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Capoeira Soundsystem takes Brazilian electronic music to dance floor


Capoeira is a Brazilian cultural manifestation that mixes fight, dance and music, and has African roots. His music has a great wealth, and is usually composed of voice, percussion and the berimbau, a typically Brazilian instrument. Considered as intangible cultural heritage of humanity by unesco, for its uniqueness, originality and historical importance. It arose in a context where the slaves trained a fight, disguised as dance, so that it would not be perceived, hundreds of years ago. Songs that talk about faith, hope, and freedom. The seeds of samba and bossa nova.


Capoeira Soundsystem is a project that makes live remixes of these traditional songs, with influences of samba, bossa, dub, brazilian jazz and hip hop, proposing the encounter of contemporary musical concepts ​​that received African influences, with their roots. A genuinely Brazilian electronic music that mixes the traditional with the modern. A unique sound experience, from berimbau and tambourine to beats and synthesizers. This is the first project in Brazil dedicated, exclusively, to the fusion of electronic music with traditional songs of capoeira.

The musician, DJ and producer from Rio de Janeiro Gabriel Pinheiro leads the project, that he created with the aim of promoting the culture of capoeira, through art. That is why he began a process of organic electronic composition, recording acoustic and synthetic instruments in conjunction with the original songs, following his movements and swings. Thus was born Capoeira Soudsystem.

Capoeira Soundsystem has already performed in Brasilia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, USA and Europe, where it opened the concert of the legendary brazilian band "Nação Zumbi" in Berlin, in July of 2017. With seven musicians on stage, the new show, which is already ready to be presented in 2018, allows to convey to the audience all the sonority characteristic of the first Album released in 2017.


Incidentally, the Album already has entered in the programming of many radios of Brazil, Europe and USA, like the KEXP FM of Seattle, for exemple. Capoeira Soundsystem was invited to join the Collection Album "Kafundó Vol.5: Afro Brazilian Roots and Wires" from Kafundó Records, invited by the american producer Maga Bo, becoming part of the cast of the label among important names like Baiana System, Anelis Assumpção and Dj Dolores.

African culture - responsible for the emergence of samba, jazz, reggae, dub, ska and hip hop rhythms - associated with afro anthems of Capoeira and eletronic elements , brings us back to a real jam session back in time. And living this modern musical ancestry is the proposal of Capoeira Soundsystem.

The result of this work can be seen in the album Capoeira Soundsystem (2017) and his tour, bringing to the  stage an original and innovative repertoire.


  tour dates

Capoeira Soundsystem  by Gabriel Pinheiro


Capoeira Soundsystem is part of a dream. Of being able to take to the dance floor a tribute to all those who were once banned from dancing. To hearts, a tribute to those who were once forbidden to fight. And for the ears a tribute to the voices that were once forbidden to sing.


Part inseparable from brazilian history, cultural heritage of humanity, banned and marginalized for so many years. A cultural manifestation that mixes fight, dance, music, and so many elements. Fascinating in all its aspects! Especially the musical, for me.


Songs of capoeira excite me inexplicably. Songs that talk about faith, struggle, courage, memory, respect, culture, gratitude, hope, freedom. I've wanted to do a project related to it for some time.


Added, my love for derivative work. Intertextuality, interventions, and a possibility of forming partnerships not only with people, but also with their arts. And that's the spirit of the project. Songs created from the traditional songs of capoeira.


All the songs are perfect in their original versions, I would not change anything. Many with berimbau, voice and some percussion, only. They are hymns. But because using them in new compositions does not make them disappear, on the contrary, it generates interest, so I felt the urge to move forward with this idea. With much respect.


A material full of life. Songs that do not follow click, sometimes dirtier, spontaneous recordings. All this inspires me to work in the same way. No eletronic program or loops. Just play live to record bass, kicks, snares, synths, guitar, and it all. If you play in a different bpm sometimes, no problem. It is a handcrafted electronic music, not industrial. And it happend all the time, for sure!


African seeds gave us many fruits as Samba, Jazz, Reggae, Dub, Ska, Hip Hop. And they are my bigest influences. Putting all this together with songs so close to the original songs singed by the slaves, was like doing a jam session of great-great-grandchildrens with their great-great-grandfathers. All in my mind, of course! But this image really influenced the whole process.


A selecter, a dj, musicians of samba, jazz, along with their ancestors, all playing together. That organized mess. Acrossing the time, backing, improvising, swinging, with beats, guitars, singing, batuque. A very romantic sight, I confess! And totally out of my reach! But every little thing that I did, it was imagining this crazy jam. Without any prediction of realization of a cosmic event like that! Away from me. Because this record is pure fiction! Of those!


The old, beat-up instruments, these sounds are worth gold! They take me to other places. And that was a footprint. A raw, rustic, organic sound. Sometimes very dirty.


To complete the journey, the soundsystem. The last layer of work. All this has a lot to do with capoeira, in my opinion. The bass, like roots. The delays effects, the imagination. Feet on the floor, dreamy head. So many lyrics have that spirit! It's amazing how much that is all about. And be able to play with frequencies, improvise with effects, sonorities, pure poetry.


This may all be crazy, and maybe it is! The sound, even more so. But so good! Live a capoeira, and live freedom!



Gabriel Pinheiro

Gabriel Pinheiro is a producer, dj, sound designer and Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, born in Rio de Janeiro. He also works as a radio broadcaster, composer of soundtracks, researcher and curator in the area of music and cinema. Currently resides in Brasília and works on Radio Nacional FM 96.1.

Over 20 years of his career he has performed works of experimental electronic music, soundtracks, Brazilian music, jazz, trip hop, bass, dub, reggae, funkblack music, with passages by countries such as Germany, Holland, England, France, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, USA, Argentina and Uruguay.

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