chapter  14
Turned - Around Beat: Maracatu de Baque Virado
ByLarry Crook
Pages 12

Recife's music scene exploded onto the map of Brazilian popular music in the mid-1990s as a young generation created a new artistic movement called mangue beat.1 Artists identified with the northeast's cultural roots but refused to remain "premodern" and thus also identified with global youth culture, cyberspace, and international pop. Spearheading the movement was the band Chico Science & Nação Zumbi. A key component of mangue beat was the desire to universalize regional heritage through the application of global pop ideas. The mangue beat movement explicitly sought to forge a new musical aesthetic by mixing U.S. popular music forms (funk, rock, metal, punk, rap, and hip-hop) and world-beat influences with a variety of musical traditions from northeastern Brazil, especially the percussion-heavy Afro-Pernambucan Carnival tradition known as maracatu de baque virado, or the turned-around beat. This form is generally ac-

knowledged to be the oldest and most Africanized element of Pernambuco's Carnival and to comprise an essential component of its unique regional identity within Brazil.2 As such, it provided a highly potent symbol for constructing a modern identity for Recife's youth. In this chapter I explore the history of the maracatu de baque virado and how Chico Science utilized the tradition to construct a modern musical identity for Recife.3