Mixed up nation

NOV cariocaContemporary Carioca: Technologies of Mixing in a Brazilian Music Scene
Frederick Moehn
2012, Duke University Press
320 pages, paperback, plates

MISCEGENATION is at the heart of Brazilian national identity and Frederick Moehn’s detailed study of the inventive amalgams of styles and sounds among cariocas, native residents of Rio de Janeiro, provides fascinating examples of this in one artistic medium, music. He explores the work and backgrounds of a generation of Rio-based musicians who collaboratively have reinvigorated Brazilian genres such as samba and maracatu through juxtaposition with international influences, including rock, techno and funk. An ethnomusicologist, Moehn examines the specific meanings that these fusions have and explains that musical mixture is intertwined both with nationalist discourse but also being middle class in a country confronting neoliberal models of globalisation.