Shape-shifting through contemporary afro-funk, Moroccan cumbia, Ethio-spiritual jazz, Cuban blaxploitation, São Paulo’s Black Rio movement, Arabian dub, Malinké drumming, Angolan guitar music and traditional bamboo fife bands (…and breath!), it’s hard not to be blown away by the sheer tenacity of São Paulo-based ten-piece Bixiga 70.
One of the guiding lights of Brazil’s contemporary music scene, Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band seems to be a direct influence in both in name and spirit, and with their third album, III, they build on hot-blooded African and South American rhythms and fusion sounds.
‘Ventania’ is our standout from the LP, with it’s hypnotising afro-rhythms, highlife-inspired guitar riffs and blooming horns entrancing you from the get-go. There are so many layers to the track that the listener is ushered, willingly or not, onto a spiritual plain where enjoying the music as one whole is the only option. Soft Rhodes keys parlay with guitar twangs, baritone saxophone twirls majestically around the drums, rhythm becomes the spine of every instrument. A dangerously exciting melting pot of African and South American sounds.