Album: Zuco 103 <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fivestar -->

Whaa!, CRAMMED / ZIRIGUIBOOM
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The Belgian label Crammed pioneered various strains of world/ jazz/ rock crossovers in the 1980s; now, courtesy of its Ziriguiboom offshoot, it has extended that eclectic attitude into the fertile terrain of electronic/ samba fusion which is helping update Brazil's Tropicalismo tradition. Their most successful act is Zuco 103, in which Brazilian singer Lilian Vieira is joined by Dutch percussionist Stefan Kruger and German keyboardist Stefan Schmid, who together whip up frisky, infectious grooves that comprise a Latin American variant of the ethnic crossover mode popularised by the likes of Afro-Celt Sound System and Temple Of Sound. On the engaging Whaa!, they've stirred a few more elements into the mix - delicate kora and soulful baritone sax on the refugee anthem "Javé", further African flavours in the Juju/ Latin rhythm blend of "Duele Le Le", and most notably, telling toasts from Lee Perry on "It's A Woman's World" and "Love Is Queen Omega". Elsewhere, Vieira's strong, playful voice applies itself to songs about the pain of growing up, the slavery of women in enforced domesticity, the trouble with loudmouths, and the beautiful game. But then, who else but a Brazilian would dream up a football/ sex metaphor?

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