Latin America’s only record-pressing plant, Polysom (polysom.com.br), has spun back into action, having closed down in 2007. In 2009, businessman João Augusto reopened the factory, based in Belford Roxo, Rio de Janeiro, and is back in business producing discs to order for record companies and artists. Luckily for aspiring record collectors, Polysom has also taken the initiative to re-release Brazilian albums that are as classic as they are brilliant, from artists like Jorge Ben to Jards Macalé, Chico Science and Nação Zumbi.
In addition to Polysom's re-releases, some of Brazil’s freshest musical talent is releasing new albums on vinyl. Read on for four of the most interesting new releases in 2012, including a first album by bandolin player Jack Rubens, Tatá Aeroplano's first solo album, and second and third albums by Bruno Morais and Céu, respectively.
Samba Esquema Novo
The title of Jorge Ben’s debut 1963 album, which loosely translates as ‘new kind of samba’, couldn’t be more emblematic of everything that Ben did to the genre in the following years, fusing the rhythm of samba with the electricity and weight of rock. The album was truly original, both in its story-telling lyrics, and in Ben’s new rhythmic syncopation with brilliant vocals. This Polysom re-release includes the enduring hits ‘Mas que Nada’ and ‘Chove Chuva’, as well as ‘Rosa, Menina Rosa’, which sparked a series of songs that connected colours with women. Polysom
Thise eponymous first solo album by singer-songwriter Jards Macalé, who composed famous songs for tropicalistas like Gal Costa, features Macalé on the guitar, with Lanny Gordin on guitar and bass, and Tutty Moreno on drums. Macalé’s 1972 LP debut gave rise to a whole new sound. The group deconstructs rhythms in a unique style, with original guitar chords, magisterial bass lines, touches of samba, jazz and rock and deeply moving, poetic lyrics which are as melancholy as they are urban. Listen out for the analogy to records on the track ‘78 Rotações’. Polysom
Mangue beat – a Brazilian musical movement that came from the North Eastern state of Pernambuco – hit the mainstream all over Brazil thanks to this album, from Recife-based Chico Science and Nação Zumbi, released in 1996. The LP includes the spectacular, pounding metal version of ‘Maracatu Atômico’, by Nelson Jacobina and Jorge Mautner – a masterpiece of fusion between Brazilian genre maracatu and elements of rock, funk and electronic music. Polysom
This first solo album by the prolific singer, Tatá Aeroplano who also composes and DJs was recently released on CD and vinyl, featuring entertaining tales of São Paulo and Rua Augusta, set to a 1960s influenced sound.
Jack Rubens & Os Vagabundos Iluminados
Made viable thanks to crowdfunding, the first album by composer and bandolin player Jack Rubens comprises ten original tracks whose rhythms revolve around a sort of ‘gypsy-style blues rock rural tropical urbanism,’ as he describes it.
A Vontade Superstar
This is a second album from Bruno Morais, who recently followed up his original 2009 release with this vinyl version, plus two vinyl singles – ‘Estúdio A’ (2010) and ‘Estúdio A.2’ (2011). Combining eclectic influences with poetic lyrics, Morais has a beautiful voice.
Caravana Sereia Bloom
On this third album by Céu, the celebrated São Paulo singer-songwriter, her talents as a composer really shine through. Only a limited number of copies is currently available on vinyl.