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Zuco 103

Whaa!

Whaa!
(2005)

The multi-national Crammed Discs-Ziriguiboom-Six Degrees triumvirate is the force behind several tropical world salads, wherein classic and cutting-edge styles are shredded, tossed, re-imagined and transformed. Zuco 103 have released two previous exercises in frothy, mind-bending musical shape shifting. The Dutch-based trio consists of Lilian Vieira, a Brazilian-born chanteuse and co-composers Stefan Schmid (drums) and Stefan Kruger (aka Stuv, on keyboards), plus a tight back-up band that includes a sultry saxophone and a shimmering West African kora. The group's sonic language applies trip-hop, light jazz, electronica, subtle drum 'n' bass and other urban sounds to rich gleanings from the lead singer's ancestral samba, afoxé, bossa nova and forró, along with grooves from the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle-East. Vieira swerves between sophisticated, hallucinatory evocations of Billie Holiday and Elis Regina (the Judy Garland of Brazil), torrid belting and offhand, conversational raps with all the risqué flair of a born scene-stealer. The mix is further enhanced by the presence of two legendary figures--Roberto Menescal, an arranger-singer whose career began in Rio during the sixties--and the brilliant, wildly idiosyncratic Jamaican producer, songwriter and vocalist, Lee "Scratch" Perry. --Christina Roden


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