Set to coincide with the opening ceremony of Brazil’s 2016 Olympics, Gilles Peterson’s feature-length documentary on Brazilian music is now available to watch online for the first time. Titled Brasil Bam Bam Bam, it was filmed in 2014 to then tour film festivals and one-off screenings without ever being available to a wider audience.
Filmed during the making of the debut Sonzeira album of the same name, the record was a unique collision of Brazilian’s brightest musical lights. Likewise, the film is about giving a snapshot of contemporary Brazilian music that goes deeper than the bossa nova stereotypes.
Heading out there with Sam Shepherd (aka Floating Points) and Rob G (aka Earl Zinger of Galliano and 2 Banks of 4), they met touchstones from different corners of Brazil’s musical universe: moving from Ed Motta’s record collection to performances by superstar Elza Soares, they also visit Rio’s infamous favelas. Touching on the police pacification in preparation for 2014’s World Cup and this year’s Olympics, they see the birthplace of samba in light of its subversive, outlawed history.
And of course, there’s the hunt for records too. In particular, Gilles’ search for José Prates’ Tam… Tam… Tam… !, which turned out to be the inspiration – and source material – for the new Sonzeira album, Tam Tam Tam Reimagined, released on his Brownswood Recordings last month. Poring through record shops around Rio, it’s another insight into the breadth of styles and sounds out there.
The film was produced by BOSH, the award winning, in-house production arm of ad agency Mother London. Their resident director Charlie Inman teamed up with Rio de Janeiro-based director Ben Holman, of Beija Films.