The album's secret weapon is percussionist João Hermeto, who's worked with pop great Gal Costa and choro star Yamandú Costa, among many others; he played just about every acoustic beat on the record (almost exclusively hand percussion such as pandeiros, congas, shakers, et cetera), with the exception of Mestre Camaleão's great berimbau on "É da Nossa Cor." Maga Bo's production enhances their raw polyrhythms with lean, fiercely pulsing electronics, slice-and-dice arrangements, and a slew of guest singers. Most of the vocalists are from Brazil, such as Marcelo Yuka (cofounder and former member of O Rappa, who play Lollapalooza today) and the great rapper BNegão, but he also enlists some stateside help, including Guyanese New Yorker Jahdan Blakkamoore and Chicago's own Panamanian MC Zulu, who hosts Saturday's show and will surely collaborate with Maga Bo. Singer-songwriter Lucas Santtana contributes stabbing cavaquinho to "Immigrant Visa Part II," the track featuring Zulu, and a couple of other songs include guitar from Robertinho Barreto, but by and large the album is about beats and voices—which makes it perfect record for remixes. On May 29, a week after the release of the original album, Maga Bo released an
digital-only 18-track remix collection on vinyl and digitally, for which he called upon his wide network of international DJs and producers who mix and match regional styles in an electronic mode: members of Buenos Aires electro-cumbia crew ZZK, Angolan kuduro merchants Batida, electro-reggae jammers Uproot Andy, Brazil's DJ Dolores (under his new Stank guise), and more. Below you can check out the Subatomic Sound System remix of "Maga Traz a Lenha."
photo: Fred Pacífico Alves
Gilad Hekselman, Hearts Wide Open (Le Chant du Monde)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Ugetsu (Riverside/OJC)
The Ambush Party, The Ambush Party (De Platenbakkerij)
Mallu, Pitanga (Sony Music, Brazil)
The Thing With Jim O'Rourke, Shinjuku Growl (Smalltown Superjazz)