Bonde Do Role - Bonde Do Role With Lasers

Stas Werno 17/06/2007

Rating: 4/5

I had major doubts about this album, due to the nature of the music it just shouldn't work. For the uninitiated, Bonde Do Role make music known as 'Baile Funk', 'Funk Carioca' or simply 'Brazilian Electro' depending on your disposition. The sounds hail from the slums of Brazil, the Rio favelas (or in this case Curitiba), where hard times call for big parties - and nothing says party quite like Baile Funk. Samples are pilfered from the most obvious, and yet unusual corners of British and American culture, layered with 80's streetsound electro drums and (pretty much the same on every track) massive Brazilian breaks, finally topped with men and women shouting about "Popozudas" and such.

Before long a fellow called Diplo came along and "discovered" this music. Next thing you know every Hoxtonite was dancing along to aggressive remixes of 'Summer Lovin'' in trendy clubs all over London. Fast forward a few years, Diplo's made a bit of a name for himself having collaborated (in more ways than one) with MIA, and it looks like he's set to live up to that name once more with Bonde Do Role, a group he seems pretty proud of popularising. But this is where I worried. The music, whether in grimey Brazilian dance halls or (s)wanky Shoreditch clubs, is made for loud sound systems and packed dance floors, not ipods (as is made clear in the recent live review on the site). And then there's the sampling issues. On covert label Mad Decent it's understandable that they could get away with taking a few liberties, but how would one of the worlds largest indies, Domino, get away with releasing music from a group who frankly won't exactly make it top ten, and sample so blatantly from bands as big as The Darkness and Metallica?

The answer is they don't, and that's why the album works so well. Most of the songs are fresh compositions (with a few classics for the fans) with very little obvious sampling going on at all, and with producers such as Diplo and Radioclit at the helm the rough and ready productions of the Brazilian trio are nicely polished making for a genuinely interesting and exciting album. Of course, as I say, listening to this on the bus won't give you even half of the Bonde Do Role experience, and I highly recommend you catch them live as soon as you can, but until you get the chance this is the perfect album to keep you wet and ready.