Various The Inspiring New Sounds Of Rio De Janeiro

Verge Records is a new label out of New York dedicated to "cutting edge, politically and socially conscious music from distressed neighbourhoods across the globe,” as their home page states. Their initial release is a different take on urban sounds coming out the favelas of Rio. Tellingly, there are no baile funk beats, which could either raise the question of how hard Verge was digging or make the case that there is simply too much artistic diversity of favela dwellers to be reduced to one beat. This label, and compilation, seeks to give artists access to music making tech and the time to do so in order to realise their art to their greatest abilities. These productions are full without sounding too slick, although they’re perhaps still too slick for those looking for grimy energy. A Fillial’s "Tremenda Calorera” features deft scratching over its proto-disco drum pattern, fluid rapping and sunny textures. Samba makes its first appearance on "VV” by BNegao & Enegao E Os Seletores De Frequencias, albeit only as an intro section before turning into a block party-worthy jam. Most interesting is Digital Dubs, billed as "Brazil’s first sound system” (doubtful), with a dancehall/electro hybrid called "De Liga Nelas,” and the more dubwise "Pretinho Babylon.” This release is a solid survey of a half-dozen artists with great potential. (Verge)