuco 103, remember?). Well, I happen to have a thing for Brazilians living abroad too. I'm not saying that I prefer them over Brazilians who stayed home (many of my very favorite artist were born and still live in that country) but as it usually happens, when artists migrate to other countries they gain a fresh perspective of their native culture and let go of many of the tacit inner restrictions of the local scenes, hence they are more likely to experiment with their roots and take them to a whole different level with very interesting results.
Mariana Da Cruz is a Brazilian singer who lives in Switzerland and there she hooked up with this producer called Ane H. and together they became Da Cruz. I haven't heard their previous work (although now I'm intrigued, so I'll probably end up downloading it soon) but this one here, I know I'll be playing it in my DJ sets for sure. It has some incredible funky beats. And I'm talking some dope ass futuristic funk here. Not the retro-funk of Paula Lima or Ed Motta, and not the booty-centric baile funk of Rio's favelas either. Although there're elements of both those styles.
My only issue with it, is that I can't tell if these tracks were aimed to the dancefloor or the lounge. You see, the tracks start with this hard hitting funky breaks and the synths push the groove forward and you are like ready to start dancing your ass off, and then she starts singing... Don't get me wrong, Mariana has a really nice and distinctive voice, I'm not criticizing her singing skills here. It's just that the melodies of her songs that are too mellow and her vocal style lacks the energy and edge to keep up with the up-tempo tracks. It's an odd mix. I still haven't tested Da Cruz on my sets but I will tomorrow at a Brazilian party (for Brazilians living abroad) that I'll be DJing at and then I'll see if they work as peak-of-the-night dancefloor tracks to go along with Salome de Bahía (another Euro-based Brazilian) or they should be restricted to the warm-up period. Either way, I will play them for sure.
Now with such amazing beats this album is begging for remixes and I know DJs and beat-producers will love to get their hands on this shit.  So I'm looking forward for a potential Sistema Subversiva Remixes (on vinyl would be asking too much?), oh and I wouldn't mind if they released the instrumental tracks either. For those of you who don't care about DJing and just wanna listen to good music on your headphones, don't sleep on this one when it comes out next month.

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