Man Recordings latest release is a very special occasion for the label since it’s the debut album by Man’s own head, Daniel Haaksman. The label is based in Berlin, though starting as an imprint for Baile Funk, nowadays is one of the most important contributors to a contemporary club sound reflecting a hyper-accelerated, globalised world where musical genres melt together until they become indefinable.
Daniel Haaksman is undeniable “Funkeiro Numero Um Da Alemanha” (“Germany´s #1 Funkeiro”, a “funkeiro” is Brazilian slang for Funk follower) and impressively proves this with his debut album, going even one step further. “Rambazamba” might be deeply rooted in the aesthetic of Baile Funk, but takes the Brazilian sound as starting point for a journey into the soundscapes of local music going global all around the world.
The title of the album reflects this melting pot of ideas: “Rambazamba” is German vernacular for “stir up” or “mayhem”, used a lot in German spoken language, yet it sounds “exotic”. Its origins are etymologically unclear (though a common belief is that it’s a vernacular appropriation of the Spanish “Carramba” or a mix up of “Rumba” and “Samba”), there are suggestions that it comes from Yiddish or Romanic languages. Whatever the origin the word perfectly represents the atmosphere of the album as it represents the chaos, energy, and uprising elements of the recordings and at the same time, with it’s unclear etymological origin, it mirrors the aesthetic of the album with references to the sound of cities like Rio De Janeiro, Salvador De Bahia, Belem, Cairo, Luanda, Napoli, or regions such as the Caribbean and the Balkans.
“Jesus” with its stomping funk synth and the queen of Baile Funk, Tati Quebra Barraco, shouting on the mic acts as a perfect starting point for the ride. It is followed by the classic 808 Baile sound of “Pobum Coco”, which has become a steady dancefloor burner thanks to its Polka-infused hookline though originally stemming from a classic Brasilian rock recordings from Bahia. After a short break with “Copabanana”, evoking the a mythical Rio of the 1960’s and 1970’s with it’s dreamy vocal sample over a disco break, Haaksman leaves Brazilian territory with the next track: an African atmosphere permeates “Hands up”, not least because of the support by Mozambiquean girl group Seguindo Sonhos. The Kalimba’s characteristic sound and a catchy synth soon set let you realize the change of pace.
“Dubcheck”, a collaboration with Daniel’s old label partner Shantel and Boban Markovic Orkesta (one of the most legendary brass ensembles from the Balkan) is a sure shot dancefloor filler, a pumping uptempo hybrid of Gypsy Balkan Rave and Soca, airhorns included! Other highlights include the cool Egyptian Jazz of “Strut Oriental” influenced by Sun Ra, a UK Funky groove and pulsing percussion drives with “Sum Sum” which pairs UK bass science with Bulgarian choirs. “Senta Senta” melts an original baile funk Montagem with European house grooves, sirens included. “Kewok” feat. Genghis Clan is using elements from a South Italian tarantela recording, in which the horn sections gets wasted thanks to the hi-percentage drinks provided by Italian-British global bass maestro Genghis Clan. The journey across continents continues with “Carnaval” which brings the magic of Trinidadian Soca together with a hands-up-in-the air aesthetic and filthy Euroland basslines. A cover version of “Din Daa Daa”, one of the most classic club tunes ever, which was originally written and produced in the early 1980s in Berlin by the former Tangerine Drummer George Kranz, sounds surprisingly fresh and banging in its 2011 rework by Daniel Haaksman. We remain in Haaksman´s city with Brasilian born Roxxy Bione who is featured on the twisted funk of “Bomba”. Finally “Berlin Brega” shows what the future may sound in reworking Brazil’s latest hype to emerge from the Amazon, Technobrega, through Berlin eyes. The combination of cheapest synth with a futuristic bassline and a hypnotic vocal cut-up sounds like it’s made to move behinds around the globe.
Daniel Haaksman has had a long and experienced history in modern worldwide dance music. Starting as a DJ in the early 1990s alongside Shantel in the legendary “Lissania Essay” club in Frankfurt, Germany, his name first became known when he put together the acclaimed “Dub Infusion” series for Best Seven / Sonar Kollektiv, showing the multifaceted aspects of Dub in Electronica. In his stint running Essay Recordings together with Shantel, a label at the forefront of the Balkan dance revival, Daniel was also responsible for the compilations “Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats” and “More Favela Booty Beats ” (Essay 2004 & 2006), introducing the world to the mind blowing Brazilian ghetto sounds of Baile or Carioca Funk.
His own label Man Recordings started in 2005 with the release of the critically acclaimed compilation “Não Wave – Brazilian Post Punk 1982-1988” and then went on to focus on more Baile Funk orientated releases. As a label, it helped launch the international career of the Brazilian MC Edu K and the Rio-based MC Gringo, started two series of vinyl releases (“Funk Mundial” and “Baile Funk Masters”) releasing the first international remixes and tracks by artists like Diplo, Crookers, Count & Sinden, Bonde de Role, Schlachthofbronx and countless others. Though focussing on digital releases nowadays, the label has just recently released the “Valeu” compilation on CD celebrating 5 years and 50 releases of Tropical Bass music. Besides, Daniel Haaksman has done remix work for dozens of artists including Ray Baretto, Gotan Project, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Shantel, Madera Limpia, OMFO and Féloche amongst others. Productions under his own name on the Man Recordings imprint include “Whose afraid of Rio?” EP in 2008, “Gostoso” EP in 2009, and “Hands up” EP in 2010. When he´s not in the studio producing or remixing, Haaksman is journeying around the world as DJ, playing an ecletic mix of a party proven, trans global bass music.
And so, Man Recordings proudly present to an unsuspecting public Daniel Haaksman’s first album under his own name, full of the Haaksman trademarks of hypnotic cut-up vocal clips, thundering percussion, exotic horns and Portuguese refrains. “Manda Bala” (go for it) as they say!
2. Jesus feat. Tati Quebra Barraco
3. Pobum Coco
5. Hands Up feat. Seguindo Sonhos
6. Dubcheck feat. Shantel & Boban Markovic Orkestar
7. Angola Galopp
8. Strut Oriental feat. Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Orchestra
9. Sum Sum
10. Senta Senta
11. Kewok feat. Genghis Clan
13. Din Daa Daa
14. Bomba feat. Roxxy Bione
15. El Gitarro
16. Berlin Brega
Listen to and buy “Rambazamba” from here: