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Various Artists: Brazilian Beats

This DVD is divided into three documentaries depicting unique aspects of Brazilian culture. The first one concentrates on the roots of the rock-and-samba movement, the second continues with an emphasis on the second wave of performers and the last is nonmusical, focusing on women’s empowerment efforts. Hip-hop and rap merge with samba at the beginning and pleasantly sounds refreshing compared to what we hear in America. In fact, the grassroots DJs mix it up quite tastefully with percussionists, musicians and singers, and the music ends up sounding fairly organic. Visually, the DVD is not the best and the sound is off at times, with the rappers not always audible. You get the vibe pretty clearly though, and the second documentary really conveys the feel of rock-samba artists. To my ears the genre sounds like contemporary jazz and samba, accentuated by splashes of pop vocals and rapping.

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