Song You Need to Know: BaianaSystem, ‘Água Remix’
When the Brazilian group BaianaSystem released “Água” in 2019, it served as the head-turning opener to their O Futuro Não Demora album. The track was measured but scrappy, with thick, bristling brass and a chanting lead vocal; founder Robertinho Barreto played zippy lines on guitar, sticking lots of notes close together in lancing runs that skimmed over blobs of flute and strings.
Diogo Strausz’s and JKriv’s remix of “Água,” which was released earlier this year, plays up the song’s martial qualities by pushing the tempo to 110 beats per minute, and emphasizing the lean, mean elements — the percussion, reinforced by an additional kick drum and hand-clap, and especially that belligerent horn line. The handsome flutes and Barreto’s virtuosic guitar return to add a dollop of melody before being swept away by blaring brass and chants that hit in repetitive staccato bursts, as if the producers gave a house a pretty new coat of paint, then knocked it over with a wrecking ball.
After that, the “Água” remix is spurred on by a squelchy synthesizer that wouldn’t be out of place in an acid house record. But delicate choral backing vocals keep wafting down on the seething instrumental, preventing the whole thing from overheating as it pushes towards a series of exhilarating peaks.
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