What Is Samba Punk?

Brazilian Influence

Some members of the band played in carnival with O Bloco Escoces in Olinda, learning first hand and performing the regional style Maracatu. Bloco Vomit performed at carnival and discovered there were similiar things happening in Olinda and its neighbour town, Recife called Manguebeat. A movement originated in the late 80s, which mixes traditional rhythms (mostly Maracatu) with punk, grunge, hip-hop and reggae. Also, on that trip, another two important things were discovered - caipirinha and cross-dressing. At the Parade of Virgins at carnival all the men dressed as woman and partied. The band brought that idea back with them (and some cachaca too!)

The Instruments

Basically the percussion instruments used in samba are surdos (bass drums), repinique (high pitched snare like), ganzas (shakers), caixa (snare drum), agogo bells/cowbell. This is the core of Bloco Vomit. Presently, the surdos are covered by Miss Construed, Ruth Less and Rusty Halo; the repinique, cowbell and timba by Vi Aggra; the xeqere and chocalho by Zen O Phobia; the ganzas by Chocolate Karma Sutra; and the caixa by Hedwig Van Beetroot. On top of this we have Gare Rama (previously Hanley "Hamlet" Crouch) with his distorted guitar and vocals; Jal Frezi on trumpet and vocals; Cherry Parsnip on vocals and caixa; and Annie Climax on repinique, snare and (recently) bass guitar. There are also various voms scattered around the UK and the world: Australia, Brazil, France and Italy. These have included Mo Guarana, Agent Orange, Lady Lovelace, Satan Stills, Claudio "Zambohead" Maracatu, Anita Pint, Mr E Beat and the late Jack Arade-Parade.

The Rhythms

Mixing rhythms, from various Brazilian regions, with punk is a natural combination. From the frantic batucada from Rio de Jenario, to the trance-like maracatu from Pernambuco, through to Salvador's samba reggae and baiao, then the hybrid timbalada/hip-hop, also Afoxe, also from the North East.

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