1 Real (Ziriguiboom/Crammed Dics, 2007)
DJ Dolores’s latest offering, 1 Real, is a delightfully raucous romp, full of unexpected twists and turns. 1 Real, released on Ziriguiboom/Crammed Discs label, is a musical collage that is part Brazilian popular music, part electronic dance, part rock and part protest song all wrapped up in Dolores’s wickedly wry sense of humor. Sifting nuggets of inspiration from the streets of his native Recife, Brazil, Dolores has the cheap, often bootlegged, music of the streets and transformed it into cunning blend of new music, while maintaining the underpinning of that distinctive Brazilian sound. 1 Real, a name referencing the Brazilian currency and the price of cheap CDR of songs in Recife’s poorer areas, bursts onto the scene with the edgy, funky track “Deixa Falar.” Dolores opens with a little dog barking, but later bombards the listener with some bright Brazilian horns, bluesy organ and an infectious beat.
The chunky sounds of “Tocando o Terror,” a track dedicated to the emotional torture a woman perpetrates on a man, offers up some vocals that seem like they came straight out of Lou Reed’s lips; it’s no surprise that Dolores used Reed’s “Femme Fatale” as an inspiration. If your Portuguese isn’t so great don’t worry because there are some fairly sassy female backup vocals that make Dolores’s point.
Other plumy tracks include “Cala Cala” with a bright brass opening that wows and a Brazilian beat that you couldn’t hope to sit still listening to and then there’s the quirky “Wakaru” that combines Caboclinho folk flutes, bass, violins and Japanese lyrics. The sweet sound of “Shakespeare” comes with lovely vocals by Marion Del’Eite. “Numero” is one of those hybrid-sounding pieces with some charming vocals against a wicked techno backdrop.
The softer side of Dolores has to be “Mutant Child (Run, Run, Run)” but you shouldn’t let the music fool you because this track is all about traveling through the small state of Sergipe that Dolores wrote for the soundtrack for a cartoon. There’s also “Danger Global Warming” by The Blacksmoke Organisation, remixed by Dolores.
On 1 Real, DJ Dolores, also known as Helder Aragao, doesn’t introduce musical genres – he fuses them together. He began his musical career in Recife in the 1980s with Chico Science and Nacao Zumbi from Mangue Beat fame, then worked composing for theater and film, but finally found his calling when he turned to the turntable and sampler. He’s remixed tracks by Gilberto Gil, Tribalistas, Fernanda Porto and Taraf de Haidouks. He also got a gig working for Wired Magazine’s Rip, Mash, Sample, Share project.
In the end, it can be no surprise that DJ Dolores enfolds his surroundings into his music. Dolores’s previous CDs are Contraditorio? released in 2002 and a follow-up 2005 recording titled Aparelhagem.
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Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.