2009-12-11

Genre of the Week: Putaria/Funk Putaria

...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!

13 comments:

wayneandwax said...

interesting stuff, birdseed. (& thx for the nod!) the one thing i'd quibble with, however, is your assertion that tamborzao loops are usually cleaner/bassier than this. given the way they circulate as mp3s--and long have--those loops always, or at least often, have some of that lowbitrate sizzle to them, at least to my ears. (except perhaps when finetuned by ppl with access to serious equip/software, a la marlboro, haaksman, etc.)

Birdseed said...

(Oh wow, comments are working again! I'm going back to fix stuff.)

I think you may be right with the tamborzao, but I get the feeling that these are even more distorted. Especially the first track really seems to be mostly just white noise. Can anyone with more production experience deny/confirm?

Dave Quam said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hT5AMmTLd8

this one is fucking awesome! And then there is a bunch of footwork/jerkin hybrid dancing too.

Great stuff thanks!

Birdseed said...

That one rules! "Passinho" seem to be some sort of dancing code word, might be worth looking up... hmm...

wayneandwax said...

whoa! brazilian jerkin moves! crazy. i really wonder whether that drop move was copped from videos or is just a "natural" thing to do.

you might ask gregzinho about passinho.

SoundGoods said...

Hey!
I think aswell that the production of putaria is not different from the other stuff. What's special is the lyrics and some added sounds, but not the beat.
And putaria is not very new, but for sure a big thing right now, but there have been tracks with similar lyrics longer ago.
"Passinho" means literraly "little step". It refers to funk carioca dance moves and apears quite often in song titles. One of the most known "passinho"-tunes is this one here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4MEyVIMk6I

Wayne, didn't understand that thing with copped drop move...

Cheers

wayneandwax said...

Hey Wolfie, I'm talking about what looks a lot to me like "the dip" a la jerkin dance. See, e.g., a little after 4 minutes on this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46BsgpnioTc

Indeed, the caricatured/"wrong" way to do the dip is what those Brazilian kids seemed to be doing. Again, my point of curiosity is whether this is something that people just "naturally" find themselves doing, or whether there's actually some degree of circulation of jerkin moves in the bailes. Any sense?

Dave Quam said...

yeah that dip is totally jerkin and I'd bet my money that it's not just a coincidence. Also, while a lot of footworking type dancing involves such, the crossover step they do is like the main ingredient to jukin. Though I definitely relate this more to Jerkin. I never looked into any baile/carioca dancing, going to.

Found a bunch of these Passinho videos and im writing a little ting about em, great find Birdman!

and thank you soundgoods for the info!!!

Dave Quam said...

hey soundgoods...

the videos on youtube i've been watching are always titled passinho foda...why is "fuck" on the end of that?

SoundGoods said...

Hey all,
foda means cool, great, excellent as well...

I don't know wether they got it from JErkin stuff, but I think they are influenced by various stuff and develope their own style out of that.

Cheers

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