Big Brazilian Fall: Zuco 103, A Filial
- Words: Tomas Palermo
Usually, folks saying “everything is going south” means things are about to get bad, or even collapse. But when things go south this fall, it means a brilliant season of new music from South America–specifically Brazil. Sounds from the tropical powerhouse will arrive thick and fast when the air gets colder in the Northern Hemisphere, with a variety of bands and styles to sample from.
Rio De Janeiro-based skateboarding pals A Filial made their first recordings using a PlayStation, a karaoke set, a $10 mic, and a toy that made music, all dubbed down on a used cassette. Their new album, 1.99 (out December 2 in the U.S.), is an ode to one-dollar stores. The crew still keeps it gully on an album that lands somewhere between the Beastie Boys and Flying Lotus, with plenty of love for traditional Brazilian beats, especially heady, percussive polyrhythms. Rapping in both Portuguese and English, these cats are like a rougher, Brazilian Ozomatli–funky, conscious, and full of energy.
Elsewhere, the eclectic souls in Zuco 103 will release their fourth album for Six Degrees Records. After the Carnaval blends acoustic and electronic textures with funk, pop, soul, and tropical rhythms, which conjure images of Mr. Scruff or Thievery Corp playing a funky club tucked in the Amazon. The moody “Pororoca” sounds like Sade fronting Tony Allen’s band, with its subtle Afro-beat groove, while “She” is a wickedly danceable, sub-bass samba bounce track. After the Carnaval is Zuco’s big breakthrough.
Venerable U.K.-based imprint Far Out has two worthy releases to satisfy a tropical fix. Far Out Bossa Nova (out September 30) celebrates 50 years of the distinctive and summery Brazilian jazz rhythm with tracks from Marcos Valle, Joyce, The Ipanemas, Sabrina Mahleiros, and Celia Vaz. There’s never been a better soundtrack to a hot beach and a well-mixed Caipirinha. Meanwhile, 1970s veterans Azymuth’s new album, Butterfly (out October 27), was co-produced by beat programmer David Brinkworth, from U.K. breakbeat outfit Harmonic 33. Featuring a full string section and expert fusion jazz players, the album hovers between CTI-label rare groove vibes and Azymuth’s own brazilient groove.
Pictured: Zuco 103.
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