(Ramiro Musotto at work)
Right, so having actually looked in the inlay of the Rough Guide album, there's actually a pile of information about each act on the cd. Curses. Here was me showing up Wikipedia's weaknesses and all along the 'fo was there. Never mind: it means I get to do a proper summary post at the end of the series. Lets get moving, today to Ramiro Musotto.
Background time: Ramiro Musotto is not Brazilian. He's from Patagonia, which according to my vast banks of knowledge is the most arid desert in the world, or something. Whichever, it covers vast tracts of Chile and Argentina, not really Brazil. However, on moving there at age 18, he became, as it were, the percussionist of choice to many of Brazil's top artistes; I'm not kidding, we're talking Marisa Monte, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, and if you're providing percussion for some of the giants of Tropicalia, you ain't doing bad for yourself. In solo terms, today's track comes from Musotto's 2003 debut (making it bang up to date when the Rough Guide was released), Sudaka, on the not-for-profit Fast Horse Recordings. The record can be listened to in full (not downloaded though...) from Fast Horse's website, and is a slightly dizzying amalgamation of traditional South American and African music - plenty of rhythmic percussion of their own, and some great chanting to boot (there's a sentence I wouldn't find myself saying often) - with samples and found sound (e.g. Botellero's Bahian street vendor's crys), and more up-to-date electronic backing.
I say up-to-date, Musotto uses predominantly Roland 808's, that synth drum so favoured of the Second Summer of Love's acid house heroes. You wouldn't neccessarily know it though, as because of the traditional instrumentation melded with the beats it doesn't sound retro in the slightest.
I guess when you've got such a rich and diverse heritage as Brazil (not just the traditional Amerindian sounds, but the array of Iberian and Western influences), you'd be hard pushed to exhaust it, and Ramiro Musotto manages to trace a similar path to some of the other artists on the Rough Guide yet remain very much an independent, free-thinking spirit. Sudaka is a pretty fascinating record, and if you're interested in your world music (as I'm slowly becoming) but like it with a more contemporary, less ethno-hippie twist, maybe Musotto's a good place to start. Caminho, the opening track on Sudaka and the Rough Guide selection, is as indicative a song as can be plucked from the album, and features a gentleman by the name of Buziga wailing over berimbau and electronic beats. Good stuff, fella.
Ramiro Musotto - Caminho
Artist: Ramiro Musotto
Recommended: Rough Guide To Brazilian Electronica, Sudaka
Label: Rough Guide, Fast Horse
Buy: Amazon, Fast Horse
More: Hype Machine; elbo.ws; PopMatters review
Tags: Brazil; electronica; Ramiro Musotto; world music; percussion