We play a fair amount of funk carioca over here at the offices Afropop Worldwide. Is it because it’s crazy fun to dance to, and no one else can see our dance moves? Perhaps. Regardless, we are digging this new mix from Dj Woody and FunkBonito Productions, coming straight outta Rio de Janeiro. Check it out.
The first thing you’ll notice is the cleaner and more mainstream sound then a lot of the carioca that we hear out of Brazil. While it’s definitely still funk, it shows elements of modern American and European pop polish. The big, soaring synths are there. So are the vocals, which are often more akin to what you’d hear in a Lady Gaga or Rihanna tune than anything else.
The power of this mix is the fact that all of this gloss is still built on top of the classic baile funk beat. The usual elements are still there, including the beatboxing, the synth horns and the radically chopped up vocal lines. Instead of becoming repetitive, these elements and the rhythmic pattern behind them are consistently reshaped, reemerging transformed in almost every track. It’s a reminder of how much diversity can be created using the same basic framework.
A great example of this hybrid is the remix of Melanina Carioca’s “Deixa se envolver,” starting at 30:05. The first thing you’ll hear are 8-bit synths playing an insanely catchy melody, sounding like they’d be at home on a European synthpop hit. It splits the difference between US pop radio, and the raw MCs that attracted international attention to carioca in the first place. Although we aren’t going to hear this on American pop radio anytime soon, we’re definitely excited to get our ears around this new and mainstream sound.