Inside the cracks of the concrete steel jungle, new roots sprout from a Soteropolitana* specie not yet studied.
Two cities (in one).
Four thinking heads working for the dancing art.
Reflexive, visual and resonant art.
A mutant art, willing to risk it all, to spot where it will end.
The load of the Bass Culture with the sorcery and the Baiana seasoning.
Puzzling and riveting images
The word from the streets to the streets.
The Baiana Guitar placed in the frontline, in an absolutely different way.
Well… you may like it or not but one thing is for sure:
There is nothing like the BaianaSystem.
This certainty is most latent when listening to their second album, “Duas Cidades”:
From the Jamaican music comes a division and bass knowledge of SekoBass (also responsible for most of the settings and original beats: the master cook of the group);
From old street festivals, photographic tradition and contemporary architecture, Filipe Cartaxo frames, masks and traits come to light.
The unprecedented blend between the Jamaican toasting and the Samba from the Recôncavo Baiano*, the innovative style from Russo Passapusso makes the scene.
The traditions of Baiana Guitar (invented by masters Dodo & Osmar) including a strong African influence presents Roberto Barreto (BaianaSystem founder) with his outlines and riffs which provide the final and definitive Baiana’s identity.
Four thinking heads working for the dancing art.
From the top of their Pirate ship, this fearless crew, while translating the sounds of the streets and alleys in their own way, they propose a new order: Libertarian, capable of causing collective catharsis wherever they go through.
Ijaxá, Afoxé, Dancehall, Pagodão, Sambareggae, Cumbia, Chula, Dub, Cabula, Kuduro, Samba Duro, Nursery Rhyme, Eletronic…
The abundance of rhythms and sprouting references not as research but as an experience.
Feeling and movement
The album opens with “Jah Jah Revolta parte 2”, track which explicit one of the most striking features from Baiana System: the use of their music, just like riddims made in Jamaica. i.e.: within the same arrangement or melodies, the song follows a progressive re-creation process.
Music in motion
One after another, the tracks from “Duas Cidades” present themselves as promising hits, many which are already established at this level like the rocking “Playsom” (the one in FIFA 2015 videogame), “Lucro (Descomprimido)” and “Barravenida parte 2” (possibly the first to get a video clip).
Real estate speculation, survival in the concrete jungle, social inequality, amusement, behavior, forces of nature, beliefs, struggles, faith… It’s all here, existing, in the agile and unexpected rhymes of Russo Passapusso.
This is “Duas Cidades”.
The sound of popular festivals from a near future.
Carnival floats as a traveling sound system.
Carnival as a social experience.
The city (split) as an observation and action point of the human being.
Each head is a world. And love is, indeed, the energy within the essence of this experience.
With palm oil and affection.
In this aspect, all special guest appearances come to reinforce that idea.
Kicking off the album epically in “Jah Jah Revolta parte 2”, Marcelo Galter (keyboard) and Rowney Scott (Saxophone);
In the chorus of several tracks (and also the jokes and warm laughter before “Panela”), emerge the strength of Ganhadeiras de Itapuã.
The electric guitar, in duets with Roberto Barreto or resetting the melodies from the album title track, Junix, it is one of the greatest in the Bahia underground scene.
From Permanbuco, bringing its fiddle for a unique and extremely exciting duet with Baiana Guitar (in “Cigano”), we’ve got Siba;
As well as the steaming brass instruments: João Teoria in the trumpets, Mathias Herman Traut in the trombone and Marcelus Leone in the saxophone.
In the Viola Machete, representing the Recôncavo region, Cassio Nobre brings himself together wonderfully in “Dia da Caça”.
The percussion work in this album is a separate chapter. It has the greatness expected from this field in a music album made in Bahia.
Ícaro Sá (straight from Rumpillez Orchestra), Japa System (drawn back from Timbalada) and Marcio Vitor (lead singer and founder of Psirico) have a crucial role in the outcome of the album. Drums, ring tones and well-aimed beats (sometimes subtle or quite heavy) with power and energy from all the saints of the city.
Good for me, good for you
Among other characteristics, BaianaSystem accompanies producers to play together and directly influence the sound or the group.
It has been like this with Chico Correa (previous album), and it remains with Mahal Pita and João Meirelles in live performances. In “Duas Cidades” this duty is Daniel Ganjaman responsibility.
Ganja recognized by his incredible technique and great taste in stamping and mixing jobs which he was appointed for (Sabotage, Criolo, Instituto among others). He was also in charge of the keyboard, programming and other musical arrangements of the album.
The result is a sound that beats perfectly, with everything in its place.
But, how about you?
After all this content, I believe there is a question running through your mind.
What would the BaianaSystem be?
A sound system?
All at once?
Well…. More than a conviction of this definition, one thing is for sure:
BaianaSystem is a true cultural phenomenon that expands in each performance, in each carnival, from zero to 20,000 in an exponential (and moving) growth.
Salvador, New York, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai… Where is this going? What will come out of all of this? Only time will tell.
Let’s hope for the next chapters of this extremely unique saga of contemporary music (Baiana, Brazilian and worldwide).
*Soteropolitano – People from Salvador, Bahia’s capital.
*Recôncavo Baiano – Geographical region located around the Bay of All Saints, encompassing not only the coast but also the entire region surrounding the inner bay.
BaianaSystem on the web