Friday, March 9, 2012

A Label with A Cause: Mais um Discos

The London-based label Maise um Discos is a imprint with a mission: to bring some of the mind-bogglingly diverse sounds of modern Brazilian music to the ears of the (Western) world. Eschewing most (if not all) of the stylistic trademarks that Western listeners have traditionally associated with Brazil, Maise um Disocs is striving to demonstrate the enormous breadth of Brazil’s contemporary musical culture, a world in which young musicians are as likely to be influenced by Radiohead as Os Mutantes. Building on the label’s inaugural release (an award winning two-CD compilation of the “New Brazilian Music” called Oi!), 2012 is being devoted to the download only release of 12 six-song EP’s, each representing a different musical sub-culture.

The most recent is Electro Amazonia, a collection of "Technobrega," or “Cheesy Techno” in Portuguese. Until recently, this style of music seems to have received Rodney Dangerfield levels of respect. But, entirely undeterred by any lack of cache, its fans kept on listening, and it has begun to attract increasingly positive attention. Based on this compilation, it seems possible to understand both sides; this music is an entirely shameless rush of pop, featuring big-voiced stars like Gaby Amarantos growling over synth-horns, synth-drums, synth accordions, and (of course) plain old synths. The overall affect is strange; it simultaneously sounds like something you just heard on the radio, and entirely unlike anything you’ve ever heard. And it’s really catchy. And, based on all of these factors, is therefore clearly awesome, considered as a thing that exists.

Electro-Amazonia is only the second of the 12 releases (The first was Nova Tropicalia, a collection of modern artists exploring the psychedelic patrimony of Tropicalia), so you should definitely keep a heads up for whatever comes next. Based on the evidence accumulated so far, it’s a pretty sure bet that it’ll be rad. 

For more information, check out the website. It's super on-point with a map of where all the artists on label are from on the compilation and a ton of links.

Below you can stream a couple of tracks from the Oi! downloadable series.

-Sam Backer
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