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First Listen: Rolê, 'New Sounds Of Brazil'

Lucas Santtana appears on the new compilation<em> Rolê: New Sounds Of Brazil</em>, out June 24.
Cristiano Caniche
Courtesy of the artist
Lucas Santtana appears on the new compilation Rolê: New Sounds Of Brazil, out June 24.

This is not your parents' Brazilian music.

This is the Brazil where samba, bossa nova and Musica Popular Brasileira meet hip-hop, rock, jazz and electronica. Underneath all the contemporary mash ups is the DNA that makes Brazilian music some of the most vibrant on the planet: Interlocking rhythms that go right to the hips; melodies that never seem to veer into the somber minor keys; and drums of all shapes and sizes.

These tracks all come from the British-based record label Mais Un Discos (One More Record label) and is the brainchild of the Brit DJ and producer Lewis Robinson, who calls himself "Mais Un Gringo" (One More Gringo). The compilation is the result of his most recent trek through more than 10 states in Brazil.

There are more than 40 tracks and bands on this compilation ranging from the socially conscious-fueled rock of Apanhador So, Bixiga 70's Latin funk, bossa jazzers Ruspo and the bossa punk of Madame Rrose Selavy.

It must be hard to live with a legacy that goes back to the early 1960s, when the world seemed to first discover Brazil and its music. It's like a musician having a breakaway hit on the first album then trying to move past that youthful expression as he or she moves on to middle age.

This album and so many others being made in Brazil these days will break the spell of that 55-year-old memory and replace it with sounds that are vaguely familiar but also so very new and vital.

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.