Saturday, October 23, 2010

The PercPan Festival! Oi! Casa Grande, Rio de Janeiro

     The only guy we knew in Brasil before we arrived, just from Facebook, is a DJ, music collector & bang up fellow who told us about the PercPan festival ( one evening when we were watching an afrobeat concert at Circo Voador (in Lapa). When he mentioned all the groups that were going to be there, the mind couldn't handle it, grew unstable and exploded. Several hours later, consciousness came back and we were naked in the jungle. It then sunk in that we'd be able to see Orchestra Poly-Rythmo, Novalima, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Kocani Ochestar, Buraka Som Sistema and a bunch of other groups we'd never heard of all at the same festival.

     Perhaps this means nothing to you, that's okay. But as an audio nerd who ear-snorts tunes like the most seasoned addict dishes cocaine to their nostrils, this was a line up that produced insane levels of excitement and anticipation. There's no time to give you the backstory on all of the groups, but we grabbed a little footage of Orchestra Poly Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin) & Kočani Orkestar (Macedonia) with our wee camera. That footage was uploaded to Youtube and can now be viewed below.

     We were most excited about Orchestra Poly-Rythmo, a group that was massive in Benin in the 70s but got rediscovered by European Djs & collectors in the last few years and now enjoys new found popularity among african, funk & jazz enthusiasts all over the globe. It would be an honour to discuss all of the groups in great detail, but to keep it short, we'll just mention Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz. This is an orchestral samba group from Brasil that was unfamiliar to us prior to the festival, but ended up being one of the best shows. It had about 20 members led by saxophonist Letieres Leite and the arrangements they played so tightly totally educated me on what this country can sound like. The only sad part is that we haven't found a record, CD or digital file of their music. Hopefully this is rectified soon.