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MM0032 – Pra Iemanjá (2016)

With an instrumental theme of devotion to the Afro-Brazilian deity Iemanjá and rhythms inspired by makossa, DJ Tudo releases an EP that for the first time features original material and arrangements created with his band, who for their five previous releases had brought together musicians and sessions recorded in many different countries. The sonic language – brought into fruition by these musicians – is a sophisticated blend, fusing together different strands of rhythmical research and cultural richness from the backwaters of Brazil to some of the least frequented places on the planet.

The lead track, “Pra Iemanjá” is an Afro-Brazilian – Jazz composition by DJ Tudo, which was recorded live in the studio with his band “sua gente de todo lugar” name literally translates as the people of everywhere – alongside the percussionist Mônica Santos. The arrangements of drums and percussion themes came from DJ Tudo’s enduring creative partnership with São Paulo native SImone Sou, who currently lives in the Netherlands.

Over on the flip side “Moda do Racismo/Sinhá Sereia” is a fusion of two tracks sung by 86 year old Dona Anecide Toledo, a native of the city of Capivari in São Paulo state. She is the most important composer and singer of Batuque Paulista – a percussive driven, Afro-Brazilian style of traditional music from the countryside of São Paulo State. DJ Tudo first met her in 2000 at the festival of São Benedito in Tietê – a small city in São Paulo state – and his respect and admiration for her grew from there. The musical world of Alfredo Bello – better known as DJ Tudo – bass player, producer and researcher has been a voyage of nearly 30 years, from quitting his job as an office junior and buying his first instrument, to graduating from the University of Brasília with a degree in acoustic bass. His work as a musical researcher alongside his partnership with his band “sua gente de todo lugar” has resulted in winning the prestigious title of Best Electronic Album by the 26th annual Brazilian Music Awards for “Gaia Música Vol.1”.

As researcher and creator of the label Mundo Melhor – “Better World” – now in it’s 12th year, Alfredo Bello has immersed himself deep into Brazilian musical culture, investigating unique styles of folk music that are little known both within Brazil and beyond its borders. He has released more than 30 albums of traditional music including Congados, Maracatus, Carimbós, Afoxés, Bandas de Pife, Baianá, Folias de Santos amongst others.

His precious archive of original recordings of traditional music amounts to around two thousand hours and this unique work is of the utmost importance in its contribution to the preservation of national culture in contemporary Brazil.

Original text by Lauro Lisboa Garcia, music journalist – July 2016.

English translation by Alan Bryden, with thanks to Maurício Ayer and Chris Mack.