Around the world

Zuco 103
Tales Of High Fever
Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees Records

Amsterdam-based Zuco 103 epitomizes modern day musical fusion, with a Brazillian singer, Dutch drummer and German keyboardist. Their first album, Outro Lado, was a tasty m퀌�lange of breakbeat-influenced Brazillia which gained them attention around the world. They now return with their second full-length, Tales Of High Fever, which shows the time they’ve spent in the studio, experimenting with a wider palette of sounds, covering aspects of folk, funk and soul, in an even more eclectic fashion than before, but still maintaining danceable rhythms.

Zuco 103 shows their more crafted songwriting and sense of melody on tracks such as “Get Urself 2gether” and “Treasure,” while their funky side comes alive with “Peregrino” and “Brief Passions.” “Bebete Vambora” shows off the unique style that they have become known for, while “I Came, But …” blends percussion with programmed beats and jazzy keyboard lines that defy boundaries, which is true for the entirety of the record, making for an utterly enjoyable if unexpected listening experience.

Various Artists
Asian Travels 2
Six Degrees Records

Another compilation of contemporary “world beat” by the best American label on the scene, Six Degrees. Asian Travels 2 is a collection of music from the Indian subcontinent as interpreted through an electronic perspective, covering everything from drum ‘n’ bass to trance to ambient, with dj Cheb i Sabbah, Bob Holroyd, Karsh Kale and others.

There are some real gems here, with the drum ‘n’ bass rhythms of Outside’s “Red Earth” and MIDIval PunditZ’s “Aaja re’,” and the spiritual breakbeats of Karsh Kale’s “Deepest Blue (KK’s Deepest Brooklyn Mix),” but Banco de Gaia’s “How Much Reality Can You Take?” and remix of Karsh Kale’s “Distance” leave something to be desired. Jairamji’s “Swaragami” never really gets anywhere musically, but Holroyd’s “Adrift In Kerala” and Govinda’s “Slow Devotion” provide some quality dub style interpretations, while dj Cheb i Sabbah’s traditional devotional “Tum bin Shyam” from his new album Krishna Lila floats gently like an elephant in the sky.