José Prates – Tam . . . Tam . . . Tam . . .!

Posted by  Kelvin Andrews   in  ,      7 years ago     4419 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Trunk is a label unlike very few. It focusses on old forgotten music magic and re-issues born from a serious dusty crate digging obsession. Unheard library music , children’s TV themes, gypsy synth , sound effects, you get the vibe. It’s a place for the strange and wonderful to be (re)discovered. To give you an idea of the kind of music they release, check out Basil Kirchen’s music for the 1968 film Negatives. Or the album Classroom Projects – Incredible Music Made By Children In Schools for an idea of the wonderful eclecticism and open mindedness on display here.

A good few months ago I overheard Gilles Peterson waxing more than enthusiastically about this record. I made a mental note but it remained on the ‘must investigate’ back-burner. On finally hearing it I can now understand why Gilles had made his point so clear. Originally from a 1950s theatrical spectacular ‘Brasiliana’ which toured the world successfully until 1957, it captivated audiences on two continents including neighbouring Argentina and Uruguay. In 1958, creator Miecio Askanasy enlisted the skills of arranger and musical director Jose Prates and recorded this soundtrack. It arrived too late to reap success and the record disappeared into absolute obscurity.

It’s so rare, this Trunk re-issue is mastered from celebrated collector and musician Ed Motta’s own far from pristine vinyl copy so you can imagine the scarcity we’re talking here. It won’t be totally immediate to some but what we have here is something very very special.

The flavour is Brazilian street rhythms, deep African roots, exotica, jazz, sensual theatre and the avant-garde. That’s quite a mix, but it feels so magically ancient, and fuses the ingredients effortlessly. It’s a musical painting of the birth of modern Brazil. There’s samba, gospel, funk, African spiritual and bossa-nova all combining so easily and influentially. Nega Zifinha is like an exotica laden Porgy and Bess with an added samba twist, Maracatu Elegante swings and swoops like Rio Meets West Side Story, while one listen to Nanã Imborô immediately informs the listener of where the main melody for Mas Que Nada comes from. Maybe it’s traditional Brazilian. I don’t know for now but what I do know is Tam . . . Tam . . . Tam. . .! is the incredible sound of the world’s funkiest nation being reborn. Let your imagination do the walking. It’s 1958, The year Brazil returned from Sweden with it’s first World Cup. Eight years after crushing defeat in the Maracana to Uruguay. Knowing how much football and music is to Brazil. Can you feel the optimism of the future bursting through the past? Only music can do this.

Once again Trunk have unearthed a classic of gigantic proportions. Obrigado Johnny Trunk!



A celebrated underground DJ since the late 80s, Kelvin Andrews is that rare example of musical auteur, cult label owner and hit record producer. As resident DJ for over 10 years at two hugely influential UK clubs ( Golden 1991-95, The Bomb 1996 - 2002 ) and regular guest at institutions like Venus, Slam, Back To Basics, Heavenly Social and he has over the last 25 years rocked parties from Tokyo to Buenos Aires and beyond. First playing Pacha and Space in Ibiza in 1992 and dozens of trailblazing underground events worldwide. During that time, as Sure Is Pure and Soul Mekanik he has produced along with brother Danny Mekanik, scores of dancefloor and radio hits, notching no less than 7 Top Tens in the UK and Europe in the process. Famous for playing legendary 8-9 hour sessions, taking in along the way gentle sunset sounds, Balearic vibes, underground disco, and of course, spaced-out & dubby house music. Kelvin is still in demand as a DJ all over the planet, playing clubs and festivals in Europe, South America, Asia and the States with his broad, eclectic style, always performed with skill and undoubted experience.His most recent successes have been establishing the world's best balearic music brand Down To The Sea & Back and the unstoppable underground party force that is WoNk

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