Baile funk, the current sound of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, got a foothold in America this year via “Bucky Done Gun,” a track by British MC M.I.A. But in Rio the music–a variation on electro and Miami bass, with Portuguese lyrics and samples of native samba and forro rhythms–pounds from huge sound systems at up to 500 bailes, or parties, every weekend, and the scene’s eminence grise is DJ MARLBORO (aka Fernando Luis Mattos da Matta), who released a definitive compilation of the music, Funk Brasil, in 1989. Baile funk is an extension of the party music of the Black Rio social movement of the 70s, where DJs mixed American soul records with songs by Brazilian artists like Tim Maia and Banda Black Rio. Then as now, authorities looked down on and hassled the partygoers; much like gangsta rap, baile funk lyrics chronicle casual sex, violence, and drug dealing in the slums, where gangsters overpower the police. The music isn’t produced to sell records as much as it is to provide new grooves for the parties (Marlboro shares photos of the fun at fotolog.net/djmarlboro), and though a number of compilations and mix tapes have come out in Europe over the past year–including Rio Funk (Colors), Funk Carioca (Mr. Bongo), and Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats (Essay)–the music’s obviously meant to be heard in a club. This is the first opportunity Chicagoans have had to experience it with one of its main practitioners.
Philadelphia DJ DIPLO produced “Bucky Done Gun,” dicing up Deise Tigrona’s “Injecao,” a propulsive blast of filth with lines like “Prick me, doctor!…Oh my God, doctor, my butt can’t bear it any longer!” But aside from acting as America’s baile funk ambassador on a pair of indispensable mix CDs, he’s also celebrated for his work as half of mash-up masters Hollertronix and for his remixes, including a killer tweak of Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” On his forthcoming mix CD, Fabric Live 24 (Fabric), he combines old-school electro and synth pop, commercial hip-hop, and even alt-rockers like the Cure and Cat Power in a breathless onslaught, subversively planting white-label advances between crowd-pleasers like Yaz’s “Don’t Go” and OutKast’s “B.O.B.” See also Saturday. Fri 10/28, 9 PM, Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago, 312-226-7600, $10 before 11 PM, $15 after.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bertrand Linet.