Bloco Electro
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Bloco Electro


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"Album Review"

Artist: Bloco Electro
Title: Global Beatbox part 1 (LP)
Label: Earth Connection

Every now again on this sea of identikit sounds and artists that I find myself sailing upon, an island appears that marks something different. Something fresh. Something bountiful. And when such an island is chanced upon, it's important to make land and gorge upon it's fruits for as long as possible.

Wank stained metaphors aside, Bloco Electro's Global Beatbox is simlpy astounding. Bloco, Brazilian drumming, is created entirely live. That is no decks, no sequencers, no guy with glasses bashing away at a keyboard. Just several drummers all playing a different style, all beautifully sequed together to create a wall of percussion that never attempts to overpower the listener, but is able to create an aural environment to draw you in.

With it's mix of bossa, electro, latin, bhangra and an array of other rhythmic styles, Gavin Lombos has created a masterpiece. This is an extravagant piece, and with what is in effect a concept album, the risk of it all going a bit self important and up itself is high. Thankfully, all trips down self indulgent alley are avoided, and the album retains a clean air of funk, which it delivers with aplomb.

Overal, a break from the norm in terms of what you may usually listen to, but a worthwhile excursion to new territories may be just what is required.

Review by Wub

- for Inhale/Bijou Breaks

"Selected press/media quotes"

“Live Breaks… I think they’re fantastic” - Annie Nightingale BBC Radio 1.

“An essential outernational sound of block busting beats.”
- Pathaan [Globetronica/BBC]

“With it's mix of bossa, electro, latin, bhangra and an array of other rhythmic styles, Gavin Lombos has created a masterpiece.”

“Really like it...” Laurent Garnier

"Tribal, electro, fantastic live breaks!” [RESIDENT MAGAZINE]

“Be sure to check out the hybrid electro, breakbeat, 808 sounds of
Bloco Electro. Their new album "Global Beatbox pt 1" is amazing.”

“Eminently listenable, 10 out of 10” – Mikey J, Radio Ceredigion

“The most innovative and creative music I've heard in ages”
- Johnny Kalsi, Dhol Foundation/Afro Celts Sound System

“Its f***ing brilliant!!! …can’t wait to play it out.” - DJ Fflyffilyfbybl, Byd Mawr - various

"Raveline Magazine Album review"


(English translation below)
Das Rezept dieses Albums ist schnell umschrieben, denn es geht in der
tat um eine Mischung aus Oldschool Electrobeats und einem ganzen Haufen
Percussionelemente. Electronic Worldmusic, wenn man so will. Und das
mitten aus England. Dieser Mash funktioniert, und durch die
unterschiedlichen Ansätze im Drumming, und diversen
Geschwindigkeitsbereichen kommt auch immer mal wieder etwas Frisches zu
Gehör. Schöner Ansatz- dann schauen wir mal, was aus dieser Ecke noch
kommt. 4 points sencha

The formula of this album can be quickly outlined. It is actually a mixture of Oldschool Electrobeats and a whole load of percussion elements, so to speak. And this from right in the middle of England. This mix works, and due to the different styles drumming and the diverse ranges of speed (tempo) there is always something fresh to hear. A fine beginning - so let's see what's to come from them.


- Raveline Magazine - German

"African Beat Review"

Earth Connection (UK) ECEPAB01
An act who’ve gained a reputation for their loud and lively performances release their 2nd single from their album ‘Global Beatbox – Part 1’. This EP features 3 versions of African Beats – including an Afro Electro mix, an upfront dance mix and a Beats only for drum heads and beat mixing. Expect more from Bloco Electro in 2009, but in the meantime, this will please many. Pathaan 7/10 - International DJ

"DJ Magazine review"

African beat EP
4.5 stars
Live electronic beat band Bloco Electro blend global beats with more traditional European Club elements. Here they take inspiration from Tony Allen's Afrobeat drum patterns, which they marry to mid-90's dance sensibilities in the style of Underworld or the Chemical Brothers... the EP mix shimmering with added Afro guitars, orchestral stabs and reverberating vocoder vocals that gets the biggest thumbs up. - DJ Magazine

"Bestival preview"

“Combining the raw energy of an acoustic drumming group with cutting edge electronic, Bloco Electro’s live performances are nothing short of astounding.
Hyped by the queen of beats herself Miss Annie Nightingale as one the of acts of 2009 to watch, the band first came to prominence as part of the drumming supergroup the SOS All-Stars who opened proceedings at the massive Live Earth concerts.
Drawing influences from Brazil to Africa, Bloco Electro take the sound of modern dance music on a tour of world music to produce an excitingly rich and powerful percussive experience.” Bestival
2009 - Bestival 2009

"BBC Music review"

by Kate Sharp
16 May 2008
After playing to an estimated worldwide audience of 55 million people opening Live Earth, you would assume that you would recognise the gentlemen and lady behind BlocoElectro. Forming part of the SOS All-Stars, the drumming super group of 40 members, led by Roger Taylor of Queen, the band are slowly making the transition between support slots to the main attraction.
Global Beatbox Part 1 is a curious collection of electronic and hip hop-tinged dance, compromised of solely percussive based sounds. Largely influenced by the sound of Brazilian drumming groups (Bloco) and fusing the distinct rhythmic patterns with both Latin and other world beats, BlocoElectro have a sound that is like a thousand holidays rolled into one.
The emphasis is very much on the 'Global' throughout this album, with inspiration gained from just about anywhere you care to mention. Echoes of India, Africa and the Middle East all feature but each influence never sits incongruent to another and each sound seems to meld seamlessly into each other in this international melting pot.
While African Beat also retains a progressive feel with the use of more synthetic drum sound, it is tracks such as Afro Cuba which mesh together the international influences in perhaps the most organic way. By merely allowing these percussive sounds to meet without any electronic intervention, they combine to make the most interesting noises on the album.
Whereas keyboards, decks and loops are usually the staple of most dance music, the lack of such tools does not hinder the sound produced by BlocoElectro. It is perhaps, by not falling into the trap of other bands which use these fusion techniques by layering loops and such to infinitum, that the band retain a rather fresh and uncluttered sound.
Although this album isn't rewriting any of the rule books or trying to punch through any boundaries, it is still a relatively accomplished collection of interesting sounds. After gaining a fan in the shape of Annie Nightingale and having secured a slot on the BBC Introducing tour, you are bound to hear a lot more of this band in the near future. - BBC

"Songlines Review"

Sambatronic, sampladelic beatbox wizadry. ****4/5 stars.

Bloco Electro is the brainchild of samba man Gavin Lombos, who set up Reading’s Beatroots Bateria in the mid-1990s. The troupe became synonymous with the WOMAD festival’s parade and Lombos then set up BlocoElectro with five other percussionists to take their festival show into clubs. The group claim that everything must be played percussively – no keyboards, no loops, no decks. However those readers who like their music rootsy should beware: this is very much electro infused by global sounds, rather than the other way round. Then again, with titles such as ‘My Beatbox Rox!’ and ‘Old Skool Beats No 1’ that is quickly evident. All the same, these are funky little numbers that sound like Reading’s other xenophile export Les Rhythmes Digitales (aka Jaques Lu Cont, or Stuart Price to his mum) who soundtracked the body-popping car in the famous Citroen advert.
This retro hip-hop sound an samba percussion are BlocoElectro’s main influences, but there are plenty of samples and rhythm tracks drawn from India, West Africa and Cuba too and it is those tunes – particularly ‘Marakatu’, ‘African Beat’ and ‘Tablagroove’ – that are the disc’s high points. Global Beatbox Part 1 is like a beach party that teleports form Rio to Brighton to Mumbai to Miami to Cape Town and back. With appearances at Live Earth an backing from Annie Nightingale and the Radio 1 new music initiative, Introducing…, it is possible BlocoElectro could be taking global beats into the mainstream. Toby Shergold.

- Songlines

"Marakatu Review"

Ever had one of those days, all the cds you listen to sound the same old...then you put one on and finally at last something new for your ears and brain!
BlocoElectro are a live percussion group taking in influences from traditional Brazilian rhythms, incorporating cutting edge electronica and a heavy influence from
80’s hip hop, electro and a big ballsy live funk band feel to them. This sounds really fresh and I can see
MANY festival dates ahead for this out fit. They manage to have that ‘world sound’ but without the hippy dippy element, instead there’s
plenty of urban attitude here and a real experimental electronica sound that will win fans across many genres. M8/M8

- M8 magazine UK

"Marakatu Review - Mixmag"

The Bloco Electro – Marakatru E.P is one of the most impressive things I’ve heard this year so far! When are these dudes playing live? Can’t wait to check ‘em out 8/10 –reviewing in Mixmag Sept issue
Janette Slack

- Mixmag UK


Album: Global Beatbox Part 1 - ECCDGBP1 (Earth Connection) 2008

EP: Marakatu EP - ECEPMK2 (Earth Connection) 2008
EP: Bloco Electro vs 1Beat ECEP1B01 (Earth Connection) 2008
African Beat ECEPAB01 (Earth Connection) 2009

Streaming recording of the Radio1 live set via



Bloco Electro is the brainchild of Gavin Lombos a musician and producer based in Reading. Gavin set up Beatroots Bateria, Reading’s Samba school in the mid nineties. The band became a WOMAD institution leading the massive parade for over 10 years. Bloco Electro became a way of taking the excitement of the festival shows into the clubs. The band takes the concept Brazilian drumming group (bloco) and mashes up the rootsy Latin rhythms with other world beats, a generous helping of old skool electro and hip-hop beats and then tops it off with forward thinking electronica.

Gavin draws on his love of rhythm as well as his playing and recording experience touring the world with Punjabi drumming group The Dhol Foundation and French techno-funksters Recycler to define the Bloco sound. He’s joined by a core group of drummers playing a mix of traditional percussion from Africa to India and all places in between. The rules are that everything must be played percussively - no keyboards, no loops, no decks – just drums and some cool technology from v-drums to space-drums.

They are occasionally joined by Sumeet Chopra (from trailblazing bhangra band Alaap and The Dhol Foundation) on Indian percussion.

2007 was a busy year for the band. They combined recording and mixing their debut album Global Beatbox - Part 1 with a few choice gigs which included providing the samba beats as part of the SOS All Stars – the drumming group that opened the Live Earth concerts at Wembley to a worldwide audience of some 55 million people!

Bloco Electro were the only live act to play at Annie Ninghtingale's BBC Radio 1 opening breaks party at Glastonbury 2008 as part of her 'dream line-up'. 15 mins of the gig were broadcast on Radio 1.