Chico Science & Nação Zumbi's debut album represents a seismic shift in Brazilian music from the '60s tropicalia generation headed by Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento, and Caetano Veloso. Da Lama Ao Caos is a revelation, an organic fusion of the forceful maracatú rhythm from the Recife region delivered by massed surdo drums with overlays of metal-tinged hard rock or James Brown-style rhythm guitar, Chico Science's convincing rap vocals, and the creative sensibility of the dub/mix generation. The opening monologue's twanging berimbau and pounding drums set the tone before sweeping seamlessly into the power chords married to funk-riffing attack on "Banditismo por Uma Questão de Classe." "A Praieira" is centered on a staggered riff that drops down into the parade drumming perfectly and "Côco Dub (Afrociberdelia)" is a savvy maiden voyage into dubwise sound science. The artfully layered arrangements and impeccable command of dynamics enables the group to shift gears from the funky "Samba Makossa" to the title track's heavy guitar without missing a beat. Lino Maia's guitar is savagely intelligent throughout, the fierce rhythmic undertow never lets up, and Chico Science's staccato vocal bursts fit the musical framework like a glove. Rarely can you point to an album as the definitive marker of a change in musical generations, but the new Brazil started with Da Lama Ao Caos.
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AllMusic Review by Don Snowden