November 30, 2011
Tribo Massàhi is a perfect example of how user-generated content online is overturning how we create cultural canons. This obscure gem has been posted on a great many blogs over the last several years. Though seemingly much loved, details about the album or its creators still remain unknown. La Colmena de Humo seems to have pulled together a few facts. Apparently the lead songwriter—known as Embaixador (Ambassador)—appeared in at least one film in Brazil, playing a gangster in the James Bonds-like musical Roberto Carlos em Ritmo de Aventura (1968), and is reported to have died in the 90s. I am assuming he recorded the single first, a more conservative affair as evidenced by the tamer version of "Fareuá" on the B-side, before making an ensemble album, Estrelando Embaixador, under the collective name Tribo Massàhi. The production quality and experimentation on the Tribo Massàhi recording is an exponential leap forward from the the 45. Estrelando Embaixador is candomblé-inspired psychedelic party music, taking the Afro-Brazlian sound into some wild territory. It's a heady mix of tropicalismo, chimed guitar, conversational chatter, studio fuckery, and heavy percussion with a female chorus. The songs blend together so that each side of the record runs as a continual piece. Side A is called "Timolô, Timodê;" Side B "Lido's Square."
A few notes: Though the original record Estrelando Embaixador plays nonstop start to finish on each side, I have separated the tracks here for your mp3/deejay convenience. I also tried to slightly clean up the sound, but the higher bitrate here may be misleading; I appropriated the same source files as posted on Brazilian Nuggets, which is where I bid you go if you prefer the unedited files. I also just ripped the singles for the Embaixador 45 off of Youtube because that's the only way to hear them so far to my knowledge. More info in the comments section.