The music on this compilation is as mysterious, romantic, and fashionable as the continent from which it comes, a roadmap through Ziriguiboom's exotic Brazilian jungle overgrown with cross-pollinated classic and contemporary music; as the packaging says, "from electronic to bossa to samba soul.
Brazil 2 traverses three more or less equal, colorful territories: Traditional acoustic instrument-based vocal ballads presented by Bebel Gilberto, Cibelle, and Celco Fonseca; modern, electronic-based club music by DJ Dolores and the fun-loving Bossacucanova (who sound like Brazil's answer to Canada's reigning musical pranksters, the Barenaked Ladies); plus other contemporary Brazilian sounds that sort of writhe between and around such categories.
Bebel Gilberto strikes the set's most compelling figure with her haunting voice. Remix producer Tom Middleton's new electronic sounds in "Simplesmente truly complement her exquisite vocal, electric keyboards tempering her warm voice with cool chill. The remix of "Cada Beijo by production wizards Thievery Corporation works the same, as new electronics and rhythms luxuriate underneath the cover of her voice. (Jazzheads might recognize Thievery Corporation from their production on the first installment of the Verve Remixed jazz/hip-hop series.) So strongly has Gilberto established her own star presence that one feels almost apologetic for wishing to mention her lineage; she is daughter of bossa nova founding father João Gilberto and stepdaughter to Astrud Gilberto, who breathed that timeless voice into "The Girl From Ipanema.
In the deceptively casual "Por acaso pela tarde, balladeer Celso Fonseca strums his acoustic guitar in a manner so relaxedso Brazilianin its ringing rhythm and tones.
From the clubs, Bossacucanova team up with Zuco 103 for "Samba da minha terra, and with samba preservationist/reconstructionist Simoninha for "Essa moca tá diferente, two irresistible rhythms that simply couldn't groove more tight and funky, the "Samba bass line in particular resembling one long flirtatious wink tossed from a beautiful young woman in passing.
Reports from the popular "other precinct include Apollo Nove's ballad "Inexplicata, which opens with African percussion, slides down Hawaiian and Spanish guitars, even whistles the hook to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, all at a quite leisurely pace; and Zuco 103's "Love is Queen Omega, where dub forefather Lee "Scratch Perry blends into Brazilia the sound of the Caribbean isles and throaty exhortations to "Shake, shake shake!
Personnel: Bebel Gilberto; Bossacucanova with Zuco 103; Apollo Nove featuring Ceu; Celso Fonseca; DJ Dolores featuring Isaar; Zuco 103; Bebel Gilberto; Zuco 103 featuring Lee "Scratch" Perry; Apollo Nove; Cibelle; Bossacucanova; Celco Fonseca; DJ Dolores.