…from the days before São Paulo’s Cidade Limpa laws.
More Hélvio Romero photos here.
When it comes to the environment, it’s not often that you hear of anything really positive that’s happening. In fact, good news is so rare that it’s almost impossible not to be sceptical when some does come along.
Even so, it’s hard not to be impressed – astounded even – by the news that Brazil has seen a 45% reduction in Amazon deforestation in less than a year. According to The Guardian’s Tom Phillips, between August 2008 and July 2009 deforestation has been reduced “from nearly 13,000 square kilometres to around 7,000 square kilometres (5,000 square miles to 2,700 square miles).”
Less headline-grabbing, but equally impressive, is the news of a 65% reduction over the same period in the Mato Grosso jungle. And yet, I can’t help feeling that these figures will soon prove to be as unbelievable as they seem.
From Baile Funk back to Black Rio and beyond, Brazilian music has always proven adept at putting a unique spin on whatever musical trends and influences happen to be floating around. And as far as I can see, this trend shows no sign of letting up any time soon.
Want the proof? The Future Sound of Brasil is a new compilation from the always-excellent bbe records, showcasing some of the country’s most cutting-edge DJs and producers as they put their own twist on a variety of electronic music styles.
The album spans house, electro, drum’n'bass and techno, with contributors ranging from big names DJs like Marky to young upstarts Copacabana Club and The Twelves – who cement their reputation as ‘the Brazilian Daft Punk’ with a polished, robotic remix of Terry Poison’s Comme çi, comme ça.
The standout track, though, comes from São Paulo’s Mixhell, who blend rock guitars, electro bleeps and even Funk Carioca’s tamborzão into a sound they call ‘rock-tronica’. Boom Da is as noisy, dumb and upfront as you could possibly want music to be.
MixHell – Boom Da
Buy it agora. Buy it aqui.
There’s a good, long interview with President Lula that was published yesterday on FT.com. You can read the full transcript here, and here’s a bit of classic Lula charm to give you a taster:
FT: The Brics [Brazil, Russia, India & China] are four countries with their own, divergent interests. Do you think it’s a meaningful group?
PL: … It’s like when you meet a new girlfriend. If you only look at her defects and flaws, you’ll get nowhere. But if you look on the bright side you might end up getting married. And in politics, we have to know divergences exist among the Brics, and put them aside. Put the divergence aside and start working on the points that we can build together, and that’s how we will build a strong alliance among the Brics.
The government of the northern state of Piauí, have roped in ultra-modernist architect Ruy Ohtake to liven up the skyline of its capital Teresina (“the Mesopotamia of the Northeast” apparently) with this pair of fun/ludicrous public buildings.
Juca Chaves – Take Me Back To Piauí (Dubben Mix)
[thanks to Eloisa at The Good Blood for the tip-off]
Nossa! Once again, the Jungle Drums crew are pulling out all the stops for their birthday party on Friday night. Far Out Records’ fabulous Zeep and the one-and-only DJ Limão are joining the lovely Céu down at the University of London Union to celebrate 7 (SEVEN!) years of Brazilian life in London. Jungle has recently been called “literally the best magazine EVER” * and, going on past form, you can expect the usual combination of great music, beautiful people and caipirinhas flowing like wine.
Have a lil’ bit of old-skool Céu to whet your appetite…
Céu – Roda
…and then get your tickets Right Hurrrr.
( * by me, just now)
This might be a little bit on the geeky side – in fact, it’s probably massively on the geeky side – but I’ve just come across this Google Policy Talk by Brazilian law professor/Open Source evangelist Ronaldo Lemos. It’s interesting for two reasons. Firstly because his explanation of cultural production and digital inclusion in Brazil is educational but perfectly easy to follow; but also because I’ve never seen a fifty-three minute long YouTube video before.