Releases

Bixiga 70 • Bixiga 70

Release Date: 03/12/2021
Format: LP+DL
Cat-No: GBCD/LP 063

1. Grito de paz (4:26)
2. Luz vermelha (4:26)
3. Tema di Malaika (4:07)
4. Mancaleone (4:58)
5. Zambo Beat (6:16)
6. Balboa da Silva (4:19)
7. Desengano da vista (6:45)

“Imaginative, progressive… Sao Paulo’s Bixiga 70 are using Afrobeat as the stock in a stew that’s spiked with ingredients from Brazil, the Caribbean and other parts of Africa.”
— The Guardian

Glitterbeat Records is very excited to reissue the out-of-print debut album from Brazil’s 10-piece instrumental powerhouse: Bixiga 70. Originally released a decade ago, the self-titled record is the bold mission statement for the acclaimed albums that followed. Urgent and uncompromising. An inspired soundworld where Afro-Brazilian traditions and retro and contemporary sonics seamlessly meld together.

Bixiga 70, the ten-piece horn driven instrumental group from São Paulo, have in the last ten years firmly established themselves as one of the most acclaimed and influential exponents of contemporary Afro-Brazilian sounds. Over the course of four thrilling albums (see discography below) and heavy touring throughout the world, the band’s reputation is now undeniable. The extent of their reputation can be measured not only in the loyal audience that they have gathered, but also by the fact that the band members are much in demand collaborators and have appeared on a plethora of records, including recent ones by Brazilian legends Elza Soares and João Donato.

To celebrate the band’s 10th anniversary Bixiga 70 and Glitterbeat Records have come together to reissue their self-titled debut album, first released in 2011 on their own São Paulo based Traquitana label. The reissue will be LP only and is specially mastered for vinyl and lovingly packaged in a gatefold sleeve.

Guitarist Cristiano Scabello tells us that the recording of the debut album, “was the beginning of a long and happy story in which we spent a lot of sweat, hours of rehearsal, dedication, research and study.” Keyboardist and guitarist Maurício Fleury feels that the album’s raw but optimistic vibe is possibly even more pertinent today: “we could feel that we were doing something that felt important then and we tried to come up with a Brazilian answer to what we were listening to from abroad. I think that listening to this album nowadays can bring some of that hope that we shared at that time, shedding some light on the dark times we are going through.”

Named after the cultural melting-pot of their home base in São Paulo’s Bixiga neighbourhood, with an added tip of their hats to the inspiration of Fela Kuti’s Afrika 70 band, Bixiga 70 came together from diverse musical backgrounds and from their inception operated as a collective, sharing the songwriting duties and the running of their recording studio. In fact, the band’s embryonic musical endeavors began at their Traquitana studio on 70 Treze de Maio street (one of Bixiga’s busiest nightlife areas). It was from those energized recording sessions that the first album was born, sessions where the band passionately explored elements of Brazilian, Latin and African music to create inspired, dance-floor shaking instrumental themes and anthems.

Considered by many to be the birthplace of samba music in São Paulo, the vibrant Bixiga neighbourhood fed their collective imaginations as the band created their own individual and sure-handed take on the 70’s cosmopolitan music of Ghana and Nigeria, the rhythms of African-Brazilian religious terreiros, hip hop, space jazz, malinkê, cumbia, carimbó and blaxploitation soundtracks. It was a musical vision that blurred the line between past and future and embraced a complex menu of grooves and global sounds.

From the very first album the band created a compelling mélange that almost immediately propelled Bixiga 70 to the forefront of Brazil’s contemporary instrumental music scene – a place where they have remained ever since. The band’s self-titled debut is anything but the typical first album. It is in its own way, every bit as accomplished as the records that followed.

It is the watershed. A deep and unforgettable first cut.

Bixiga 70 / track by track:

1. Grito de Paz (Mauricio Fleury / Ben Lamar)
The first track on the album is also the first original composition ever arranged by the group. It is a unique tropical combination. The rhythms of Cuban santeria weaved by traditional West African clave, disco beat and African-Brazilian chants from the 70’s.

2. Luz Vermelha (Mauricio Fleury)
Brazilian swing colored by rhythms and unisons inspired by malinkê music and a laid-back
atmosphere that brings to mind producers like Eumir Deodato and even J Dilla.

3. Tema di Malaika (Mauricio Fleury)
The band’s first single (released on 7” vinyl with a dub version produced by Victor Rice) brings together samba de caboclo (Yoruba-influenced traditional Brazilian rhythm), strong riffs, djembe solo, percussive baritone saxophone and 70’s afrorock inspired synthesizer and dub echoes.

4. Mancaleone (Marcelo Dworecki / Kika)
Most experimental track of the album, a mix of swinging Brazilian psychedelic jazz and highlife vibes.

5. Zambo Beat (Décio 7 / Kika)
This track is a melding of ketu drum patterns (from candomblé culture) and Jamaican beats, which swirls into a psychedelic and epic ending.

6. Balboa da Silva (Cris Scabello)
Tribute to the former boxer Nilson Garrido, who created a street boxing ring in Bixiga’s Viaduto do Café. Electrified funk with angular horns this is a song about the never-ending struggle of Brazilian people.

7. Desengano da Vista (Pedro Santos)
Written by the brilliant percussionist, composer, instrument inventor Pedro “Sorongo” Santos, and featured on his masterpiece album Krishnanda, which is collected by DJs and researchers across the world, but not that well known in Brazil. The track features a mix of different afro-sambas with a Jamaican dub atmosphere.

Bixiga 70 / band reflections:

“Bixiga 70’s first album was one of the most important events in the band’s career. It was the beginning of a long and happy story in which we spent a lot of sweat, hours of rehearsal, dedication, research and study to achieve this result. It was certainly the record that changed the careers and personal lives of all of us, paving the way to our own path and projecting us in the Brazilian and international music scene. It was with great happiness that we saw this realization happening in front of us and reverberating on people in such a natural way. I clearly remember the feeling of being in synergy with what was happening culturally at the time we recorded this album. As if we were in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time. Looking back 10 years after this release, I think we were.”
– Cristiano Scabello – Guitar Player

“Living where we live and doing what we do has always been a struggle, but by the turn of the last decade we were very hopeful, lots of new projects starting and we had the energy to put together a ten-piece band and record our first album with the music we wrote ourselves in a totally independent way, counting on the help of good friends and people that liked our music. We could feel that we were doing something that felt important then and we tried to come up with a Brazilian answer to what we were listening to from abroad. I think that listening to this album nowadays can bring some of that hope that we shared by that time, shedding some light on the dark times we are going through.”
– Maurício Fleury – Guitar and Keyboard Player

“For me, playing with Bixiga 70 is always a huge challenge, not only musically speaking but also in terms of energy and density. we all have to be on point, because the audience will certainly be. Back then it was an even bigger task for all of us because it was the first time we all were in this position of playing the leading role in a performance with such physical and emotional demand. Our first album materializes that moment of discovery for us, it opened up the gates, and gave us recognition around the whole country. It led to new audiences, new experiences, and totally shaped what we have been doing ever since. We had a great time doing the album, it was big time fun. But none of us knew what we were about to experience. A life changing achievement.”
– Daniel Verano -Trumpet Player

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years. Looking back, I clearly see how we were in the process of developing ourselves as musicians, as a band, as artists, as recording engineers, etc. And at the same time, what stands out to me is that there is a sense of optimism and confidence that were deeply rooted in the moment we were living in Brazil. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years”
– Cuca Ferreira – Sax Player

Bixiga 70 / discography:

“Bixiga 70” (2011) / “Ocupai” (2013) / “III” (2015) / “The Copan Connection: Bixiga 70 Meets Victor Rice”(2016) / “Quebra-Cabeça” (2018)

Bixiga 70 • Quebra Cabeça

Release Date: 12/10/2018
Format: CD/LP+DL/DL
Cat-No: GBCD/LP 063

1. Quebra Cabeça (5:02)
2. Ilha Vizinha (5:48)
3. Pedra de Raio (5:34)
4. 4 Cantos (5:26)
5. Areia (3:40)
6. Ladeira (3:56)
7. Levante (5:14)
8. Primeiramente (4:27)
9. Torre (4:17)
10. Camelo (5:36)
11. Portal (5:58)

São Paulo’s acclaimed 10-piece instrumental collective return for their 4th album. Urban Afro-Brazilian grooves, empowered horn-driven melodicism and massive dance floor inspiration.  One of South America’s most exhilarating musical propositions.

Almost four centuries after the first slave ships loaded their cargoes and set sail, the connection between Brazil and West Africa remains firm and deep. It was African slaves who created the culture of Brazil in all its sorrows and its joys, and those memories have flowed down through the generations. Africa is everywhere in Brazil, and it pulses through the music on Quebra Cabeça (Puzzle), Bixiga 70’s second studio album for Glitterbeat, where two continents dance together across the black Atlantic.

“From the very beginning, what we have always had in common is African-Brazilian music,” explains baritone sax player and flautist Cuca Ferreira. ‘Some of us come from candomblé (the African-Caribbean religion), others from jazz, reggae, dub, everything. The whole idea of the band has been to take all these different elements that form us, from Africa and Brazil, and create a hybrid from them.”

With Quebra Cabeça, that hybrid has taken on a slightly different form. As Ferreira notes, this time Bixiga 70’s music “is more complex. We worked harder on the compositions than in the past, spent more time on them. Each song has a lot of different parts, they can seem like a journey.”

That’s apparent in the shifts and turns of a piece like “Pedra De Raio” or “Levante,” where the melody shifts and swerves, one section flowing naturally into the next, adding layer upon layer to create something astonishing and utterly satisfying in its power. In large part, this change has come from the band’s relentless touring over the last few years.

“We’ve been exposed to so much,” Ferreira notes. “So many of the people we’ve played with have had an impact on us, like Pat Thomas, the Ghanaian highlife singer or [Nigerian saxophonist] Orlando Julius. And then we toured and recorded with João Donato. He’s over 80 now and still playing piano, one of the icons of Brazilian music. We’ve learned from them all, they’ve made us think about what we can do with our music. Those new ideas have found their way into this album.”

One result is the new, shining lyricism of the melodies, with the horns pushed even more to the fore, parading around with a singer’s swagger.

“We want people to relate to our melodies, to take the line a vocalist might use and play it on the horns. Sometimes in instrumental music, the players are so good it ends up putting the listener at a distance. We make music as a celebration, a way to connect and bring some joy. We want to draw them in. We try to write something very memorable.”

And Quebra Cabeça is a very memorable set of hummable earworms, from the title cut that opens up the album and continuing, sinewy and cool and relentless, all the way to the final note of “Portal.”

Throughout though, the heartbeat of everything remains utterly African, refracted through the prism of the band’s home in the Bixiga neighbourhood of São Paulo. “What we put on top of that is essentially urban São Paulo music. This city has been a huge influence on us. It has that sense of urgency, always running to catch up. It’s expensive, and services are awful, with so much pollution and violence. But it’s our home and it was developed through immigration. Bixiga is where people come first of all. It’s always had that influx; it’s the story of São Paulo in miniature.”

And Bixiga 70 has always been a reflection of the streets where they live. The band played their first show in October 2010 and released their debut album a year later. Eight years on they are still the same 10-piece collective, honing and shaping the music, evolving towards the changes found on Quebra Cabeça.

“We knew we wanted this record to be different. Our other three albums were all recorded live in the studio, because we’re more of a live band, the stage is our habitat. This time we decided to use the studio to experiment with arrangements and voicings. We began composing in early 2017. It took us a year to write everything, then we began recording in May this year. And for the first time we used a co-producer, Gustavo Lenza (Céu, Marisa Monte). He was a friend even before we formed the band, but it recent years he’s become a very big producer in Brazil.”

The result still captures the incendiary excitement of Bixiga 70 live, but the freedom of the studio brings more shade and subtlety than before. The rhythms are more sinuous than ever, snaking through the funk in way that looks more to Ghana or Nigeria than Memphis or Muscle Shoals, while the horns strut in powerful harmonies. It’s music that forges connections and retraces history while sounding absolutely contemporary. But for Bixiga 70, African will always be the root, and Brazil its beautiful, vibrant flower.

Bixiga 70:
Chris Scabello: guitar
Cuca Ferreira: baritone sax, flute
Daniel Gralha: trumpet
Décio 7: drums
Daniel Nogueira: tenor sax
Douglas Antunes: trombone
Marcelo Dworecki: bass
Maurício Fleury: keyboards, guitar
Rômulo Nardes: percussion

Bixiga 70 • The Copan Connection: Bixiga 70 Meets Victor Rice

Release Date: 06/04/2016
Format: LP+DL/DL
Cat-No: GBLP 032

SIDE A:
01. 100% Dub
02. Mil Vidas Dub
03. Machado Dub

SIDE B:
01. Jimmy Dub
02. Lembe Dub
03. Niran Dub
04. Ventania Dub

This is Bixiga 70, an instrumental dance band from Sao Paulo, Brazil known for their high energy and mix of styles. They combine American funk, Colombian cumbia and Nigerian afrobeat, and it’s made them really popular around the world. —Banning Eyre, NPR

Hot on the heels of their highly acclaimed Glitterbeat album “III” — an album The Guardian called “imaginative, progressive afrobeat”– Bixiga 70 returns with a limited-edition, vinyl-only release for Record Store Day: The Copan Connection: Bixiga 70 meets Victor Rice.

Whereas “III” was a highly contemporary take on the Afro-Brazilian, “Black Atlantic” musical conversation, The Copan Connection looks northward from Brazil to Jamaica, and embraces the repeat-echo history of dub music as its inspiration. On the album, Bixiga 70 producer Victor Rice applies shimmering, kaleidoscopic dub reinventions to tracks from “III” and the results are jaw dropping and ear opening. Rarely has the full arsenal of dub techniques and philosophies been applied to music that isn’t reggae, and while dub and Afro-Brazilian stylings do not immediately connect in one’s mind, once the album is heard pumping out of the speakers it is clear that this is both a natural fit and a ground-breaking idea.

The music swells, ebbs, flows, deconstructs and then blissfully reconnects in completely unexpected ways. The result is not a mere companion piece to “III” but a completely new, stand-alone sonic experience.

The dubmaster on The Copan Connection, Victor Rice is a transplanted New Yorker, now residing in Sao Paulo. His contribution to the Brazilian music scene in the last years has been massive. Besides Bixiga 70, Rice’s production skills have been sought out by a who’s-who of established and emerging Brazilian artists including the legendary Elza Soares and the recent Latin Grammy winner Tulipa Ruiz. But Victor’s discography is also chock-full of reggae, ska and dub productions including a contribution to the dubbed out, Pink Floyd remake album “Dubber Side of the Moon.” He is no dub dilettante that’s for sure. He works his magic in an old skool, King Tubby style, on a mixing board, with just a couple of effects and an abundance of inspiration and ideas.

Rice’s studio sits high above the megalopolis of Sao Paulo, in the famed Copan building, a classic of modernist architecture. His mixing board is pushed against a window and looking out one gets the sense they are floating above the beautiful madness of the city. It is a surreal setting perfect for the creation of shape-shifting, surreal sounds.

The Copan Connection: Bixiga 70 meets Victor Rice is a summit of equals. It is the music of a sensational band meeting the soundworld of a sensational producer. It pushes Afro- Brazilian music into a mind-blowing, alternate dimension.

×

Bixiga 70 • III

Release Date: 11/09/2015
Format: CD/LP+DL/DL
Cat-No: GBCD/LP 026

01. Ventania
02. Niran
03. 100% 13
04. Di Dancer
05. Machado
06. Martelo
07. Lembe
08. Mil Vidas
09. 7 Pancadas

“The energy and intelligence of the playing are irresistible.” – The Guardian

“A 10-piece orchestra heavy in percussion and horns playing extended jams that always threaten to tear the roof off.” – Sounds and Colours

Five years after their inception, the Sao Paulo based Brazilian group Bixiga 70 continues to travel musically forward, only to find themselves more and more at home.

The band’s aptly named third album, “III”, is a luminescent and energized admixture of Atlantic cultures. The album’s hyper-contemporary dialogue journeys between the sounds and rhythms of Brazil and Africa, and between the band’s ten musicians and their distinctive musical identities. Their collective influences include jazz, funk and Afro-Brazilian music, and stretch further afield into dub and reggae, electronics, cumbia and carimbó, ethio-jazz and samba.

Bixiga 70’s “III” is a breathtaking rhythmic storm where inspired solos, harmony and dynamics, beats and improvisation all mesh together in vital and unpredictable ways. Spanning between a joyous danceability, a sharp sense of humor and committed political reflections, the life-blood of this ten-piece unit is instrumental music, but it is an instrumental music that speaks profoundly.

Self-produced by the band in their own studio in Sao Paulo (and mixed by Victor Rice) all the compositions on “III” are written and arranged by the entire Bixiga 70 collective. There are no liner note details: the process of creation is decentralized and acknowledges the importance of each musician in the room. The album was recorded live in the studio to further assure the depth of this collaborative spirit and to accentuate the intensity of the band’s sonic experiments.

Following the global attention garnered by their previous album 2014’s “Ocupai” (Mais um Discos), Bixiga 70 headed out into the world. Their musical travels to Europe, the USA and Morocco, as well as the many varied regions of Brazil (including the streets of Bixiga) have all left a deep mark on the sounds and visions of the new album

Throughout the nine tracks found on “III”, styles merge and original syncretisms come to life. The album shape shifts contemporary afro-funk, Moroccan cumbia, spiritual jazz, adapted afro-brazilian chants, Cuban blaxploitation, sounds from São Paulo’s Black Rio movement, Arabian dub, Malinké drumming, Angolan guitar music and traditional bamboo fife bands.

There is no doubt that Bixiga 70 is one of the guiding voices of Brazil’s contemporary instrumental music scene and their new album “III” clearly demonstrates why.

They are a band that deftly searches for untracked and thrilling musical spaces to occupy.

And most importantly, they are a band that succeeds in finding them.

The band:

Décio 7 – drums
Rômulo Nardes – percussion
Gustávo Cék – percussion
Marcelo Dworecki – bass
Mauricio Fleury – keyboards & guitar
Cris Scabello – guitar
Cuca Ferreira – baritone sax
Douglas Antunes – trombone
Daniel Nogueira – tenor sax
Daniel Gralha – trumpet

Bixiga 70

“Imaginative, progressive… Sao Paulo’s Bixiga 70 are using Afrobeat as the stock in a stew that’s spiked with ingredients from Brazil, the Caribbean and other parts of Africa.”
— The Guardian

Glitterbeat Records is very excited to reissue the out-of-print debut album from Brazil’s 10-piece instrumental powerhouse: Bixiga 70. Originally released a decade ago, the self-titled record is the bold mission statement for the acclaimed albums that followed. Urgent and uncompromising. An inspired soundworld where Afro-Brazilian traditions and retro and contemporary sonics seamlessly meld together.

Bixiga 70, the ten-piece horn driven instrumental group from São Paulo, have in the last ten years firmly established themselves as one of the most acclaimed and influential exponents of contemporary Afro-Brazilian sounds. Over the course of four thrilling albums (see discography below) and heavy touring throughout the world, the band’s reputation is now undeniable. The extent of their reputation can be measured not only in the loyal audience that they have gathered, but also by the fact that the band members are much in demand collaborators and have appeared on a plethora of records, including recent ones by Brazilian legends Elza Soares and João Donato.

To celebrate the band’s 10th anniversary Bixiga 70 and Glitterbeat Records have come together to reissue their self-titled debut album, first released in 2011 on their own São Paulo based Traquitana label. The reissue will be LP only and is specially mastered for vinyl and lovingly packaged in a gatefold sleeve.

Guitarist Cristiano Scabello tells us that the recording of the debut album, “was the beginning of a long and happy story in which we spent a lot of sweat, hours of rehearsal, dedication, research and study.” Keyboardist and guitarist Maurício Fleury feels that the album’s raw but optimistic vibe is possibly even more pertinent today: “we could feel that we were doing something that felt important then and we tried to come up with a Brazilian answer to what we were listening to from abroad. I think that listening to this album nowadays can bring some of that hope that we shared at that time, shedding some light on the dark times we are going through.”

Named after the cultural melting-pot of their home base in São Paulo’s Bixiga neighbourhood, with an added tip of their hats to the inspiration of Fela Kuti’s Afrika 70 band, Bixiga 70 came together from diverse musical backgrounds and from their inception operated as a collective, sharing the songwriting duties and the running of their recording studio. In fact, the band’s embryonic musical endeavors began at their Traquitana studio on 70 Treze de Maio street (one of Bixiga’s busiest nightlife areas). It was from those energized recording sessions that the first album was born, sessions where the band passionately explored elements of Brazilian, Latin and African music to create inspired, dance-floor shaking instrumental themes and anthems.

Considered by many to be the birthplace of samba music in São Paulo, the vibrant Bixiga neighbourhood fed their collective imaginations as the band created their own individual and sure-handed take on the 70’s cosmopolitan music of Ghana and Nigeria, the rhythms of African-Brazilian religious terreiros, hip hop, space jazz, malinkê, cumbia, carimbó and blaxploitation soundtracks. It was a musical vision that blurred the line between past and future and embraced a complex menu of grooves and global sounds.

From the very first album the band created a compelling mélange that almost immediately propelled Bixiga 70 to the forefront of Brazil’s contemporary instrumental music scene – a place where they have remained ever since. The band’s self-titled debut is anything but the typical first album. It is in its own way, every bit as accomplished as the records that followed.

It is the watershed. A deep and unforgettable first cut.

Home page: http://www.bixiga70.com.br/english/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bixiga70