Bossacucanova & Roberto Menescal Brasilidade

The attempt to marry bossa nova and other Brazilian styles with a 21st century electronic feel isn't a new thing; not if you've been listening to DJ-based acts like Masters At Work and Amon Tobin. The difference with Bossacucanova is that they're one of the few to do it with guidance, rather than samples, from one of the master musicians. Of course, it wasn't very hard for this trio from Rio to hook up with legendary guitarist Roberto Menescal; bassist Márcio Menescal is his son. The younger Menescal, along with keyboardist Alexandre Moreira and turntablist Marcelinho DaLua, caused a mild stir in 1998 when they remixed papa's "O Barquinho" for their drum & bossa debut, Revisted Classics. With the elder Menescal onboard this time around, the four-piece's fusion of bossa melodies and junglist rhythms are executed with ease and a strong sense of musicality, not to mention energy, which makes for a great summer party. Menescal classics like "Telefone" and "Rio," as well as a few composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, are given the futuristic treatment, but with a tendency towards lyrical lines, sweet sounds and colourful rhythms rather than DJ-friendly beats. Though mostly light and tuneful, the collective delivers a more emotional and, at times, melancholic expression on their own compositions "Mais Perto Do Mar," "Brasilidade" and "Guanabara." The disc also features some tracks with drummers, horn sections and vocalists, making for a strong indicator that they probably make for a great live act as well. (Six Degrees)