Sunday, June 19, 2011

ROCK Sex: "UMBABARAUMA!" - James Brown > Jorge Ben > Imperial Teen > Soulfly

ROCK Sex gets the ball and runs with it.

Today, a culture relay from Funk to Samba to Electro to Indie Rock to Thrash Metal.


Brazil's Jorge Ben Jor made a Funk homage to a soccer star with his song "Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma)" in 1976.

The song began (like all things) as a cross-cultural hybrid, this one between Brazilian Tropicalia and West African rhythms with some decided U.S. Funk swagger. A prime influence was The Minister Of New New Super Heavy Funk, James Brown, as evidenced by the rhythmic groove of this classic example.

JAMES BROWN -"The Payback" (1973)

Jorge Ben's lyrics homage "Umbabarauma/ an African point man/ ...a man whose mind is made up."

JORGE BEN -"Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)" (1976)

The song was made more internationally famous in 1989 when it was the spotlight hit on David Byrne's Brazilian compilation album, "Beleza Tropical". A striking animated video helped drive its success.:

In England, it morphed into Big Beat Electronica in a mash-up with Graham Central Station's "Now Do U Wanta Dance" (1977).

FILA BRAZILLIA -"Pots And Pans" (1993)

Imperial Teen, a kind of indie supergroup based out of San Francisco, used the rhythm guitar lick as a departure point for their own stellar song, "Yoo Hoo". The song was used in the film Jawbreaker, and star Rose McGowan appears in the song's video:

IMPERIAL TEEN -"Yoo Hoo" (1999)

SOULFY, a Thrash band that Brazilian Max Calavera formed after Sepultura, did a hard-crashing cover of it that extended its fame.

SOULFLY- "Umbabarauma" (1998)

It came full-circle to Brazil with this funky collective.

GRUPO BATUQUE -"Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)" (2000)

"Run, kick, find a hole, thrill and give thanks
See how the whole city empties out
On this beautiful afternoon to watch you play"

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

1 comment:

Julian said...

Great post man. I heard the Umababarauma version of Soulfly a few years ago and thought it was theirs, but now i find the original version much better and nicer. Sounds to me like R&B brazilian version.
Also like the lyrics, very spiritual.

Love the imperial teen's video as well. Thanks for posting this joy to music.