Zuco 103

Tales of High Fever

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This Brazilian trio's sophomore effort finds the band continuing its global dance project, blending Brazilian rhythms and Portuguese lyrics with elements of R&B, acid jazz, and breakbeat, delivering all of it with a counterintuitive combination of laid-back relaxation and infectious energy. It's hard to know where to focus your attention: Lilian Vieira's sweet voice or the richly textured funk grooves laid down behind her by keyboardist/programmer Stefan Schmid and drummer/programmer Stefan Kruger. There are great horn charts on several tracks, notably "Peregrino," and the bossa nova-flavored guitar that appears at various points throughout the album guarantees that everything will have at least a faintly Brazilian tint. "Curso de Reclamação -- Lição 1" opens with a bluesy electric guitar lick, but when Vieira's voice comes in it is multi-tracked in close harmony, an effect that evokes some of Zap Mama's more interesting experiments. "Sací" utilizes traditional drum sounds, flamenco handclaps, and a reggae-influenced bassline to create a kaleidoscopically complex rhythmic groove. This is one of those rare albums that draws you in on first listen, but continues to reward your attention even after many more.

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