Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OS MAGRELOS-Luz Negra +more (Electric Cowbell, 2011)

I've recently received a pile of 7'' singles from my friends at Electric Cowbell, this awesome NY-based record label that prioritizes this specific format -my personal favorite- for releasing their music. A bunch of crazy stuff, some of them even defy description, but I love them all and I already incorporated three of them to my vinyl set rotation.
This is one of the seven records simultaneously released and it was the first obvious choice to enter my DJ set, simply because it's the only one that has any obvious Latin elements. Os Magrelos is, in fact, a side project by Bio Ritmo's keyboardist Marlysse Simmons where she steps away from the salsa to focus on Brazilian samba and bossa nova, but keeping that same kind of archeological approach for old-school sound.
As you all know I have some profound love for Brazilian music in almost all its forms but to be honest I've gotten sick of bossa nova (maybe after the overdose I experienced during the bossa nova revival of the early '00s) and being a DJ whose main goal is to make people dance instead of cuddle I obviously lean more towards the percussion-heavy side of Brazilian samba and funk. Still, this 45 by Os Magrelos didn't disappoint me at all. It has one original bossa nova track (with guest vocals by Laura Ann) that I skipped and two instrumental tracks that I instantly loved (even though they're on the downtempo end of the spectrum) because of their inner funkiness and the hypnotic retro-sound of the vintage keyboard. I played both those tracks at my warm-up set last week and they sound great, so I'll most probably be keeping this 7 inch beauty permanently in my record-case to go.
Now I gotta make a worthy exception and mention a couple more of these releases even though they do not particularly fall into the Latin But Cool category that strictly limits the contents of this blog. The first one is by The Sway Machinery in an odd collaboration between American musicians and a Malian singer  resulting in the funkiest record of this memorable set. Particularly their track "Youba" that actually flows seamlessly into Os Magrelos' "Luz Negra" if you ever wanted to make an Electric Cowbell mixtape. The second one is a total oddity, a kind of novelty track that works wonders on the dancefloor. NO BS! Brass Band does an instrumental cover of the epitome one-hit-wonder of the whole '80s synth-pop era: A-Ha's "Take On Me." First I thought the idea was stupid and it'd be hella cheesy but after a second listen I realized that I HAD to drop this as a peak-of-the-night track to set the dancefloor on fire and when we reached that moment I did and oh my god, the whole club went bonkers. The fact that's instrumental works out great because people love to sing-along to this classic greasy cheeseball. I'm definitely keeping this one in that special section of my crate designated for party-rescuing: you know when you fucked up and accidentally cleared the dancefloor and you need a heavy hitter to bring it back up? This is all you need.
Thanks Electric Cowbell for the presents and for helping to keep 7'' vinyl alive.

Buy these amazing releases HERE.

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