Not Samba

Do you like brazilian music? So, I have good news for you: Brazil is a lot more fun than only samba and soccer. We also have feijoada!:)) In this small piece of html my intentions are as good as showing to a small percent of the world what happens in indie brazilian music, specially in a city called Recife, where I live, and it’s for sure one of the most creative regions when speaking of contemporary rock and pop songs from the land of Carmen Miranda. Hope you enjoy it!

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Since the “huge” success of brazilian indie electronic bands Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS for international audiences) and Bonde do Rolê many musicians in Brazil and specially in Recife had been encouraged to go into electronic indie scene and resort on state of art gadgets to create music and make people have fun instead of trying to change the world.

(For god’s sake! We already have Sting and Bono to save the world, so let’s just dance for a while!)

Voyeur is a very new cool band on this scene, formed by musicians that were already in the market playing with other successful local bands at the pubs, and, woow yeah, they fastly could found their own room amongst more experienced bands in  recife’s indie scenario, and you could tell even Brazil wide – some of their songs were included in the soundtrack for brazilian MTV series “Descolados” (Cool People).

They sound very eighties (they remind me an old band called My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult), or maybe very 2000 trying to sound eighties, just like Elastica or Blur, with their mixture of  hard guitars and electronic beats (you could also tell they’re very influenced by Electro scene).

The songs are nice and very humorous,  the lyrics talk about contemporary people and their adventures on sex and love, and they are very energetic on the stage, sometimes using real drums, sometimes just an electronic set.

Lead vocalist Ju Orange also produces local bands, and is  a very charismatic band leader.

Ok, let’s listen to it huuu… Couldn’t find many songs from Voyeur to you on the net, but those three at their MySpace sound cool enough to make you follow them.

So, visit them at

If you’re into brazilian culture, it may be curious to know that Nação Zumbi means Zumbi Nation, a Maracatu “Nation” that in Recife’s culture means kind of a Maracatu “Club” (just like we have the Samba Schools at Rio).

Maracatu is a native rythm (come from Africa) similar to Samba, but very different in it’s accentuations. There are plenty Maracatu Nations in our city, everyone has it’s own variation on Maracatu beat, Maracatu clothes and sort of a religious culture.

Zumbi stands for the slave called Zumbi that at the times of slavery in Brazil ranway from his owners and leadered a revolution.

But ok, enough with this history stuff! Nação Zumbi is an indie rock band from Recife that created a mixture of Maracatu, Rock, Black Music and Eletronic Beats that just rules.

They started in the 90’s as Chico Science e Nação Zumbi, leadered by the very charismatic brazilian “rapper” Chico Science, that could be compared to something like a brazilian Bob Marley in terms of influence in our contemporary music and acceptance by international audiences.

They started a movement called Mangue Bit (or Mangue Beat) that promoted a bunch of good bands from Recife for the rest of the country on 90’s – all of them experimenting rythm mixtures.

At this time they released a very international and influential album called AFROCIBERDELIA (EMI), that MUST be heard by anyone who’s interested in good international music for the dancefloors or even hardrock.

Chico Science died in 1997 in a car crash in Recife, but the band kept playing around with new lead singer Jorge du Peixe (that used to play percussion in the band).

The new Nação Zumbi created a whole new scenario for themselves playing a more introspective and mature music based on Maracatu, Rock and Psichedelia, creating their own label, and touring around the world.

Look for the album called FUTURA at international CD E-stores (you must have it!)

The most incredible thing about Nação Zumbi music for non-brazilian listeners is their amazing rythm session with lots of drums (as told before, similar to Samba) that influenced bands like Sepultura and Soulfly (very known brazilian heavy metal bands).

Yes! This is a bigger than the usual post in Not Samba (it had to).

Listen to Nação Zumbi at

Yeah babes… Since I started this blog, my intentions were merely put some html around about this amazing brazilian indie scene (from the city of Recife), and let it be discovered for those who search for it through blog directories, Google, and whatever comes.

Actualy we could not have much visitors since then, but this small audience we’ve been achieving has been very supportive and kind about this work, what will make me soon dedicate more and more time publishing new content here.

Thanx for the kind comments and emails I’ve been receiving.

And I’m very proud, also, of the good review Not Samba had at the site Blog Search Engine (as follows):

“I usually make it a point to feature blogs that have relatively LOTS of content to offer its readers already. I have to say that I am making an exception in this case. Why? I find the focus of Not Samba to be very interesting, and I am hoping that it will attract more readers and that the blogger will be more motivated to post more articles!

This blog is all about Brazilian music. Like many who are ill-informed, I know only the slightest bit about this kind of music. Apparently, Brazil has more to offer than samba – and that is what this blog wants the rest of the world to know! If you are into Brazilian culture, then you should visit this blog and ask the blogger for more!”

(posted on November, 4, 2009)

Hey… Brazil has nothing to do with Norway, it’s very hot and caliente in here… but… Well…  First time I heard Rails singles I just couldn’t help linking them to the old cold shots of A-Ha, and maybe that strangely good aseptic eighties bands that used to play on the radios, like Ultravox, The Cars, Peter Cetera, despite their strong brazilian accent that just put me back in the hot and dirty city of Recife, where they come from (as always happens here @  Not Samba).

The band used to cover The Beatles at local pubs, and after five years playing around decided to make their own stuff.

Here in Recife they now find some room amongst local indie bands, playing at festivals, and setting up  small PAs on the streets of  our historical site called Recife Antigo, the place where usually indie bands promote their own gigs at old houses and bars (DIY).

Rails feels and looks very differently from the rest of the indie bands in the city, because they have a very professional act on the stages and recordings, similar to what we see from american artists – usually Recife’s indie music is what we could call soul music… They just go there and do it by heart, dirty, connecting with the audience, feeling it.

Ok… Ok… Don’t be confused about my vision… Rails is a very good band, and maybe one of those international bands that when you hear it you just can’t connect it with any particular culture nor country, and this may be a good point.

The music is good. Just listen to it! 😉

Their MySpace



There’s something about Brazilian accent and language that could make the most usual song sounds a lot more “with sugar and spice”.This  really lovely band called Rádio de Outono (Autumn Radio) does the sixties sound a lot more creative than most of  European bands.

Clearly influenced by Brazilian band “Mutantes”, they are not interested in singing in english language, and it’s ok,  that’s a fact that it just sounds well.

Here in Brazil, they’re now indie festivals’ hype. Everybody just love them, and it’ll be no surprise if we could listen to their songs on the radios soon.

Ow… Just to mention: they don’t use a guitar – yes… and maybe you would never notice it if I didn’t tell you. They just don’t need it.

The singer Barbara Jones just have it. One of that charismatic characters that doesn’t need to do anything to be noticed.

Just listen to them… If you don’t like it, it’s really ok… They don’t need you.

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Wow, this is fresh news for you out there! How does it sound to you if I tell you we’ve found here in this town a guy that does that same Bowie’s theatrical performances with a lot more 2000’s and androgenic sex appeal on Brazilian stages?

The name is Johnny Hooker, a young lad that just put his band on the road for gigs at small pubs and governmental  indie festivals down here in Brazil.

It’s frank rock’n’roll sickness that may soon have the balls to take a plane and show it around the world.

Johnny is much more a performer than a good singer, but yes, he sings ok, and the band play it hard enough to make you really feel it, on an almost punk mood that reminds me… Hmmm… Let’s say for instance The Queens of  The Stone Age.

Oh yeah, you’re right… Some lines before, I told you that there’s something about him that reminds me David Bowie. Not so much about his songs, but the attitude. But you could tell it sounds a little bit like  Bowie’s early recordings.

You can listen to some songs from Johnny Hooker and his band Candeias Rock City in their MySpace profile at

By the wayCandeias is the name of a neighborhood in Recife’s coast,  a lovely place to live, were the teenagers, just like that ones in Seattle, has nothing more productive to do but smoke some pot and try to join a rock band.

Enjoy it, and comment on it!

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