“…and the gangs of the moon”

There’s much to catch hold of in the following video. Notice the admiration on Caetano Veloso’s face as he listens to Gilberto Gil sing, and the charisma between these two lifelong friends and masters of Brazilian music. If you play guitar, it’s fun to listen to the Gil’s technique; it seems to demystify how a samba should be presented. Grab a pair of head phones to hear the ambient texture of music charts being shuffled while Veloso dances.

“Maquina do Ritmo” (Rhythm Machine) is a gorgeous song, and while this opening scene of the documentary “Outros Bárbaros,” picks up more than halfway through the piece, you get a sense of Gil’s unique melodic and lyrical chops. The samba offers a piquant commentary on both our increasingly computerized culture and the “novas tecno-ilusões” that inform the music of the night clubs of Rio de Janeiro. It ends on images pulled from a dream. I’ve provided a rough translation of the first lyrics you hear below, but by all means, seek out the rest for a glimpse into our collective future.

Courtesy the YouTube channel of Perlusqui

“Máquina de Ritmo
Quem sabe um bom pó de pirlimpimpim
Possa deletar a dor de quem
Deixou de lado o tamborim
Apesar do seu computador
Ter samba bom, samba ruim
Se aperto o botão, meu coração
Há de dizer que é samba sim”

Rhythm Machine
Who knows? A good sprinkling of pixie dust
Can possibly delete the pain of those
Who’ve left behind the tambourine
Although your computer
Holds both good and bad sambas
If I press the button, my heart
Can tell me if the samba is true

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