Zuco 103 After The Carnaval

Zuco 103 After The Carnaval
Dutch Brazilectro trio Zuco 103 have always had an entertaining knack for marrying their obvious Brazilian influences and carefree experimental bent with a wealth of spine twisting, dance floor-ready soul, funk and beat-driven grooves. And latest disc After the Carnaval carries each of those traits in spades. Things go surprisingly well from the start with the bass-heavy samba funk of "Nunca Mais," its mellow guitar strums, upfront keys and eased back rhythms working in striking contrast to the revolving electro synth bass filth of follow-up cut "Beija A Mim." The aforementioned experimental tact has always been hit-and-miss for the group, and the combination of out-of-place banjo tones and singer Lilian Viera's quirky vocal phrasing on "Fulero" lean more towards the latter. The lush, rapturous moods left in the wake of tunes like "Pororoca" and "Madrugada," along with the dank bass and berimbau sounds of "Ginga de Criança," make all of the more exploratory efforts worthwhile though, as Zuco 103 continue to find new ways to impress. (Six Degrees)