:: These reviews were originally published
:: in Daniella Thompson on Brazil.


Where everything old is considered gold

Or, the joys of piracy.

Daniella Thompson

3 September 2006

Nostalgia is the disease of all ages. The age of broadband makes it possible for almost everyone to indulge in musical nostalgia at no cost.

I will not be revealing a state secret when I say that Brazilians are the most notorious music pirates in the world. By means of orkut, weblogs, and file-sharing sites such as Rapidshare, MegaUpload, TurboUpload, uploaded.to, and zShare, the online dissemination of music—both new and old—has become routine.

In orkut, communities like Troca de Samba, Samba de Raíz, Nobreza do Samba, and MPB MP3 offer whole albums for download. Many of those are in print, so the less said about them, the better. Suffice it to say that the collective mp3 reservoir has long since overflowed its banks, and the music is spilling over to new channels.

Several blogs specialize in offering whole albums for download, primarily through Rapidshare. The albums are usually LPs that have gone out of print, although that’s not always the case. The offerings are mixed, from sublime classics and little-known jewels to curiosity items and discs with special-interest appeal. All are invariably described in the most glowing terms.

What you can expect from all file-sharing blogs is a cover image and a description of the album or a bio of the artist. Many of the texts are lifted from outside sources, such as the Dicionário Cravo Albin da MPB or the All Music Guide.

I’m not an assiduous downloader, and the majority of the offerings leaves me indifferent. Nevertheless, even Picky Me managed to find some tasty tidbits, including several rare pearls.

TrixVinylRips recently offered a custom collection of Joyce rarities compiled from various sources.

Acesso Raro offers an attractive selection, from Jacob do Bandolim’s Valsas Brasileiras de Antigamente and the Marcus Pereira label’s Todo o Choro through various Elenco releases. I have not downloaded anything here but recommend that you stay away from albums available through uploaded.to unless you have the patience to spend over an hour downloading.

Loronix is one of the most active of the music-sharing blogs, posting several new albums daily. The tireless blogger, who goes by the pseudonym zecalouro, apparently has global ambitions, since he posts in English, which is not his native tongue (with predictable results), and resorts to annoying schticks such as always referring to himself in the third person and calling his blog visitors Loronixers. Don’t look for quality notes here—the downloading alone will keep you busy. And if you can handle even more, check out Zeca’s links to other such blogs. Among the half-dozen items I picked up here are Os Cariocas a Ismael Neto, Turma da Gafieira’s Samba em Hi-Fi, and Pedrinho Rodrigues’ Adeus Guanabara.

Mercado de Pulgas is not strictly a Brazilian music blog, but if you look carefully, you’ll find Beth Carvalho’s De Pé no Chão and Jards Macalé’s eponymous 1972 album.

Quimsy’s Mumbo Jumbo is a British blog featuring jazz as well as some Brazilian music. Brazilian Nuggets is a Quimsy lookalike in Portuguese, heavy on pop entries.

Paola Martini, who runs La Voix de son Maître, doesn’t bother to post notes, which is rather wise of her. Instead, she posts interesting albums, some of which I’ve been hunting for years to complete the Ary Barroso Discography’s Tribute Albums section. Among the rarities here are Claudia Moreno’s tribute to Ary, Portinho & his Orchestra’s Samba—O Melhor do Brasil (with six Ary Barroso tunes), and Quatro Ases e um Coringa’s É Com Esse Que Eu Vou. The download package is exemplary, including not only the mp3 tracks but a track list with composers’ names and large scans of the front and back covers. A class act.

Equally classy is Bossa Brasileira, run by Thiago Mello. The blog is bilingual, the English leaves much to be desired, but the texts are original to this site, and the musical selections are tasteful. I picked up only one item here, but it is delectable: violinist Fafá Lemos’ American album Dinner in Rio.


Copyright © 2006–2008 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.