Zuco 103 present their new album Telenova.
Amsterdam’s ambassadors of Brazilectro return with their ninth studio album Telenova on Six Degrees Records.
After 24 years at the forefront of world jazz dance fusion, creating new sounds and styles as they go, singer Lilian Vieira, keyboard player Stefan Schmid, and drummer Stefan Kruger have arrived at their most mature and personal album to date.
Telenova was produced during the pandemic, and in many ways you can hear the processes that the album went through. With health taking center-stage and society pressing the pause button, hitting musical reset seemed like the natural option. The trio spent lockdown re-sampling some of their choicest musical ideas, reworking melodies and rhythms to really bring out the funky elements. That also meant stripping arrangements back, getting more personal, inviting listeners in. Reflecting the reduced social interactions during lockdown, the album took shape with this smaller, more intimate feel – like sitting round a campfire telling stories.
By the time the three of them could meet up in the studio again, the tracks had marinated until every element felt just right. In this respect, Telenova feels like it’s loaded with songs – beautifully crafted grooves and chord progressions that also give Lilian’s vocal lines space to stretch out. Even with the more electronic-sounding tracks, there’s always the feel of those jazzy changes bubbling away underneath.
As always, Zuco 103 presents a glorious mixture of musical styles. Telenova floats between low-slung beats, uptempo funk, and afro cuban rhythms with ease, while Lilian’s phrasing brings everything together with typical Brazilian flavor. The result is a vibrant fusion of global funk and dance styles that sounds timeless – both classic and forward-looking at the same time. It’s a mixture they’ve perfected over 20 years of improvising and playing live together, taking musical risks and wandering off the beaten track. This love of adventure is at the heart of Zuco’s natural chemistry on stage and in the studio, and what’s kept their music crackling with energy for so long.
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