The big shot of Baile Funk

Jungle caught up with Man Recordings head honcho and baile funk connoisseur Daniel Haaksman, who cottoned on to the vibrant baile funk scene and sound back in 2003 and has been playing and releasing it ever since, ahead of his London gigs in May (see below) to see what’s making him tick these days. And who better to interview him than young mashup DJ, João Brasil!

When and how did you first hear or encounter Baile Funk music? Who was the artist, and what did you find interesting and appealing about it?
I first heard Baile Funk in 2003 when a friend of mine returned from Brazil bringing me a stack of CDs he bought on the streets of Rio. He said: “Check it out, this is what people hear in Rio”. When I heard the first tracks, I was blown away. The fierce raps, the energy of the music, the frantic sampling with references to Electro Funk, Samba, Techno Hop, Euro House and Pop were very exciting to hear. At that time I was bored by both club music and rap so Baile Funk was a fresh inspiration for my DJ sets.

The Baile Funk scene in Brazil is one that functions and thrives on its own. It does’t need to be on TV, in newspapers, blogs or any hype machine to exist. Do you think it’s the same in Europe? Does Baile Funk music need to be in the hype machine to exist outside of Brazil?
It was a very hype sound three/four years ago but today in Europe it’s an absolute niche phenomenon. There are a few DJs that play it, some producers got inspired by it, yet it’s still considered a very exotic sound. Despite great media coverage, baile funk hasn’t trickled down to a large base, both with DJs and club followers.

What do you think about other “Global guetto tech” music styles from Brazil, like Tecnobrega and Electronic Forró?
I think they’re great. All in all, Brazilian music continues to be very innovative and inspiring. I especially like Tecno Brega and its anything goes mentality and big love for remixing anything that has a good tune.

When did you start out with Man Recordings? Who was the first artist released? What were your plans back in those days?
I started Man Recordings in 2005 – in fact, we are celebrating 5 years anniversary this year and also soon the 50th release – the first release was called “Não Wave” and it was a compilation of Brazilian post punk from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. I basically started Man Recordings after my compilation “Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats” – which was released on my old label Essay Recordings – became a big international hit and I saw that there was a market and people were interested in Baile Funk.

When I saw the great press and how well the compilation was selling, I decided to give this new music from Brazil – be it Não Wave from São Paulo or Baile Funk from Rio – a label platform on which musicians from both Brazil and Europe could present their works and the exchange of musical ideas could be initiated. I’ve released original baile funk from artists like Sany Pitbull, DJ Sandrinho, DJ Egdar or Amazing Clay in the “Baile Funk Masters” series on Man Rec, but also European interpretations of the sound in the “Funk Mundial” series with artists like Crookers, Sinden, Jesse Rose, Feadz collaborating with MCs like Mr.Catra, Deize Tigrona or Gaiola Das Popozudas and many others.

My first real artist on Man Recordings was Edu K, I released his ‘Popozuda Rock n´Roll’ as his first single. It was unkown in Europe before that and became a big hit – it was even used in a Coca-Cola spot in Germany and for a Nike spot in Italy!! Now the label has a solid roster of artists that are based both in Brazil and Europe. The next year should see a further extension of the sound, more openings to other countries, not only relating to Brazil but sounds from all over the world – there’s so much exciting stuff.

And now, what are your plans and dreams for the future?
Dreams for the future… well I’m happy to say that when it comes to Baile Funk, I’ve released my favourite artists from that genre so I’ve kind of done all that could be done, so I’d like to focus more on my own productions, I’m about to finish my album which will be released in autumn 2010!

What other DJs, musicians or producers do you look to for inspiration?
I still listen to all kinds of music, both old and contemporary, from rap to heavy metal to classical music to jazz. I really can’t tell any favourite names, it changes continuously. I’m just bathing in a sea of music every day and there are always records, tracks and musicians that I find inspiring. Today it was Gonja Sufi, Master Chivero and Jan Driver that were blasting on my stereo.

And who do you consider as being on the cutting edge of the Baile Funk scene?
From Rio I like DJ Sandrinho, DJ Marrentinho, Dennis DJ and the stuff that DJ Chernobyl from São Paulo is doing.

Have you ever played in London before? What do you think of the crowd and scene here, and what are your expectations for your gigs in May?
I played at Plastic People ages ago and at this place called The Circle, but I’m not very familiar with the current London clubs so I’m looking forward to playing out the two shows.

Finally, what are your current “top 5″ tracks in your DJ set?
Ohh such a hard question!!…

Oliver $ feat MC Wesley “Subiu, Desceu”
Bert On Beats “Kelewele” feat. Anbuley
Schlachthofbronx feat. MC Gringo “Fuck Me Avontade”
C-Mon & Kypski “Bomba – Daniel Haaksman Remix”
Ku Bo “And You” feat. Joyce Muniz


Daniel’s playing at Camino on May 21st and at the Big Chill House on May 22nd

Camino’s Super Fridays:
Daniel Haaksman plus special guests
Friday 21st May 2010
Camino, Regent Quarter, King’s Cross Kings N1 9AF
8pm – late, free
House / Baile Funk / Latin

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