Batucada Sound Machine
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Batucada Sound Machine

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | INDIE

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | INDIE
Band World Latin


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"Batucada Sound Machine Album Review"

Rhythm and Rhyme
(Border Music)
4 Stars
“We have a special band here,” said Neil Sparkes (Temple of Sound), the producer of BSM’s debut record, to Breakfast TV host Paul Henry. Sparkes is not a new acquaintance of the ‘13-piece-beast’ that is comprised of some fine musicians of Auckland and New Zealand bands. He experienced their eclectic show when he saw them perform at the WOMAD festival in Taranaki that led to them releasing Live at the Bowl of Brooklands. “Every decade a culture throws up a group that has the ability of making 10 – 15 great albums. I think the BSM can do that,” he continues. And if that is the goal then their debut release is a pretty good start. Harnessing all the energy of their live album but with much more definition and clarity mixed in the famous Avatar Studios in New York; Rhythm and Rhyme will satisfy their legion of grass-roots fans. If you think you have heard the slick rapping on offer here before, you have. MC Hazadus, from Che Fu and the Krates, most prominent on Che’s Beneath the Radar, leads the vocal talent with a comfort in his ability. Che himself features on what could and should be the second single ‘Smoke’. ‘Rivers of Rhyme’, the debut single, sums up what this band is capable of in one track. There are as many flavours and influences in that song that other artists struggle to pack into one album. “That is our sound; that is what we are. It creates our energy on stage and it helps us create our diverse sound,” explains band leader James Hughes of the challenge BSM face in ensuring all of the 13-piece-beast is fully employed and not over-employed. BSM have been incredibly popular at alternative festivals since they began four years ago. Their debut of Latin music, with its related funk family of samba, hip-hop, salsa and dub – all the time laced with a Brazilian spice – should propel them into the spotlight. “They capture the energy of NZ,” concludes Sparkes of why the BSM is special. It is hard to argue with him. This is a fine debut album.
Peter Thornton “Rip It Up”
- Rip It Up Magazine (NZ)

"BSM hit Scotland"

Quotes Batucada Sound Machine

“As the numbers suggest, the sound BSM make is massive, with a horn section, a seven-piece percussion line-up, MC and drums. Their high-energy gigs take in a breathtaking variety of tempos, timings, beats, styles and rhymes. They sing in Portuguese, Spanish and English and have drawn favourable comparisons with Ozomatli, Manu Chao and Chico Science.”
Claire Prentice, Scotland on Sunday

- Scotland on Sunday

"Batucada Sound Machine @ Beck's Music Box, Perth International Arts Festival (15/02/09)"

Batucada Sound Machine @ Beck's
Music Box, Perth International Arts Festival (15/02/09).

Gig Reviews by raciroo, 17th February, 2009.

When a band causes the audience to stamp their feet for an encore…after they just played the encore, it’s pretty obvious their performance was shit-hot. Batucada Sound Machine haven’t even released an album in Australia but managed to fill the seats in the Beck’s Music Box of the Perth International Arts Festival before they started to play, then managed to seduce everyone to fill the dance-floor (leaving the perfect amount of individual dance space to swing your hips dangerously wide).

From start to finish the band were there to entertain. But first, a note on all the players, all exceptional in
their own right:

James Hughes is the confident band leader who also contributed percussion (repinique, drums and whistle) and some vocals. If band leader means he’s responsible for keeping the group tight and together then he did a damn fine job.

Janie Sheridan was on percussion up the back bringing the Surdo (big drum) and other bits and pieces alive. The token lady onstage she had a smile on her face the entire time and kept the beat going with
her booming bass.

Darryn Sigley is also a Percussionist focusing more on the Congas and other drums. He brought charisma and banged his instruments with much vigour.

Rota Barrington was on the drum kit and did many an impressive solo. Not a drum solo where he just
went off in his own rhythm and purely showed off; it was always in keeping with the song at hand and
allowed the audience to continue to dance throughout.

Vuk Tomic was a talented keyboardist using effects to give different sounds for the many different genres the band covered. He was often responsible for starting or keeping the cha cha or samba rhythms throughout letting other members veer off without losing the base style.

MC Hazudaz won the best dancer on stage prize with his hip shaking, shimmying latino dance moves inspiring everyone watching to mimic his elasticity. Bringing the hip hop twinge to the group with his rapping, he also did some singing to show his husky soulful tones. There were many times that he
successfully amped up the crowd by hollering call and response cheers and instigating mass choreographed dance breaks.

Richard Setford was the guitarist and another vocalist. His guitar effects added another level to the
band’s sound and his gravelly vocal was of a roots-bluesy ilk.

Henrique Morales, a new addition to the band fresh from brazil, was obviously delighted to be in Perth.
The singer/guitarist was taking pictures of the crowd, exclaiming how beautiful we were and stating that he’d take us with him in the pictures in his heart. Morales had a beautiful singing voice with a pure tone and just enough vibrato to add some depth of tone.

Alex Urlich on bass was having a hell of a time and was a vital addition with his funk bass a focal point of many songs. He tried his darnedest to match MC Hazudaz’ dancing expertise but in the dance break we could see that dance-wise he might be representing the uncoordinated section of the band, but it sure wasn’t stopping him from having fun and it only encouraged those in the audience a bit shy to show their lack of dance skill and the rest of us have a giggle.

Now for The Traxedos, the brass section with 2 sets of matching swish tracksuits (in fact having a costume change mid-way) and coordinated dance moves. Wairere Iti on saxophone was having an
awesome time and seemed the leader of their dance breaks. Andrew McDowall on trumpet was acting like he was the star of the show, by showing off throughout the set his flutter tonguing and higher than high notes. No wonder the trombonist looked familiar, as Tilman Robinson from Perth was filling in on this day. Apparently the go-to -trombonist in Perth he looked a bit lost in some of their dance moves but musically was on the ball doing many a solo with other members turning and looking suitably impressed. Phew.

All of them brought a positive energy and were pumped up ready for a party. From start to finish the energy onstage and off was as high as could be. Hughes began their set as a lone drummer before
each member was added in. The crowd surged forward and should have known to stretch before
Batucada Sound Machine started because they were in for the most fun workout of their lives. And the
sound? Batucada is a genre in itself – like a “percussive samba jam”. Covering many of the Latin
American genres, including cha cha, samba, bossa nova, they moved from Brazil to Africa with a
Cumbia, Cumbia del Cambio. Add in funk, dub, reggae, hip hop. It was amazing to see how well they
could fuse so many different sounds both within and between songs.

The crowd appreciated it and the band appreciated our enthusiasm, apparently we were the only place
in Australia that asked them for an encore (something very hard to believe). Abso - Faster Louder

"BSM hit Scotland"

Quotes Batucada Sound Machine

“As the numbers suggest, the sound BSM make is massive, with a horn section, a seven-piece percussion line-up, MC and drums. Their high-energy gigs take in a breathtaking variety of tempos, timings, beats, styles and rhymes. They sing in Portuguese, Spanish and English and have drawn favourable comparisons with Ozomatli, Manu Chao and Chico Science.”
Claire Prentice, Scotland on Sunday

- Scotland on Sunday


Album - Don't Keep Silent (Released NZ, Jan 2012)

Album - Batucada Sound Machine - Rhythm & Rhyme
(Released NZ, October 2007)

EP - Batucada Sound Machine - Live At The Bowl Of Brooklands, recorded in 2005 at WOMAD festival in Taranaki, New Zealand

Videos released on NZ music TV


Rivers of Rhyme
Rivers of Rhyme -


Interviews at the Lab during recording



Batucada Sound Machine are a dynamic 9-piece group who have captivated audiences at festivals around the world with their breathtaking variety of tempos, timings, beats, styles and raw on-stage energy.

Formed in the South Pacific, with a line-up that has included Maori, Brazilian, Zimbabwean, Polish, Serbian and New Zealand Pakeha players, this band brings together traditions from different parts of the planet to create something unselfconscious and new; something that defies you to stay still or silent.

And it doesn’t matter whether or not you speak any of the three or four different languages you are likely to hear during one of their performances; the joy and energy this group generates simply through sound and rhythm communicates something more forceful than words.

Batucada is an Afro-Latin word that loosely means ‘percussion jam’, which is what this band started out as: five drummers meeting monthly in an Auckland backstreet bar for a freestyling polyrhythmic workout, taking Brazilian beats as their starting point. Over time, other musicians began to join in the sessions, bringing with them guitars, horns, voices. With new instruments came new influences and Batucada Sound Machine – BSM for short - began to take on the shape it has today: an eclectic, irrepressible party band that plays with rare precision in spite of the good time that is audibly being had by all.

The sound is a brew of Brazilian, Colombian, Cuban and African beats, fused with funk, reggae, hip-hop, Polynesian soul and who-knows-what-else; as kinetic and unconfined as any dance music you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Nige Tassel, WOMAD

Claire Prentice, Scotland On Sunday

Raciroo, Perth Festival review, Faster Louder

Band Members