Today's New York Times features an article on the northern Brazilian "tecnobrega" scene, and while the focus is the "piracy" and decentralized distribution model, they don't really talk about the music itself, which makes it seem like it must be almost unfathomably exotic. Well, in fact, the opposite is true: the whole point of brega is the cheesy accessibility, and the "tecno" prefix is a little misleading, since this is no, uh, 808 State. Actually, it sounds a lot like reggaeton, and the loping rhythm will be familiar to anyone who turns on the radio in LA (a kind of "boom-chicka-booom-chick"). I found a couple videos to check out after the jump.
Here's a video from a big brega party, with the music sped up a little faster than usual:
You gotta love the screaming "SUUUPER POP" IDs. For a brief intro to brega and how it's made, watch this excerpt from Good Copy Bad Copy, a documentary film about copyright and culture:
Tecnobrega has also produced a star: Lenny Bellard, who sings in the style on "Idolos," the Brazilian "American Idol." (Although of course we got it from England).
While tecnobrega's home-brewed nature is inspiring, and the business model that treats CDs as giveaway advertising, reaping profits only from events (with DJ crews all trying to outdo each other with elaborate high-tech setups) looks increasingly like the future, the music is, honestly, a little goofy, and this from a guy who made a mashup of "London Bridge." But I've never danced all night at a tecnobrega party in Belem, so what do I know.