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Zuco 103

Zuco 103

The bond between Rio-born vocalist/lyricist Lilian Vieira, keyboard man/producer Stefan Schmid (Munich) and drummer/producer Stefan Kruger (Amsterdam) goes back to 1998.

They’ve been on a rollercoaster since. Ten years of Zuco 103. Seen it all: from North Sea Jazz, Bumbershoot Seatle to Rock Werchter, playing everywhere: from Moscow to Tokyo. Quite a carnival. The band did not just invent Brazilectro — jazzy, Brazilian and electronic components combined. The characteristic Zuco 103-sound lies in their choice of additives (Afro-Cuban, drum ’n bass, Ethiopian, West-African and dub) they’ve mixed along the way. Three musicians on a quest for brilliance inspire and enrich each other; they clash, there’s firework. It’s happening!

So again — of course — Zuco 103’s magical music cocktail adopts a new flavour on After the Carnaval. A remarkably peaceful album. How they manage? By not taking anything for granted.

After the Carnaval is Zuco 103's sixth album, partially recorded in Rio de Janeiro. Zuco 103 has moved away from sample-based music, which gives this album a natural, acoustic sound. Peaceful. Produced almost with a tough kind of carelessness.

In March 2007 the band went to Brazil for an extensive project. In cooperation with charity organisation Ibiss they produced demos for several Favela based bands, mostly composed by unfavored streetkids. Additionally, Stefan, Stefan and Lilian did a tour for the Brazilian release of their previous albums, and started recording for After the Carnaval in the beautiful Rio de Janeiro studio Toca do Bandido.

Inspired by Brazil, this famous studio, and full of new ideas the band collaborated with multitalent Sergio Cavazzioli (Gilberto Gil) on guitar, banjo and cavaquino, and the brilliant Marcos Suzano on percussion. All the musicians had a spontaneous 'click' together.

Mutual respect, joy, virtuosity and open-mindedness: components that resulted in an instant excitement from the moment they met. Spontaneously they invented a new combination of sounds. Country samba for instance. How much straight up fun was that!

Back in Amsterdam they compressed the sounds into the sprezzatura essence of songs that go straight to the heart. And again: there's Lilian Vieira's touching voice, together with the noisy glitter synths of Stefan Schmid and the cleverly pounding beats of Stefan Kruger.

Lilian Vieira: "In between tours and the birth of my son, Stefan, Stuv and I spent time in Brazil. Here I wrote part of the lyrics. Rio is full of little worlds: garbage dumps, favelas, healthy wealthy barrios. There's music everywhere, in every hole, every drop, in every smile. Though we've been all over the world, we were touched and inspired by that trip. Songs welled up: it's a direct, honest musical transformation. I think that's part of the warmth people hear on After the Carnaval."

Stefan Kruger: "After ten years of touring and producing — a fascinating time — we're proud to be back home. At our own label Dox Records. Ready for the next carnival!"

Stefan Schmid: "I am confident that we managed again to consolidate the different influences into one Zuco world. I am very satisfied as concerns the sound of this record. It will be such a great pleasure to play the music live!"

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