Wednesday, May 31, 2006

RIO ROX flyer front

RIO ROX flyer back

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

RIO ROX baile funk party returns to the UK!

It's official. The RIO ROX party is back! Following the huge success of our first party last Decemeber we're throwing another party NEXT WEEK! The legendary Mr Catra and DJ Edgar are flying in from Brazil to mash up the place alongside DJ Deekline and MC Darrison. All of you who made it down last time know the score- loads of sexy dancing, bad-ass beats, caipoiera artists and caipirinha cocktails! This time we're heading to Guanabara club in London...

What? RIO ROX baile funk party
When? Thursday June 8th from 9pm-2.30am
Where? Guanabara Club, Parker Street, Holborn, London:
Who? Mr Catra, DJ Edgar, DJ Deekline, MC Darrison
How much? £5 all night!

Hit me on for guest list.

Be there or be a hermit all your life.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Love from Favela Cantagalo to the UK

Hey peeps,

Just got an email from both the key international manager/promoter of carioca funk, Adriana Pitti and favela Cantagalo's star DJ, Sany Pitbull. They read the article that appears in Dazed (below) this month and this is what they said:

Dear Elle J,

We just received and read Dazed. You were noticed. On behalf of Cantagalo's community, Sany wants to thank you to you and all the people breaking barriers and going to the bailes. Thank you for giving so much respect to Brazil's ghetto culture. Sany is pleased to know that your experience was so amazing.

Recently the police entered the favela and refused to renew the license for the community centre and stopped the bailes there. It stayed like this for one month but, because of so much attention from police and the media, the police and comunity came together to change the state of things. Now there is real police surveilance for the party and no more guns or drugs. Now the baile is just for the people who want to dance and enjoy funk music... there is still shit dancing on the bathroom floor though!

Hugs, beijos and come back when you can.

Thank you,

DJ Sany Pitbull & Adriana xxx

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Inside Favela Cantagalo's Baile

Hey peoples, I wrote the article below after raving at a baile in Cantagalo. A version of it appears in Dazed & Confused's May issue, out now. Go buy it for the wicked photo from Daniela Dacorso alone.

Inside a Rio Funk Baile
Words by Elle J Small

You’ve heard Rio funk’s syncopated beats but what’s it like inside Brazil’s actual bailes? Coke, tampons and guns are standard.

Three gun-toting guys are standing at the top of some steep-ass steps, guarding the entrance to favela (ghetto) Cantagalo’s throbbing funk baile (ball). Inside, a fast drumbeat rattles the wrought-iron roof. Below, the community take full advantage. Caipirinha cocktails are on sale for 1R (about 25p) for the 2,000-plus funk lovers. Cigarettes, sweets and beer are also up for grabs.

It’s been ‘interesting’ getting here. Manager to funk’s stars, Adriana Pittigliani decided to simply hail us a cab to one of Rio’s biggest, weekly underground bailes. The first refused, his expression as though we wanted to party in Iraq. By 2am a second taxi begrudgingly agreed, dropping us metres away from a bunch of seemingly corrupt police at the favela entrance.

Breathing in, so as not to nudge the spliff-smoking drug soldiers and their loaded rifles, we enter into a steaming mass of Brazilian teenagers. Cocaine-joint fumes, sweat and weed fill the air, but the majority of the people are here purely to flirt and grind. ‘Grind’- the word doesn’t really come close to depicting the sexuality on the dance floor. Think ragga meets grime (‘go go wine’ and ‘gun-finger’ are staple moves) and add heaps of raunchiness.

Three very fit ladies, clad in tinsy tops and tight hipsters –displaying enviable, washboard bellies- are up on stage showing the youts dem how it’s done. They call themselves Caçadores de Marido, which translates as ‘The Husband Hunters’. Every boy, and girl, in the baile is transfixed by their pornographic moves. For the funkers, this is far more interesting than the scary-looking 6’ 5 dude, openly counting a huge wad of notes with his moody amigos by the DJ booth. Sensing we shouldn’t really be present, a trip to the loos is the perfect ‘excuse-me’.

Going for a piss in a baile is like entering a whole different universe- one with no doors, where coke is openly snorted and shit flows out of toilets. In front of me, a wide-eyed teen is hovering over a loo; one hand balanced on her strong left thigh; the other pulling a bloody tampax from her vagina.

Saving ‘numbers twos’ for the luxury of our downtown apartment, we venture back to the dance-floor. An MC has stopped DJ Sany Pitbull’s set and is shouting something loudly in Portuguese and hissing ‘Shhhh’. The scary dudes are beside him and 2,000-odd people stop flirting and shut the fuck up. Everyone stares at the ground for what feels like an eternity. Afterwards, Adriana tells me we just participated in a one-minute silence to celebrate the life of a recently murdered drug lord from Cantagalo.