...and what a week it's been - guests, viral infections, moving and not being able to reply to comments due to a bug (sorry Umb, Dave Quam). One good thing though is that I've come across a rather interesting and vibrant strand of the Brazilian funk scene that I've never heard about before, and which seems to be very much alive and kicking - most of the stuff I've found on the net is less than a year old.
Putaria literally means "harlotry", and seems self-descriptive as much as it is pejorative. (Taking pride in negative descriptions is hardly anything new in the music world.) In a genre that already is fairly crude in its lyrical content and simple in its production, this stuff seems to go another step down the ladder - the production is wonky in a semi-amateurish way, the sound decidedly lo-fi, the feel decidedly closer to, say, cumbia villeira or juke than to something ultra-clean in the trance-electro mould. Interestingly, this has the effect of producing some startlingly messy, complex-sounding productions with unexpected musical touching points:
Treble culture, anyone? This dubby, mixtapy, industrial-tinged piece with its pre-distorted drum sounds would fit perfectly blearing out of a mobile phone, it's hardly been cleaned up to a higher standard. (And is all the more wonderful for it, aesthetically!)
Apparently (this is the only English-language source I've got at the moment) putaria, like prohibidão before it, is a function of the most violent and poor neighbourhoods even within the Favelas. Unlike the macho-posturing prohibidão, though, this material is rather porno-dystopian, and among other things happily accepts female performers:
(Video probably NSFW)
Again, I'm struck by the lo-finess and the high amount of distortion on the usually clean tamborzao, and the weird polyrhythmic productions surrounding it. Good percussive stuff here! And this seems to be new as a sonic style as well, most of the material from two years ago and last year is much cleaner. For this year's putaria, there's a very good amount of available on Youtube, especially served by some excellently-compiled playlists. This one and this one have been especially enjoyable.
Finally, one thing I can't keep away from you, though it's only incidentally connected: this guy, I'm assuming a middle-class intermediary, who's uploaded a few putaria videos. Isn't it great that the täbb/pretty boy style has spread to Brazil as well? Look at his videos for more images!