Following the worldwide success of their Cuban-music project „Rhythms Del Mundo“, the Berman Brothers are back, just in time for the Olympic Games, and their new album invites you on a journey to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the land of samba and bossa-nova. On TAKE ME TO RIO (22.07.2016) international stars like Outkast, Mando Diao, Katrina & the Waves and Marlon Roudette meet Brazilian music legends and re-think songs like „Hey Ya!“ and „Dance With Somebody“ in the one-and-only Brazilian sound. Once again, the producers have brilliantly swept big hits into another musical dimension and give the listener a pure breath of Brazilian life.
There isn’t a country that sets our fantasies into motion like Brazil. Images fly into your brain. We dream of Copacabana and sugar hats, the parade of the carnival passes by, the great footballers score incredible goals. We can taste the caipirinha, we can feel the sun on our skin. And we can hear the sound of Brazil, that incomparable rhythm, played as a speeding samba or a sensual bossa-nova. But Brazil means so much more. The huge country not only has long beaches, but also a rainforest as part of the Amazon. In 2014 Brazil hosted the football world cup, and in August it will be home to the biggest athletes in the world and the Olympic Games. The nation with over 200 million inhabitants is on the way to becoming a major economic player. This also brings its problems: Corruption is laming the country, a financial crisis is heating up social and violent conflict. „É rir para não chorar“, say the Brazilians: „Laugh, so you don’t cry“. The music producers Frank and Christian Berman – known internationally as the Berman Brothers – often heard the phrase during the last five years they spent in Brazil. „What helps the people remain optimistic in tough times is the one-and-only sound of Brazil“, says Christian Berman. His brother Frank adds: „Brazilian music brings together a zest for life and sensuality like nothing else can. For Brazilians, music is the elixir of life and a remedy.“ When the Berman Brothers were looking for a goal for their new album, it became clear very quickly where the journey would take them: TAKE ME TO RIO – Ultimate Hits Made In The Iconic Sound Of Brazil.
On the album the best samba and bossa-nova musicians meet international pop-superstars. „Hey Ya!“ by Outkast, „Walking On Sunshine“ by Katrina & The Waves and the party banger „I Like To Move It“ become irresistible samba, „Heart Of Glass“ by Blondie, Moloko’s „The Time Is Now“ or „Love Is The Drug“ by Bryan Ferry become warm bossa-nova. All tracks are played by the TAKE ME TO RIO collective, put together explicitly for this album, using the original vocal tracks and produced by the Berman Brothers.
Frank and Christian Berman were awarded a Grammy in 2001 for their remix of the hit „Who Let The Dogs Out“ by Baha Men. In 2006 they impressed the music-world with their album „Rhythms Del Mundo“, working with the musicians from the Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club and the voices of Coldplay, Sting, Dido and Maroon 5. In 2008 the Berman Brothers returned with „Rhythms Del Mundo – Cubano Alemán“, an album featuring German stars like Xavier Naidoo, Jan Delay and Udo Lindenberg.
„It was inevitable that our journey should take us to Brazil“, says Christian Berman. „Musically, the country in incredibly interesting. On the one hand you recognize the sound immediately, on the other hand there’s a huge stylistic diversity and a host of great musicians“. They recorded TAKE ME TO RIO between the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. „Work on the album started a lot earlier“, explains Frank Berman. The brothers travelled to Rio with a suitcase packed with ideas and songs, looking for even more inspiration once they arrived.“We sat in cafes and bars, went to clubs and had long conversations with musicians. That’s our way of delving into music.“ In the end they had a list of songs that came into question for the album. A few songs are real surprises, like the hip-hop classic „The Message“ by Grandmaster Flash and the guitar-based hit „Dance With Somebody“ from Swedish rock band Mando Diao. „The boys went crazy when they heard the Rio-version of their track“, says Frank Berman as he describes the moment Mando Diao heard the song. Stockholm is over 8,000 miles away from Rio, but on TAKE ME TO RIO the two worlds merge together seamlessly. „That’s the way it should be“, says Christian Berman. „While people are lying on the beach during the hot Brazilian summer, in Sweden it’s winter. The version of the song perfectly sums-up what music can do: It playfully takes us away to where we yearn to go.“
The authentic sound of the album comes from the impressive TAKE ME TO RIO collective. Drummer Jurim Moreira played on classic bossa-nova LPs from the 70s, and tenor-saxophonist Marcello Martin performed with legends Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. To create the Brazilian sound, you also need unique percussion, this time performed by Pretinho Da Serrihna, straight from superstar Seu Jorge’s band. Bass legend Jamil Joanes added his signature 70s funk sound. The generation of Brazilian musicians is also on board in the form of rapper Dughettu and jazz pianist David Feldman, revealing the true diversity of the Brazilian music scene.
This band’s authentic music, the Berman Brothers’ production and the stars’ voices make the album into an impressive journey through the music-world. TAKE ME TO RIO not only showcases exciting and thrilling tracks, but also elegant and sensual songs, a mix that perfectly represents the Brazilian way of life. The Berman Brothers didn’t just take hits and give them a Brazilian style – they made the songs a part of the iconic sound of Brazil. If you want to know what Brazil sounds like today, then you need to hear this album.
TAKE ME TO RIO is out on the 22nd of July 2016 on BMG Rights Management.