Fila Brazillia

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For listeners unimpressed by their parade of a half-dozen solid (though samey) LPs, the Fila Brazillia duo proved their immense talents during 2000-2001 with an excellent remix compilation (Brazilification) and an equally solid mix album (Another Late Night). Returning with another studio album at the start of 2002, Steve Cobby and David McSherry busied themselves demonstrating their fluency with the wide range of sounds contemporary electronica draws on, but also revealed a few new influences as well. The opener, "Bumblehaun," is a clever reinterpretation of clich├ęd '80s dance with brief touches of rocksteady and dub, while "DNA" features a dingy bassline and a mid-tempo beatbox over the usual call-to-prayer Middle Eastern vocals (samples from Dead Can Dance). Vocalist Steve Edwards was wisely tapped for four tracks, including "We Build Arks," with spaced-out, reverbed trumpets and spider-thin piano-bass triumphing over Edwards' deeply felt vocals. And much like Groove Armada, who'd mellowed out so far they recruited folk hero Richie Havens six months earlier, Cobby and McSherry even haul out the acoustic guitars for "The Green Green Grass of Homegrown," a tender, roots-sensitive (no pun) slice of blissed-out pop.

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