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Mr Bongo Record Club Guest Mix - Palo Santo Discos

It's the return of our Record Club Guest Mix series! And for this instalment we present Palo Santos Discos and his exquisite 60's Bossa Album selection. A friend of the label and a DJ whose selections we always make sure to check, so it is a pleasure to have him reigniting our Record Club Guest Mix series. As well as supplying the mix we were fortunate enough to get some time with him to find out more about how he made the mix, his inspiration, and his DJing.


Please give us an introduction to yourself for the Bongo audience?

My name is Palo Santo Discos. I'm a DJ and collector from Amsterdam with a big love for Brazilian music and Jazz. The love for Brazilian music was born on inheriting my grandfather's collection of jazz records in 2001: alongside the American greats came an introduction to the worlds of João Gilberto, Jorge Ben and J.T. Meirelles. I've started to research ever more deeply into these sounds emanating from Brazil. Over the years I've been playing and collecting loads of other styles too; my collection is based on Jazz, '60s Jamaican, Latin and Turkish music, but the biggest focus is Brazilian music.

What can you tell us about your mix and its series?

The idea behind this series already started about 8 years ago with 2 friends. We used to make a jazz mix every month and kept that going for about 2 years: it was called Yujyou.com. You can download all of them for free here https://soundcloud.com/yujyou. When that stopped after 29 mixes I took the same formula to start making mixes with my Brazilian 7"s. These got plenty of great feedback as most of the tracks used aren't on Youtube or available anywhere to listen to digitally. Over the last 4 years I've recorded 6 of these mixes made up only of 7" records (or compactos, as they call them in Brazil).

The one that comes with this interview is the first instalment of my new series of mixes of tracks all taken from Brazilian LPs from the '60s.

Where was the mix recorded and on what set-up?

All the recordings are made at my home in Amsterdam with a turntable and an SP404sx (as I don't have a mixer). Once every 2 or 3 months I've collected so many great songs that I want to put them together and make them available for everyone who's into this sound.

How did you get into Brazilian music, and what is about it that resonates with you?

From the very beginning I've been connected to the 'three-quarter-time' and the warm recording techniques (like with the song by Luiz Henrique in this mix), also the Jazz influence and of course the beautiful language. For these mixes I've just selected music from the '60s, but I'm a big fan of the '70s too – a great melting pot of styles and cultures.

Which DJs / radio shows (or other sources) have influenced you?

The biggest influence since I was young is Madlib. He did a few take-overs on BBC Radio One in 2007 and made a series of Jazz mixes named Mind Fusion as well as two legendary Brazil mixes, Speto Da Rua and Flight to Brazil – these I must have heard hundreds of times if not more... Another big influence for me is Dactylian. He's a DJ and collector from London with impeccable taste, and for the past year or two now we've been doing our monthly Brazil show on NTS Radio. He keeps surprising me every month with music I've never heard before, and it's a real pleasure to make radio with him.

I also listen to DJ Nuts from São Paulo whenever he emerges with sounds. He must have the most amazing collection of Brazilian music and is a very highly skilled DJ.

What are your favourite places to dig - local and global (or online)?

My Favourite spot in Amsterdam was Vintage Voudou, a super-tiny shop in the red light district. They had an amazing selection, all world music, and it was run by Alex Figueira and Edo Bouman, two walking encyclopedias of music from all around the world. Unfortunately the shop closed 2 months ago after originally starting as a pop-up store. Last year I had the privilege to work there on Sundays and be surrounded by amazing records dug up from all over the world.

Since I haven't been back to Brazil for a few years now, I've met a lot of collectors and dealers online who supply me with records every month. Nowadays, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp are super convenient for trading and buying. If I had to choose 1 shop in the world it would be Disk Union in Tokyo (especially the Latin floor in the Shinjuku brach).

Where can people catch you DJing?

Nowadays it's quite sad as Covid-19 killed off all the parties. I'd just started a residency at the Skatecafe in Amsterdam and the Vintage Voudou parties had been going really well. I'm happy our radio show still gives us our output and a mode of expression but I'm missing dance floors a lot. Slowly, slowly little gigs are starting to come back again, but so far it's more small bars and cafés.

What’s the scene like for this type of music in Amsterdam?

In Amsterdam it's relatively small but there're several venues where the organic sounds are played: Mezrab, Oedipus, and the Skatecafe, and the Brazilian nights in WesterUnie are great for dancing.

Do you have any favourite Brazilian record labels / artists?

Thats a tough one to answer. I love the small labels like Ranger and JS Discos – not so many of them around but the music is always good. As for the bigger labels I love Copacabana, RCA and Mocambo. I'm a big fan of Nelsinho and Beto Baiano, and wish they'd done an album or two!

Mix Track-List:

1. Thelma - Peça Que Deus Dá
2. Luiz Henrique - Sambou... Sambou
3. Luli - Sol
4. Neyde Fraga - Onda Quebrando
5. Aécio Flávio Sexteto - Cancão Do Sal
6. Sambossa 5 - Inae
7. Luiz Carlos - Timbó
8. Ginga Trio - Yemanjá
9. Rosely - Moleque
10. Maysa Matarazzo Nós E O Mar
11. Trio Maraya - Balança a Roseira
13. Billy Blanco - Estrada Do Nada
14. Sergio Augusto - Vai João
15. Nelsinho - Samba Que Vai Crescer
16. Rosinha de Valença - Com Que Roupa
17. Ana Lúcia - Derradeira Primavera
18. Piti - Despedida
19. Geraldo Vandre - Ninguem Pode Mais Sofrer
20. Gilberto Gil - Mancana
21. Garoto Sexteto - Tem Dó
22. Eduardo Aragão - O Pensador
23. Prefixo 4 - Fim de Festa
24. Inema Trio, Carlos Gazineo - Morte do Amor
25. Carlos Lacerda - Desintegracao
26. Trio Mossoró - Negro

Big thanks to Palo Santos Discos for the incredible mix and for taking the time to speak to us for this feature. Make sure you check his Instagram and Soundcloud profiles.