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In pursuit of his calling, Tim Maia sparked the ’70s soul movement in Brazil

  “I don’t smoke, I don’t snort coke, and I don’t drink, but sometimes I lie a little”1 –Tim Maia Tim Maia was never satisfied. Brazil’s number one soul brother had a voracious appetite for both carnal and philosophical indulgences. Among his dozens of hit songs, and others that should’ve been, you’ll find impassioned odes to chocolate, women, mortality, and his hometown of Rio de Janeiro. Tim’s remembered by the Brazilian public as a…

September 25, 2012 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Lincoln Olivetti

Brazilian producer Lincoln Olivetti remembered by friend and colleague Kassin

Just months away from completing his first solo album in decades, the prolific arranger, producer, synthesizer pioneer and Brazilian “studio wizard” Lincoln Olivetti died as a result of multiple organ failure on January 14, 2015, at the age of sixty. A Brazilian Quincy Jones minus the patience for celebrity, Lincoln (often with his regular partner Robson Jorge) ruled the Brazilian airwaves and masterminded the most popular telenovela…

April 20, 2015 | Allen Thayer | Articles
Lincoln Olivetti: Brazilian Boogie Boss 1978-1984

80-minute disco/boogie mixtape featuring Brazilian producer and arranger Lincoln Olivetti

In honor of Brazilian musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer extraordinaire Lincoln Olivetti, who turned 60 on April 17, Wax Poetics scribe and Bay Area DJ Allen Thayer offers up an 80-minute mixtape called Brazilian Boogie Boss 1978–1984. Check the crazy playlist below. Lincoln Olivetti came of age in the recording studios of Rio de Janeiro as a protégé to the legendary dance-band leader, Ed Lincoln. In 1970 he released a little-known…

June 6, 2014 | Allen Thayer | Mixtape
Dead Horse Beats

Bastard Jazz artist Dead Horse Beats covers Brazilian soul icon Tim Maia

“There’s so much to love about Tim Maia’s version of this song: His crackling falsetto navigating the old organs, the bass groove, and the horns,” says twenty-seven-year-old Canadian producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer Patrick Wade, who goes by the stage name Dead Horse Beats. “I remember the first thing that struck me about it was the almost childlike heartache in the lyric ‘I wonder why she…

April 12, 2017 | Wax Poetics | Tracks
Lincoln Olivetti

Lincoln Olivetti 2: Brazilian Disco Don & AOR Ace 1975–1997

The world’s attention will soon be on Brazil for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The last time there was a global sporting event in Brazil, the 2014 World Cup, a little mix I had fortuitously just finished, called Lincoln Olivetti: Brazilian Boogie Boss 1978­­–1984, managed to get swept up in that summer’s Brazilianity. I couldn’t believe it at first as my mix was reposted, tweeted and recommended left and right. I knew the music…

August 5, 2016 | Allen Thayer | Mixtape
Shawn Lee and KPM team up

KPM library records reimagined by Shawn Lee and Tim Love Lee for Tummy Touch Records

Library records are jewels that the keenest collectors search out. KPM is one such repository of recordings that has over 30,000 tracks in its vaults. These tracks are used throughout various media including radio, TV, and film. Self-proclaimed library music junkies Shawn Lee and Tim Love Lee sought out a couple of specific 1970s KPM 1000 series LPs that featured Herbie Flowers (bass) and Barry Morgan (drums) with hopes of filling them out…

April 11, 2014 | Eric Luecking | New Releases

A look back 20 years to the debut album of Aaliyah, the R. Kelly scandal, and her Timbaland-produced follow-up that set the R&B format on fire

Atlantic Records promo by Marc Baptiste.   On the heels of her best-selling debut, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, fifteen-year-old Aaliyah was rocked by a sex scandal that would have crushed a lesser talent. But breaking ties with her label and former producer and lover R. Kelly afforded the teenage singer to create a new musical life for herself. She joined forces with production/songwriting duo Timbaland and Missy Elliott, who crafted…

August 5, 2014 | Michael Gonzales | Articles
Tony! Tone! Toni! The Revival

Tony! Toni! Toné! founder D’Wayne Wiggins speaks in depth about their 1990 smash album The Revival

At the beginning of the 1990s, D’Wayne Wiggins, Raphael Saadiq, and Timothy Christian Riley—collectively known as Tony! Toni! Toné!—had spent years together honing their skills as musicians in Oakland, California, by performing in various bands and touring with legendary artists. After signing a record deal with Wing Records, they released their debut album, Who?, in 1988. The trio received assistance from then hit producers Denzil Foster and…

February 12, 2016 | Chris Williams | Articles
Balnearico Wax Poetics mixtape Brazil

Balnearico – The Sunny Side of Brazil’s Underground Pop mixtape by Selvagem

“Balnearico is the word we came up with when trying to find a concept that would embrace the feeling one can get from listening to these sunny, bright songs produced in the late ’70s up to the mid-’80s, no matter the genre they’re attached to—funk, rock, boogie, reggae, disco, electro, et cetera,” comments the São Paulo DJ duo Millos Kaiser and Trepanado, who go by Selvagem and created this Balnearico mix exclusively for Wax Poetics. “This…

September 12, 2014 | Wax Poetics | Mixtape

Brazilian boogie comp to drop before Christmas

  Brazil is rich in funky music. And we’re still unearthing joints from the 1960s and ’70s. But for its post-disco 1980s “boogie” era, we’ve been heavily relying on Allen Thayer’s mixtapes and recent compilations to help us navigate us through the sometimes murky waters. A new compilation, called As 10 Mais Boogie Vol. 1, is dropping on December 15 from SDB Discos. It includes some rarities from…

November 1, 2017 | Wax Poetics | New Releases/Tracks
The Show, the After Party, the Hotel

Legendary engineer Jimmy Douglass on his role in constructing Jodeci’s The Show, the After Party, the Hotel on album’s 20th anniversary

By the mid- 19 90s, Donald “Devante Swing” DeGrate, Jr., Dalvin “Mr. Dalvin” DeGrate, Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey, and Joel “Jojo” Hailey —collectiv ely known as Jodeci —had establishe d themselves as the dominant male R&B quartet on the planet . After the release s of their multi-platinum smashes Forever My Lady (1991) and Diary of a Mad Band (1993), the group redefined the standards for successful, viable R&B artist s by standing out from…

December 23, 2015 | Chris Williams | Guest Blog

Wax Poetics Issue 36 – The Brazil Issue

For our first Brazil Issue, writer David Katz sat down with tropicalia founder Gilberto Gil at his Bahia residence and spoke about the past and present. We talk with the great percussionist Airto Moreira and the brilliant Arthur Verocai, and take a look at soul man Tim Maia. Also: Jards Macale, Ceu, Joyce, Jose Roberto Bertrami, Marcio Local. re:Discovery Os Brazoes, Paul Winter & Carlos Lyra, Cassiano, Ozzie Dasilva, DJ Richardinho Marcio…

July 31, 2009 | Wax Poetics | Wax Poetics Magazine

Brazilian singer Ed Motta channeled his lifelong love for AOR in newest recording

Photo by Daryan Dornelles   “I was never a teenager,” Ed Motta explains via Skype from Rio de Janeiro at the ripe old age of forty-two. “I was born fifty years old,” Ed adds with a laugh that comes easy, involuntarily highlighting his vocal range with a few baritone bursts. This alleged time-space anomaly explains Ed’s predilection for sweater vests, vinyl, and fine wines, all of which he’s been hoarding long before they became en vogue….

February 6, 2014 | Allen Thayer | Articles

The Stepkids

“We hadn’t played a single gig, we didn’t have a single fan. We were keeping it a secret because I was still working with Alicia [Keys], and I didn’t want it to get out,” Jeff Gitelman says about the Stepkids’ auspicious beginnings. The trio recorded their first album live with a couple overdubs on analog equipment in their Connecticut studio during the final months of 2009 and started circulating it by March of 2010. They received several…

June 19, 2013 | Allen Thayer | Articles
Ed Motta AOR 2 Mixtape

Ed Motta drops AOR Mix 2 chock full of funky and rare tunes

Ed Motta has created AOR Mix 2, another brilliant mixtape exclusively for Wax Poetics, in support of his U.S. tour (stream the mix below). This weekend, the crown prince of Brazilian funk makes a special pilgrimage to the geographical source of inspiration for his latest album, AOR. San Diego, L.A., and Oakland will get a rare treat to see Ed for the first time on the West Coast in 14 years. Ed’s eleventh studio album finds the Dr. Who of…

October 8, 2014 | Allen Thayer | Mixtape

Cassiano

Genival Cassiano dos Santos is a hard sell. Sure, he wrote “Primavera,” one of Tim Maia’s first hits. He was a founding member of the primal samba-soul outfit Os Diagonais, and before that part of Bossa Trio. But record companies had a difficult time commodifying his style. In spite of his obvious skills—he’s routinely referred to as a founding father of Brazilian soul music—he bounced from RCA to Odeon to Polydor for his three solo albums,…

June 21, 2013 | Andrew Mason | Re:Discovery

Ron Hardy’s radical Music Box mixes and edits defined a new sound in dance music

  When the universally appointed “Godfather of House” Frankie Knuckles left Chicago’s Warehouse club in 1983 to start a residency at the Power Plant, Warehouse founder Robert Williams turned to a veteran of the city’s underground disco scene to pick up the reins. Although Knuckles’ time at the Warehouse in the late ’70s and early ’80s certainly laid the foundations and inspired his crowd to give the scene a name, it could be argued that…

March 16, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles

Melody Maestros: As Ratatat, Mike Stroud and Evan Mast have a penchant for making catchy yet cerebral instrumentals, featuring smart interplay between guitar, synthesizers, and crisp beats

echo adrotate_group(2, 0, 0, 0); “I was so into [Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass]. I had all of his records,” says multi-instrumentalist/producer Evan Mast, one half of Ratatat, explaining his high school sonic explorations. “There is definitely something a little bit funny about a lot of those songs, but there are certain ones that have awesome melodies.” It’s nearly impossible to imagine a sound further from Ratatat’s futuristic…

July 8, 2015 | Allen Thayer | Features
The Continental Bath

Electric Relaxation:
The Continental Baths birthed NYC disco and the careers of Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan

Housed in the basement of a grandiose turn-of-the-century hotel on New York’s Upper West Side, the Baths were at the epicenter of gay culture and the burgeoning equal rights movement. The club’s early success in breaking new talent like Bette Midler and Patti LaBelle soon gave way to DJs moving front and center as the main attraction for its towel-clad patrons. After the sound system was overhauled on a shoestring budget, the club recruited…

May 4, 2016 | Dan Gentile | Features
Obscure rap from BBE

Funky Vignettes from Rap’s Obscure Early Days

The first rap music ever recorded in a studio and put on wax was an attempt to duplicate the sounds bubbling up from small clubs in dilapidated areas of New York City, places where DJs spun funky disco records and MCs chatted up the crowd with witty rhymes. After Sylvia Robinson took a chance and issued “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979, the floodgates opened as dozens of musical entrepreneurs realized that they too could commit…

April 9, 2014 | Andrew Mason | New Releases

James Brown

James Brown was always in the moment. His greatest records, from “Cold Sweat” to “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothin’,” were performances; that is, they were recorded as if he and the band were sweating through a live show. The affect left their grooves soaked-through with spontaneity. Brown was not just the bandleader, the singer, and the focal point, he was a member of the band, his rough voice a…

December 25, 2007 | Harry Weinger | In Memoriam

Om’Mas of SA-RA Creative Partners speaks the truth

Sa-Ra. Om’Mas Keith, Taz Arnold, and Shafiq of SA-RA Creative Partners. © Pablo Aguilar Photography.   To start it the way it ends, SA-RA is about to take over. From their latest full album, Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love, to the EPs and singles and group members’ solo efforts like Shafiq’s Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka and Om’Mas’s forthcoming City Pulse, it’s clear that something special is continuously unfolding. The following…

February 24, 2010 | Corey Bloom | Articles

No worries bout nothin

PICTURE ME HOARDIN. (Moral support via Daniel Dumile and Grandma’s afghan.) My entire hair repertoire, from “smooth and nicely brushed” to “aw fuck it.”   BEAT SWAP MEET #17, 03/11/12 – My grasp of what constitutes “style” is limited, but I know that ladies should always accentuate the indent where the waist meets the hips and that the cotton sundress is timeless. I know that unless you are dating Fabolous, your boyfriend…

March 28, 2012 | Logan Melissa | Guest Blog

I mastered what?

AFTER THE MADNESS: home (outside) (inside)   The uncles of America would like you to listen to more Donald Byrd, please. You’ve heard, loved, and looked out the window wistfully to “I’m a Fool to Want You” and “Cristo Redentor,” and watched me walk down the street to “The Emperor” (DON’T LIE I SAW YOU), so you know that uncles are absolutely justified in their Byrd pushiness….

March 4, 2013 | Logan Melissa | Guest Blog

E.Z. Mike Simpson of the Dust Brothers pulls endless possibilities from the funky past

E.Z. Mike Simpson of the Dust Brothers, circa 1989. Photo courtesy of Mario Caldato Jr. Upon my first occasion to visit the Dust Brothers’ legendary studio, PCP Labs, in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, I stepped to Michael “E.Z. Mike” Simpson like De La Soul: “Please listen to my demo.” Mike, speaking in earnest, said, “I have that demo! Hang on a second,” and proceeded to fish said demo from the garbage, recounting how he received it…

May 20, 2013 | Aja West | Articles

An excerpt from the book Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train

Excerpted with permission from Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train (Backbeat Books).   This is not Michael Jackson, and this is not “Thriller”! —from “King of Rock,” by Run-D.M.C. By 1979, the music industry was changing fast, and Soul Train and Don Cornelius were struggling to keep up. On July 12, 1979, Comiskey Park became the receptacle for rock and roll fans’ revulsion, as the end…

October 2, 2013 | Ericka Blount Danois | Articles
Dub Sound System

Everybody loves sound systems. Besides venue owners.

Hometown HiFi. Photo by Miles Lightwood. Ask around. Everybody loves sound systems, and sound-system culture at large. Instant street cred. So cool! So visual! Really sounds better! And, hey, how about that Hometown HiFi art show, at L.A.’s Sonos Studio, that just closed its doors last week? Everyone. Besides venue owners, it seems, who never understand why a piece of sound equipment should be considered as a full-on musical instrument….

April 28, 2014 | Seb Carayol | Guest Blog
Daniele Baldelli Afro Cosmic Disco

Italian DJ Daniele Baldelli created the Afro Cosmic disco scene

Danielle Baldelli, 1973. All photos courtesy of Danielle Baldelli.   Imagine circling the planet in a spaceship—weightless, far from home, listening to music on your gravity-modified iPod. Or imagine trying to sprint through a field of corn wearing flippers. Imagine even—indulge me a moment—trying to swim through a vat of black molasses in your trunks and goggles. This dislocating slowness, this…chugging gloop is not unlike the Afro…

February 18, 2015 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Bishop Nehru

New York phenom Bishop Nehru is the new Golden Child of hip-hop

  “I have a lot of books. Right now, back home, I have The Kybalion and I have Stellar Man; books for Hermetic principles and things like that. I have books on color: color as a frequency and how certain color affects the body… I read all kinds of stuff,” says young hip-hop artist Bishop Nehru, born Markel Scott, down a telephone line stretching from Beverly Hills, California, to Hackney, London, before continuing: “I used to read…

May 12, 2015 | Alice Price-Styles | Articles

Avant-garde cellist Arthur Russell deconstructed disco

Arthur Russell at Gull Lake at the family summer home in Minnesota.Photo by Charles Russell Sr. and courtesy of the estate of Arthur Russell/Audika Records.   There is an iconic image of Arthur Russell sitting by a lake on a dining-room chair with his cello between his knees. “I snatched my camera and went out on the main dock to take the picture,” says Russell’s father Chuck. “In the background you can see our fishing dock and the red…

July 31, 2013 | Stuart Aitken | Articles
Prince Rogers Nelson

Our new hybrid journal with no ads.          Available in paperback and hardcover. 118 pages of all-new…