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After my article earlier this week on the music of baile funk legend DJ Edgar, I approached DJ Comrade, a good friend of a few of us here at DAD, and asked him to suggest to me some other new tunes that were killing it currently in the Rio baile funk scene. DJ Camrade lives and breathes baile funk and his suggestions did not disappoint. To be honest, he tipped me off to a whole new evolution taking place in the electronic dance music from the favelas right now: the emergence of rasterinha (or ragga funk).
It's no surprise that this has gotten no coverage outside of Portuguese language media. Ever since the mid to late 2000s, when baile funk was one of the first big global bass genres, our attention (that of the North American and European music media) has moved elsewhere. Definitely, there have been some great tunes that have been influenced by Brazilian music, but never genres that originate from Brazil like most recently trap and twerk (see DJ Comrade and the Tropkillaz). Just because we stopped paying attention doesn't mean things just stand still waiting for us to find them cool again. Brazil has such a rich dance music tradition you would be a fool to think so.
But let's get to the heart of the matter: What is rasterinha? I'll try my best to explain. DJ Comrade pointed me to a great (Portuguese language) article on Funk na Caixa, and through my own research I found these articles on Oesquema and Noisey (Brazil). If you're wondering, no, I don't speak or read Portuguese, so everything I am gonna say is filtered through Google Translate so please let me know in the comments if I got any facts wrong. We will have a way better explanation (as well as a mix by DJ Comrade next week).
What it sounds like is if baile funk and Caribbean music got together and somehow managed to have a baby. It's a slowed down version of baile funk (sound familiar to the origins of another recent genre?). I hear traces of reggeaton and dancehall in more than one of these tracks. It keeps that great minimalism, though, that I loved so much about a lot of the baile funk. These are definitely not overproduced. The name is apparently a nod to a precursor of the current baile funk called Rasterio, which was also a lot slower. From what I hear, this is the music the ladies are requesting at the parties in the Rio favelas right now. But enough talk. Here are a few of the tunes that are notable or have stood out for me as well as a mix the appeared in the Funk na Caixa blog. Some of these are even free downloads.
Here is the track that apparently started it all:
Here is the first hit that is has already become a fave among us at DAD:
This one is also another fave:
Here's another produced by Dj BamBam like the last one:
Finally, here's a mix: