You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Maga Bo is an American-born music producer who's spent the past 12 years living in Brazil and observing its music. His passion is traditional vocals and percussion, and there's plenty of both in Brazil. On his latest album, he juxtaposes indigenous Brazilian roots music and high-tech production. Banning Eyre has our review.


BANNING EYRE, BYLINE: That metallic buzz you hear is the one-stringed Brazilian berimbau. In Brazil, it provides the characteristic accompaniment for an expressive martial art form called capoeira.


EYRE: In producer Maga Bo's world, berimbau becomes an element in a time-traveling collage of organic sounds. On this album, "Quilombo do Futuro," vibrating strings, booming drumheads and vocal melodies that might go back centuries coexist with rhythmic sound effects and club-friendly beats.


EYRE: Maga Bo records traditional artists playing capoeira, coco, samba, maculele and other rootsy Brazilian genres. Then he constructs spacious layered mixes that sound modern but keep the indigenous sounds in the foreground. On this track, racing snare drum rhythms provide the backing for dancehall vocals by MC Zulu.


EYRE: On one track, Maga Bo incorporates the pendulous rhythms of the Brazilian northeast, once excluded from the country's popular culture. Listen to the seductive sensuality of this groove and you'll understand why northeast music has become a sensation among Brazilian music fans in recent years.


EYRE: The word quilombo in the album title originally referred to an autonomous community established by runaway slaves in colonial Brazil. Quilombos were places of both physical and spiritual refuge. By calling this album "Quilombo do Futuro," the quilombo of the future, Maga Bo defines a kind of virtual refuge for traditional culture, giving it a welcome place in the techy global music soundscape of the 21st century.


BLOCK: Banning Eyre is senior editor at He reviewed "Quilombo do Futuro" by Maga Bo.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from