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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Songlines Sampler CD: Bahia

This is a fourteen track free CD sampler presented with Songlines Magazine and it's an absolute godsend for those of us not familiar with the music of the Brazilian region of Bahia. This is one of the largest regions in Brazil and is a cultural melting pot of European, Amerindian and African influences, producing a diverse range of rhythms and musical styles. It has a tropical climate, gold mines and a wealth of artistic and musical treasures.

The CD successfully captures this diversity in the range and vibrancy of the tracks included. Most of the songs sound like they're based on the standard pre-set rhythms from your old Bontempi keyboard, possibly Samba or Bossa Nova, but from that starting point each song is unique and it's own entity. There's quirky female vocals, horns, clapping, smooth male vocals, twangy strings, ethnic drumming and possibly some Guitarra Baiana and maybe a little Surdo Virado (look them up, Brazilian instrument fans).

My favourites are the horn fuelled mayhem of Radiola, the laid back smoothness of Mateus Aleluia and the quirky fun of Marcella Bellas. Basically every track is a winner though.

Yet another endorsement for Songlines. Check them out at

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