For our second instalment of the Tuckshop Mix Series, we’re pleased to welcome Joe Osborne of Brazilian Wax who journeys through 90 minutes of sunshine grooves via his Sem Pressa mix along with suggestions and insights to some of his favourite tracks and influences.
“This mix meanders through a variegated collection of Brazilian music. After an opening dripping with attitude courtesy of Priscilla Ermel’s and Bebel Gilberto’s recent releases, we swing into a swaggering, groove-heavy mood. Dipping into a Carrot Green slow-roller, we come out the other side in some fusion, funk and R&B before Azymuth’s rhythm section going back to back. Towards the middle of the mix we leave groove-based music behind briefly, with some structurally-meticulous Elis Regina and ethereal Flora Purim. The last section of the mix carries you through, often fuzz-laden, dance music beginning in the Afro-Brazilian idiom before climaxing with a bass-slapping edit from Gop Tun’s XAMA 2020 compilation. After our favourite slice of mathy fusion, the mix ends with something special commemorating the recently deceased and dearly-loved soul sensation, Bill Withers.”
Who is your favourite Brazilian artist?
Part of me would say Seu Jorge because, if I hadn’t seen him on his America Brasil O Disco tour and fallen in love with that album when I was 11, then none of Brazilian Wax would have happened. On the other hand, it would be easy to say someone like Jorge Ben just for how prolific a songwriter he is; in my teenage years I got into a different album of his intensely almost every year. But I probably have a far more personal love of Baden Powell (particularly the beautiful Os Afro-Sambas), or Flora Purim’s discography, or Chico Buarque’s Construção… I think, though, it has to be Gal Costa. The two albums she released in 1969 are totally incomparable: the tenderness, the sweetness, the beauty of the compositions and her voice above the walls of noise, the thrashing guitars, the extra-terrestrial noises. It’s psychedelia, it’s MPB, it’s Tropicália, it’s funk and it’s cinematic all at the same time. Lovely.
What’s your surefire record to get a crowd dancing?
An easy one is Cosme Martin & Christian Vila’s Remix of Baianá. When Covid-19 really hit the UK, we were half-way through a tour alongside Augusto Olivani (Trepanado) who rereleased Barbatuques’ original Baianá on his Selva Discos label. He was saying that he still get’s people contacting him constantly about remixing Baianá. And you can see why. It’s an unbelievably climactic tune, and while this remix leaves out some of its quirks, it gives it plenty of oomph and a killer build.
Also, Balako’s Jungle Music, Yehudit Ravitz’s cover of Boleiro, and Bosq and Bruno Morais’ Com Força (which is on this mix) get the crowd jumping.
As a vinyl collector and avid Brazilian fan, what do you make of new technology. Are you more likely to go with vinyl or digital formats?
Well, in spite of being an avid collector – and in spite of the Brazilian Wax moniker – I’m going to say digital for this one. When we started out DJing, we had the cheapest controller going and every now and then (when we couldn’t find any other file) we’d have to drop pretty shoddy YouTube rips. People would dance like mad then, and they still do nowadays when we play with far superior digital gear or records. I think, growing up on punk has made me really believe that music (just as all creative endeavours) should be fully accessible. And, for sure, a lot of young people with a lot of great music to share are put off DJing because of how expensive all the gear is. I know we wouldn’t be doing what we are if we had to ship hundreds of records over from Brazil – we just can’t afford that. But, luckily, it doesn’t matter because for me, the joy is in sharing brilliant music and making people enjoy themselves and that’s possible regardless of music format.
Who would you say are your top 3 favourite DJs?
Having said that, we’ve had the pleasure to play with some unreal DJ talents who use both formats in technically incredible ways. Trepanado and DJ Tahira have both opened our eyes to how creative a DJ can be. I personally have loved seeing Josey Rebelle play a few times: the blend of aggression and visceral danciness is so refreshing and energising. Honourable mention to our good friend, Tim Garcia (Música Macondo) as well – the last time out at NT’s, he dropped some stuff we knew back-to-front but he made it sound so fresh and its impact was so new. I still don’t know how he managed that.
You’re in isolation for 6 months, you can only listen to one album for the entire duration. What is it?
Charles Mingus’ The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady. The arrangement, the story it tells, the way it moves uninterrupted, its deviations into clattering noise or stripped-back flamenco guitar, the sadness, the humour, the anger… It’s like reading a Faulkner novel: polyglottal, messy, aggressive, funny, and also just a totally captivating story. Having said that, I would miss my most intimate love, Chet Baker, and his late, post-embouchure-changing albums: The Touch Of Your Lips, Someday My Prince Will Come, Diane, Crystal Bells… Got to be Mingus though. There’s so much to unravel there…
What’s the last track you listened to?
Saliva Hog off Baxter Dury’s new album. He’s not as groovy, not as funny, not as creative, not as enthralling as his dad. But he’s still all of those things in bucket-fulls. His 2020 album The Night Chancers has soundtracked me and my girlfriend’s lockdown so far and some of the lyrics throughout the album are just so brilliant and delivered in such a brilliantly funny way.
Listen to Brazilian Wax’s contribution to the Tuckshop Mix Series via Soundcloud here.