The following notes were written by David Byrne.
Brazilians are the original masters of mixology, blend and hybridization. We’re just catching up to what they’ve been doing for years, decades even.
Since the ’60s, Brazilian musicians have been mixing styles, sounds, rhythms and textures from within their country and without, mixing sambas with funk, death metal with African drumming, and even sitars with bossa nova. It gets wilder, crazier and more inventive as time goes on, not to mention harder — like everywhere the beats get harder as the world becomes more urban. The sadness of their economy, the corruption in their politics and the vast differences between rich and poor seem to act almost as an incentive to produce something musically so transcendent, so full of life, that it counters the negativity of all the shit that’s going down, to paraphrase the Isleys. Their music fights the power. This is music that grooves as if their lives depended on it, as if it’s a matter of life and death, which, in a way, it is. One can choose between mere survival or making life, in the form of music, to counter death.