Gilles Peterson has always been an outspoken advocate for Brazilian culture. The selector included samba cuts even in his earliest DJ sets, peppering those iconic Dingwalls sessions with plenty of South American rhythms.
Invited to record a full album in Rio de Jeneiro, the results emerged earlier this year. The result of a frenetic ten day spell in the recording studio, ‘Sonzeira: Brasil Bam Bam Bam’ features true legends working alongside newcomers.
A who’s who of Brazilian talent, the record fused modern styles with traditional, wonderfully exocative songcraft with upfront dancefloor rhythms. A camera crew accompanied Gilles Peterson throughout this process, with the footage gathered in new film ‘Bam Bam Bam: The Story Of Sonzeira’.
The film premiered last night (July 18th) at Hackney Picturehouse, and it’s a warm, insightful glimpse of Brazilian culture. Of course, the studio process takes up the bulk of screen time, but proceedings never become dry or arid.
Gilles Peterson is a continual enthusiast throughout, and the scenes with Elza Suarez are particularly moving. Heading out in the city, Peterson explores the dense favelas, the ghetto townships where samba was born.
Uncovering another side to Brazil, the DJ presents a city – and a country – in a continual state of flux, continually debating which direction it needs to turn in next.
Well worth tracking down.
For a full interview with Gilles Peterson on his ‘Brasil Bam Bam Bam’ project, click HERE.