This would almost seem too good to be true – if it weren’t for the involvement of the always ridiculous FIFA, a group of sharp-suited scumbags who sometimes pretend to be world football’s governing body.
Even for an organization that’s widely acknowledged to be as bent as the proverbial nine-bob note, yesterday’s dispatches from the frontline of mega-event organisation and international relations are pretty extraordinary. The BBC reports that FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke took time out of his busy schedule to complain about an excess of democracy in Brazil that’s inconveniently hindering his organisation’s plans to get richget even richer organise a World Cup in 2014. No, seriously:
“less democracy is sometimes better for organising a World Cup,” he said [...] ”When you have a very strong head of state who can decide, as maybe [President Vladimir] Putin can do in 2018… that is easier for us organisers than a country such as Germany, where you have to negotiate at different levels.”
Obviously at this point Valcke really ought to be taken out the back and sent to the Great Stadium In The Sky, but I think from a certain angle there’s a way to read this as great news. After all, if Brazil’s managed to get FIFA riled up then it must be doing something right.
Fabric have announced that the legendary Azymuth will play their classic 1979 album Light As A Feather in its entirety in the club’s main room on the 20th of June. Which is huge news, obviously.
If you’re not familiar with it, the album, which was recently re-issued by Far Out, is one of their best and home to the original version of the jaw-droppingly brilliant Jazz Carnival.
Beyond the obvious, I can see two reasons that this is a gig you won’t want to miss. First, it’ll sadly be the first time the band plays live in London since the great José Roberto Bertrami passed away last year. Obviously it won’t be the same, but luckily you could fill about five bands just from the families of the original members, so I’d imagine they’ll have a pretty exceptional replacement keyboardist. And on a happier note, I’m also excited to hear some of this stuff played live in venue that’s built primarily for dancing – no disrepect to the Jazz Cafe (where they’ve played a few times before) but the atmosphere ought to be a little bit more upbeat on Fabric’s famous vibrating floor. And I’ve always felt like Azymuth’s music, or a lot of it at least, was essentially house played on analogue instruments – they could definitely teach a few of todays “EDM” characters a thing or two about how to make a track drop.
As a side note, it never ceases to amaze me how consistently interesting Fabric has managed to stay, despite being the best part of 15 years old (and becoming a bit of a tourist destination for wide-eyed out-of-town club kids). You can reliably find three or four exceptional DJ line-ups every month, and their latest mix CDs are still the most reliable indicator of what everyone else is going to be listening to in three or four months’ time.
So I had been meaning to post up about Brazil, the lead single off Gold Panda’s forthcoming second album Half of Where You Live. Title aside, I’d also read over at FACT that the track was ”influenced by a trip to Sao Paulo, where Gold Panda was amazed by the disparity between the country’s heritage and its new found wealth.” (That sounds a bit trite, obviously, but I’ve read a few interviews with the guy in the past that make me think it’s probably just a bit of artless blogger’s paraphrasing. A thoughtful dude).
Anyway, I was meaning to post something up about how interesting the idea of Brazil-inspired music from outside the country is, especially instrumental stuff, and especially when it goes beyond someone just dropping in a bit of berimbau. Maybe throw out a link to Flying Lotus’ São Paulo for good measure. But I see (via Kariann) that Chico beat me to it this afternoon, and went the extra mile as well. As he says, there’s not better advert for the country than this.
Late last year, Sounds & Colours launched Colombia, the first in a series of publications themed around the countries the blog covers. It’s a beautiful book that comes with a 16-track compilation of new and classic music from the likes of Meridian Brothers and Son Palenque, which The Quietus called an “expertly collated volume” and a “uniquely immersive experience”.
I’m delighted to see that the second book in the series is going to focus on Brazil.
Obviously for a self-run, self-hosted blog, the costs of putting together a publication like this and making sure it’s worth the paper it’s printed on are not inconsiderable. So they’re running a campaign over at indiegogo asking for contributions to help make it happen. You can pitch in anything from five to a hundred dollars, and what you get for your money varies accordingly: from a word of thanks in the book right up to limited edition prints and a subscription to the series. Here’s what you’ll be helping to make:
“From Rio to Recife, from São Paulo to São Luiz, from the Southern plains of Porto Alegre to the pumping soundsystems of Amazonian Belém, we’ll be covering every inch of Brazil, bringing its music, film, art and literature to life. With a team of expert writers, photographers and artists, S&C Brazil will be a passionate, in-depth, authoritative and thoroughly enjoyable journey into the Brazilian way of life.”