Various – Far Out Summer Screen Burn review

Cementing their position as all round experts on every aspect of Brazilian music both old and new, Far Out have over the years passed on their expert knowledge to TV and film studios looking for the perfect samba rock or jazzy carnival theme. Their choices have ended up on a variety of well-known shows and adverts and Far Out celebrate this with their Summer Screen Burn compilation. Not that cultural references are needed to appreciate the twelve tunes on offer; they’re all brimming with enough unique Brazilian charm and energy to win over any listener.

Zero Db’s mix of Grupo Batuque’s “E Ruim” kicks off the selection in style, marrying deep rumbling bass to the original’s frenzied percussion and speedy samba licks. Recent material from Brazilian legends Azymuth like the stomping, organ-led “Roda Piao” or the rare groove/fusion of “Em Marica” also find a good home on this compilation. Democustico’s “Brazil” is another highlight, featuring an excellent wandering female vocal lead which is backed up by tough, nu-funk beats. Jose Roberto Bertrami’s “Aventura” is yet another funk-inspired winner with classic popcorn-funk drums recalling Mickey and the Soul Generation and chanking guitars in tribute to The JB’s.

Not everything is quite as lively however – a few suitable slow numbers also make the grade, like Troubleman’s “Paz” which does exotic bossa nova via some heart-wrenching and beautiful strings as well as some heavily echoed vocals. The Ipanema’s also do a gentle bossa turn on “Era Bom”, but the real gem in this album is the drums-only carnival march of “Batacada Com Mingo” by Friends From Rio. Arranged perfectly, it showcases the simple and incredible power at the heart of samba, and is yet another reason to give props to Far Out for continuing to release such a range of otherwise hard to find nuggets.

Oliver Keens