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Zuco 103
TALES OF HIGH FEVER
(SIX DEGREES)

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This slick, funky Brazilian/European techno-pop act draws on so many sources at once itís downright dizzying. Brazilian pop has long appropriated American soul and jazz and recently has added hip-hop airs; all that is here and much much more. Songs change gears on a dime, shifting from dreamy bossa-nova-tinged balladry to pumping dance grooves without breaking a sweat. "Brazil 2000" builds on a driving í70s Philly soul idea, giving it a punk-rock edge, then veers off into the psychedelic roar of Northeast Brazilís mangue beat, the most original pop style to emerge from Brazil in the past decade. "Curso de reclamaçâo ó Liçâo 1" pulls in the mangue flavor with triangle and fiddle but also boasts a measure of country rock and a solid base of techno boogie. Jazz makes its presence felt with swinging reprieves inserted into a 6/8 club groove, bebop retrofitted for the dance floor, and fine fat horn-section work. Lilian Vieraís sugar-sweet voice glides tunefully through the barrage of layered genres, with occasional English lines weaving through the Portuguese. Dutch drummer Stefan Kruger and German keyboardist Stefan Schmid are the other core members, but an army of "guests" fills out these 14 rich, surprising tracks.

BY BANNING EYRE

Issue Date: June 27 - July 4, 2002
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