Forro In The Dark – Perro Loco
Having a Brazilian sister-in-law certainly has it's advantages. Like being fed amazing rice and beans and the greatest guacamole ever created by man (or woman) when I visit her. It's also opened up an entire country's worth of music to me. Between my brother and sister-in-law, I've discovered a trove of Brazilian music over the years that I never would have otherwise. A world without Gil e Jorge is not a world where I want to live. And college study sessions wouldn't have been the same without Jorge Ben's A Tabua de Esmeralda.
By way of background, forro is a type of Northeastern Brazilian dance music. It is based around simple melodies and rhythmic percussion. But forro is really about the dance. I dare you to listen to Nelio + Carlos Guerson or Luiz Gonzaga without unconscious foot-tapping or totally conscious ass-shaking.
My brother introduced me to Forro in the Dark a few years ago after the release of Bonfires of Sao Joao. It was the kind of album that you can't listen to without just feeling giddy. The band is based in New York and gained some serious notoriety when David Byrne discovered them and collaborated on Bonfires. If you're unaware, Byrne is a huge Brazilian music fan and started a label, Luaka Bop purely to release Brazilian compilations (though it has since expanded). Forro in the Dark takes the traditional structure of forro and throws in some country, rock, jazz, and a boat-load of heart.
Forro's new album is Light a Candle and it's fantastic. Give it a try, I promise you'll be a dancing machine in no time.