Paul Nice needs no introduction, the DJ/Producer/Digger has been holding it down on all fronts for well over 2 decades and his Brazil 2 mix is an example of Paul at his best. He does what every amazing mix should do, break new records, shine light on some old classics, scratch and edit in a way that is unique and adds to the song and finally maintain a perfect flow. Whenever I try to enlighten others on the richness and variety of Brazilian music I use this mix and it’s a staple because of the numerous artists, not so obvious song choice and especially because of Paul Nice’s DJ wizardry.
The opening track has the feel of an old samba tune, but surprisingly it’s from Bebel Gilberto. Bebel comes from brazilian musical royalty as her father is the monumental composer Joao Gilberto and her uncle the legendary Chico Buarque. Joao ear for arrangements and Chico’s songwriting prowess are at work as the song lyrics touch upon the role of women in Brazilian society. Even if you don’t understand portuguese you can’t resist the jazzy bossa background that Paul enhances with snappy scratching. He then moves on to a Dubben track which is on the GAMM label (same for the headnodding Follow Me) an incredible electronic label focused on reviving older world music. It’s the original that shines through however with all of the tasteful strings and incredible vocal work that makes brazilian music so distinctive. Juca Chaves is not as famous as some other artists on this mix but he brings a biting critique on the artist life and trends overshadowing real talent. Joao Donato may have followed trends at first releasing classic bossa jazz for the western audience but Paul chose to feature to tracks of his incredible Quem e Quem album where he broke free and released a funky (dare I say drug influenced) record that is a true masterpiece. Speaking of masterpieces and originality one needs to look no further than Jorge Ben, a man that defined his own genre, Paul again highlights a much lesser known track that does however feature the great sensibility that Jorge Ben Jor brings to every song he wrote. Caetano Veloso and Marcos Valle are both big name artist that dove head into the Tropicalia psychrock movement in the early seventies. (Valle was the one who convinced Joao Donato to take a risk) However, Hyldon would be an artist that could easily be placed in the same pantheon had he had more commercial success. His intimate songs are not heard often and I was impressed to see Paul including him. Songs by Orlandivo,Ana Mazzotti and Banda Black Rio are always a sureshot for brazilian funkyness but the standout track of the whole mix for me is Trio Mocoto’s Nao Adianta. The opening horns hit so hard they make the speakers tremble and make any break/beathead turn their head, but it’s all about the amazingly catchy samba beat that carries the song and amazing vocals/hook.
I’ve bought a lot records trying to piece together this mix and I recommended it in the strongest way. It captivates many moods and is strung together beautifully by Mestre Paul. When you think this was volume 2 and never released, it goes to show you the great talent and natural ability that Paul Nice posseses. He makes mixes that educate and immediately draw you in. The fact that he will be spinning at the next MIMS monthly night in Montreal (November 10th) is a true privilege and I will be listening extra close for any new brazilian gems he will drop on us.