A tribute to the forgotten Brazilian sub-genre and 80s dance movement “Charme” an album of effervescent machine funk harking back to a golden era of Brazilian party music.
The era of interest for Sao Paulo’s Pedro Zopelar begins in the 1980s in Rio de Janeiro, when a particular phenomenon caught on at suburban parties which became known as Charme. “Charme was like a mix of slow boogie, RnB and new jack swing,” explains Zopelar. “DJ Corello started calling ‘charme’ the moment
of the party when he played slow grooves and felt that the people started dancing differently, with sexier synchronized moves. Some years later, charme evolved from an awaited moment of a night to a whole movement of parties just playing that kind of music. On this record I tried to make something that brings this emotional feeling to my music in a modern way.”
Much like the original genre-not-genre he drew inspiration from, Zopelar’s approach across his latest LP spans different moods and tempos. There’s blissful, sultry mystery lingering around ‘Clara’ and ‘Do You Feel?’ while OSAGIE lends some chops to the exquisite, Rompler-powered synth funk of ‘Chain Net’. The lead singles ‘Shibuya’, ‘Charme’ and ‘Passado’ all tap into varying shades of deep house, from slinky City Pop-tinted loungers to peak-time dance pop and Larry Heard-influenced flavours, with the constant being Zopelar’s immaculate production and the unbridled warmth of his compositions.
Continuing the Latin-rooted theme of the album, the artwork conception of Charme was realized by multidisciplinary artist and curator Ode, showcasing a popular style of street paintings made by anonymous artists throughout Latin America. It’s not about graffiti-culture but a popular solution utilized by small restaurants, bars and other establishments to use their own walls for commercial purposes, hiring artists to paint food and drink menus or other information about their products.