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V/A - Daniel Haaksman presents Funk Mundial

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Artist: V/A

Album: Daniel Haaksman presents Funk Mundial

Label: Man

Review date: Jun. 25, 2009

In the favelas, Rio’s illegal squatter communities, disenfranchised youth gyrate to “Rio funk,” a frenetic, hedonistic blend of hardcore dance music, hip hop and samba with lyrics celebrating sex, violence and outlaw society. (The parties themselves are called “baile funks.”) And far from Rio’s deadly slums, since before M.I.A. charmed her first critic, Rio funk appreciation has brought together dance-party hipsters and beat-science intellectuals. Since compiling the enjoyably broad Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats CD for Essay, Berliner Daniel Haaksman has been the genre’s most effective ambassador.

Much of that comp, like the campy shenanigans of Bonde do Role, could leave the impression that Rio funk is essentially The 2 Live Crew is What We Are in Portuguese, tricked out and minus the Rudy Ray Moore samples. Not so Haaksman’s Funk Mundial 12” series, a louder, heavier, more intense affair. This disc collects 16 highlights. As elaborately textured as any Euro-disco, these jams are distinguished by prepubescent-sounding rappers (a fairly even mix of dudes and ladies) and the head-spinning near-chaos of a video arcade. Not just another well-intentioned sampler, this is the state of the Rio funk art.

The collection starts off fast with Crookers and MC Leka’s throbbing, whirring “Para de Gracinha” and gets faster with Feadz and MC Wesley’s bizarre, shapeshifting ‘80s throwback “Subiu, Desceu.” It arguably peaks with Oliver $ and Deize Tigrona’s stomper “Ta Com Medo de Mim?” but it doesn’t sacrifice much velocity through its next five tracks.

If Funk Mundial kept up this clip through it’s hour-long entirely, it would be exhausting. It doesn’t. Starting with Makossa Megablast and Gaiola Das Popozudas’s sly, sexy “Late Que Eu Tu Passando,” the comp demonstrates that this stuff can work at a more leisurely BPM rate than it’s used to. On Chancha Via Circuito and MC Pretinho’s reggae-flavored “Bucetao,” it works when it’s barely dance music at all.

By Emerson Dameron

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