July 17, 2008

Gal Costa//Sebastiana

Tropicalia refers to Tropicalismo, a widely diverse cultural movement that sprang from urban 1960s Brazil. The best thing about the sound is the combination of old and new. A tenant of Tropicalia is cultural cannibalism, which is defined as the consumption of all possible cultural products and then repurposing those products into art that makes sense in a specific cultural context. 

I first became interested in Tropicalia through a class I took about South American culture and political movements. Our instructor was very interested in the music of Tropicalia, and turned us on to all sorts of amazing musicians, including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes. I became instantly fascinated. In combination with scouring the internet for whatever I could find, I was also on the hunt for new or old records and cd re-issues of my favorites from this genre. This is how I happened upon one of many excellent Soul Jazz comps, Tropicalia—a Brazillian Revolution in Sound, which features one of my favorite tracks by my absolute favorite Tropicalia artist, Gal Costa.

Consume everything!

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