Review of Brazilika Album by 4 Hero

4 Hero
Album Review

If your own personal Heaven/ Nirvana/ Valhalla is an imaginary land where west London and Brazil meet, this is the album for you, as combinations of traditional live Brazilian sounds and more electronics-based broken beat meet over fifteen pieces of Brazilian wax.
There is an idea that 'world music', (i.e. non Anglo-American based music) rewards the listener with an urbane, exotic air. You can barely see the wood for the trees in the broadsheets - if it's not African blues, Balkan gypsy-punk, baille funk or whatever's flavour of the afternoon, you're less likely to read about it. But despite this alleged intellectual value, music such as that on this CD is actually quite simple - skittery drum patterns, lots of 'baa bba de daas' and pleasant instrumentation which will grooves in a cycle for a few minutes.

4 Hero Brazilika Album

The mix starts off fast with the inane, repetitive "la la li la la ley" of Bicho Homem by Milton Nascimento before confusingly dropping the tempo right down with the blissed-out groove of Azymuth's Morning. Despite tracks such as these having musical and culturally validity, you can't help but think, "mmm, chilled bar-grooves for the Clapham/ Islington axis of young property-buyers" and unfortunately the whole mix sounds as though it'd be well at home in your local Costa Coffee. That's not too say it isn't good and although the tracks may sound a little samey to non-specialist ears, they all posses a dancefloor friendly, party vibe (after the false start). Global communicator and Jedi Knight Mark Pritchard delivers a deep, bouncy slab or airy, slightly squelchy funk on his mix of Azymuth's Pieces Of Ipanema. Toda Hora by Troubleman ft Nina Miranda is both the mix's peak and the best track, with its popping, off kilter drums, sweet vocals and acoustic guitar riff making for a tune guaranteed to rock any party. This is the kind of thing Norman Jay should drop at Carnival if he wasn't so boring. Overall, if you want something vaguely similar but better, seek out Walter's Room by Black Science Orchestra. Then again for ten odd quid, it's probably cheaper than two Caipirinhas at your local Brazilian theme bar. If this all seems a little harsh, don't feel too bad, as I read a 4 Hero guest reviews thing years ago, and they slated everything.

Duncan Clark

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