Sunday, June 19, 2011

UMBABARAUMA!: Jorge Ben> Imperial Teen> Soulfly

"And I'm familiar/ with the Kama Sutra..."

Today, a culture relay from funky samba 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.

The 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 1988 when it was the spotlight hit on David Byrne's Brazilian compilation album, "Beleza Tropical". A striking animated video helped drive its success.

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" (live, 2002)

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

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.