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A caipirinha is a Brazilian cocktail made with sugar-cane brandy; a caipirissima is version made with rum, a non-Brazilian substitute. The New York-based Caipirinha label, run by Brazilian-born filmmaker Iara Lee, serves up Caipirissima , a compilation of new music from a new Brazilian beat culture that is taking European and North American electronic-music paradigms and shaking and stirring them up.

The shuffling beats of batucada, Brazilian music's massed drum sections, have long provided exotic samples for record-bin raiders; Caipirissima features "Sub Tropic," one such track from Brazilian-born/U.K.-based Amon Tobin, along with tracks from fellow expats and erstwhile Brazilians DJ Soulslinger and Arto Lindsay. But the comp also offers up "Pupila Dilatada," wherein Sao Paulo's Suba and Mestre Ambrosio Underground use modern production techniques to turn a shuffling forro rhythm into a trancey, rumbling batucada dance track.

For North American ears, it's a dizzying treat to hear up-and-coming artists such as Recife's DJ Delores, BiD and Apollo 9 putting their mark on familiar old drum 'n' bass, breaks and trip-hop as they bring Brazilian flavor both new and traditional to their tracks (check out the samba-school whistles of Delores' "Monica No Samba [She Loves Drum 'n' Cavaco]"). Like any compilation, Caipirissima has its peaks and valleys, but the new twists and dislocations each cut offers make them all worth exploring.

-- Lee Gardner


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