Maculele Tamborzão Volt Mix

This is Digitaldubs Curimba Riddim. Rockers Carioca style….

That must be some special bicycle Mr. Cristiano Dubmaster has there… how the hell did he get to all those different places in the same day? Anyway, at least we get a look into the one and only vinyl pressing plant in South America, which happens to be in the north zone of Rio de Janeiro. Our record distributor on a bicycle makes the rounds from Lapa (Plano B) and Cinelândia (Camelôs on Pedro Lessa) to Catete to Copacabana and Ipanema and then swings back around to Botafogo for the Digitaldubs party at Casa da Matriz (next one is wednesday the 20th).

I LOVE this riddim. The drum pattern is essentially maculele/tamborzão. Or at least, that’s the main groove going on. But, it meshes with baile funk, ragga, dub and samba. The vocals on this “megamix” reflect that as well. The funk flow of Catra, samba of BNegão, ragga dancehall of Jimmy Luv and ending with Biguli’s more funk oriented vocal…..

Oh by the way, this is available on vinyl……and the entire record (lots of other riddims) is available for free download at the Digitaldubs site. copyleft…….

Tamborzão, is essentially a baile funk riddim which is derived from maculele (sorry, but i don’t have any recorded examples of pure maculele to put here……anybody?). It’s not EXACTLY the same, but anything that undergoes some form of appropriation is bound to change somehow, right? Maculele is a rhythm and dance which is said to come from Bahia, although, like capoeira, nobody really knows where it came from. It is a Brazilian cultural phenomenon. As a dance, it is normally performed in a roda, or circle of people. Each dancer has 2 sticks, usually recycled berimbau sticks cut to equal size. The dancers strike each other’s sticks once every 4 beats while dancing on the beats in between. It’s easy to see how this could be a disguised fight, like capoeira. Be careful of your fingers! Maculele is normally played on one or more atabaques.

This gung-ka-ka-gung-gung-ka-gu-gung-ka-ka-gung-gung-ka is the maculele. In baile funk, it’s known as the Tamborzão. The Tamborzão began as a programmed beat using 808 sounds to emulate maculele being played on an atabaque. When I first came to Brazil in 1999, this rhythm was being referred to as cerol……from the track, “Cerol na mão,” by Bonde do Tigrão (which was probably the first boy band that came out of the favela and maybe the only band to record a full album on a major label)…..”assim, assim”…..Cerol is a mixture of glue and broken glass which is applied to a kite string in order to cut down your adversary’s kite. Basically, the lyrics talk about who’s gonna show who who is boss…….it was also known as simply atabaque or tamborzinho. I’m not too sure when it made the jump from being the “little” sound to being the “big” sound (tambor is drum. -zinho is diminutive, -ão is bigger).

In the last year or two, the Tamborzão has gained in popularity. It’s a big dry sound that works really well on a massive sound system in a mostly open air space. It’s a mix that has lots of room for vocals and other elements. I would say it’s as big and ubiquitous as sleng teng was in its heyday (anybody out there that’s been present in both these places/eras?). Every MC out there has rhymes for Tamborzão.

In this video (sorry, only in portuguese) by Tatiana Ivanovici and Diogo Cunha, Sany and Mavi compare the Tamborzão with the volt mix, which was extremely popular and one of the first 100% Brazilian “riddims” that emerged in the whole baile funk movement (going back to the days when the music played was 100% north american) and discuss how these 2 rhythms were fundamental in creating a 100% Brazilian musical style. Unfortunately, in this mini-documentary on Tamborzão, they never actually play the Volt mix. Listen to the volt mix here. Of course, in classic Riddim style, there are no credits on the CD I got this from – only to the record label (Pipo’s). In the video, though, Sany shows the vinyl (DJ Battery Brain). For him, this was the beginning of Funk Carioca. Around the same time, a guy in the west zone of Rio made a version of the tamborzão on an 808. At the time, people didn’t like it so much in comparison to the Volt Mix, which is really full sonically speaking. The tamborzão started out as being really simple and dry with lots of space. Nowadays it’s gained some texture and substance. If you don’t speak portuguese and have never been to a baile funk, but are interested in live electronic music, this is still very much worth watching. Sany and Mavi demonstrate playing live funk on mpcs and cdjs. Almost as cool as in real life. ;-)

To hear new Tamborzão tracks, probably the best place (aside from a Baile Funk in Rio) to hear it is on Sany’s myspace site. Go dere.

2 thoughts on “Maculele Tamborzão Volt Mix

  1. Pingback: A Base Baile Funk 2008 « SoundGoods

  2. Pingback: Funk Carioca Hybrid 8 « SoundGoods

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