Piping Hot Music Around the World
The second installation of Red Hot Rio hits storefront and internet shelves this week as part of Beco Dranoff, John Carlin, and Paul Heck’s HIV/AIDS awareness and fundraiser. The two disc, 34 original track album is a mishmash collection of artists from Brazil and beyond performing an eclectic variety of tracks. Red Hot + Rio 2 travels across the world to bring you rare and exotic music you would normally never get the chance to hear.
Disc one, title simply Red, contains “Tropicalia,” where Beck and Seu Jorge team up to create French infused Latin rhythms. John Legend performs “Lone I’ve Never Known,” a powerful piano driven song, singing “Dreams of love, will they ever come true / am I a fool to dream of you? … Dreams of a love I’ll never know.” Following that is Aloe Blacc and Clara Moreno’s dreamy “Nascimento (Rebirth) – Scene 2,” which uses whimsical and jazz piano, horns, and chants. Alice Smith and Aloe Blacc perform two versions of “Baby” on Rio 2, an original and shorter dub version, both of which are sung and produced very well. Prefuse 73 contributes to “Terra,” with emotional Spanish vocals by Caetano Veloso along with strings and acoustic guitar.
Disc two, appropriately title Hot, begins with Beirut singing the catchy “O Leãozinho” in their poly-instrumental, world inspired style. The Boogie’s “Panis et Circensis” is one of the few tracks to feature an electric guitar, traditional drum set, and English lyrics. This is followed by of Montreal and Os Mutantes’ “Bat Macumba,” a short jam with repeating chorus chants. Madlib, Joyce Moreno, and Generation Match get together to record “Banana,” a jazzy piano and horn-driven song driven by Madlib’s unyielding drums and Moreno’s French vocals. “Freak le Boom Boom,” a personal favorite by Marina Gasolina and Secousse, is a French/Latin hybrid which employs dancey dub claps and wobbles alongside Gasolina’s sexy vocals. In all honesty, there are just too many hits to mention here.
While not for everyone, fans of world music, mid tempo dance, acoustic, and dub tunes especially, will find the appeal in this double album. Songs are done in French, Spanish, English, and other indistinguishable languages, but even if you don’t understand every word that is sung on the album the cheerful harmonies are universal. Even if you’ve never considered yourself one to fancy this type of music, there are so many different artists collaborating here that it’s very easy for even the pickiest of listeners to find something they like while discovering other amazing world artists in the meantime. When coupled with the fact that it’s for an AIDS benefit, there is no real reason not to give it a listen.