Domus Mixtape #12: The Sound of Rio de Janeiro

Rio is a devouring city, a music regurgitating new forms. Its unifying force is its inability to be nailed down, to be articulated — it must be heard, consumed and regurgitated to perform its invasive power.

One-year anniversary mix — Series curated by Daniel Perlin
Check out all the mixtapes in the series
Photo: Centro, Rio de Janeiro, by Pedro Meyer

So let's be clear. I am not from Rio de Janeiro. I am not a Carioca. Even after 18 years of coming and going, 5+ years lived and hours worked, partied, lost, found and wandered, I am not a Carioca. What I have is the serious problem so many gringos have. The idea of Rio has invaded me, left its mark, devoured me and consumed whatever thoughts and sounds resonate in my brain. "Tupi or not Tupi?" Goes the anthropohagic manifesto, and in writing, enunciating the multiplicity of times, spaces, sounds and feelings that is Rio. Rio, of course, does not exist, as no single city exists. It is instead a bricolage, defined geographically by divisions between its largely working-class Zona Norte, and its smaller, wealthier, iconic, Zona Sul. At first impression, its appearance from the ground is conflicted, agonistic, its favelas inescapable from view, requiring a double-consciousness and radical strategies of internal conflict negotiation. And now, annexing the often-gated zones of Barra de Tijuca, Jacaerepagua and on, any attempt to define a homogeneous sound of this city becomes even more remote, even more absurd.

But there remains a certain urgency to this call, yet. As the police invade the favelas of the Zona Sul (some say in anticipation of the coming international gazes for the world cup and Olympics), as Rio's hypercapitalism further establishes a core and periphery model, its music carries on, at once ahead, at once solidly steeped in traditions. And so at any moment, walking down its streets, eyes closed or open, you will hear music: Pagode, Samba, Baile Funk, Forró, Black, Sertanejo, Bossa Nova, Nova Bossa, Frevo, Côco, Evangélico, Jazz, Techno Brega, Chorinho, Samba Do Raiz, Maracatu, Rock, Pop, and countless other cross-genres and songs perform themselves in the windows, on the camelô carts, on the radios, in the houses, and on PA systems. Despite institutional efforts at control (at one point in the nineties, Rio's government banned Baile Funk, for example), I get the sense this everything-all-at-once won't change. This always-already presencing of Rio's being creates a sound that can be carried with you, a city that carries you. Rio is a devouring city, a music regurgitating new forms. Maybe all I know at this point is that I will never know what Rio is. Its unifying force is its inability to be nailed down, to be articulated. It must be heard, consumed and regurgitated to perform its invasive power. Daniel Perlin

01. Natureza nº 1 em Mi Maior—Lucas Santtana
02. Eu Nasci Em Angola—Caxambu da Comunidade Sao Jose da Serra-
03. Dizem Que Sou Louco/Frogs, Pops, Rio, Nite —M.V. Bill
04. Orquestra Filarmônica da Favela—DJ Sany Pitbull
05. ta tomado (n-ron tamborclap riddim)—bonde nervoso
06. Alerte Limão—Chelpa Ferro
07. Pau de Arara. Baião de São Sebastião Baião—Luiz Gonzaga & Gonzaguinha
08. Crowd, Rio, Restaurant, Copa Cabana
09. Nao Foi Em Vão (Original Album Version)—Orquestra Imperial
10. Animais Sem Asas/papa capim—+2 Moreno, Domenico & Kassin, Meu Tambor—+2 Moreno, Domenico & Kassin
11. Fuego (Maga Bo Remix)—Bomba Estereo
12. Olha A Virada—Mocidade Independente, rap de felicidade accapella—Mcs Cidinho & Doca
13. Macumbinha/DJBR/toques para celular - abertura dos bailes funk
14. IDogBarks Constant 15. V.V.—B. Negão
16. Bells, Church, RioGloria Evening
17. embalaeu (N-RON and Reganomics mix)—Clementina de Jesus
18. rebichada (N-RON AMENMIX)—Chico Buarque e os trapalhões
19. Radio Samba—Nacão Zumbi
20. love banana—João Brasil
21. Shottas—Leo Justi
22. Angicos (paulo rafael mix)—Chico Science, Fred 04, Siba, Lucio Maia, Paulo Rafael
23. Crowd, Rio, Gávea
24. Vai Saudade—Velha Guarda da Portela

Daniel Perlin is an artist and media designer based in New York. Daniel holds a Masters Degree in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from Brown University. He currently curates the Domus Mixtape series and doubles as a DJ N-RON.

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