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Brazilian music is like a diamond — complex, brilliant, and multifaceted. And there’s no surprise there; Brazilian culture is so wildly diverse, so open to foreign influences and so famously devoted to letting the good times roll that there’s no way Brazil’s music could be anything but a kaleidoscopic riot of flavors and colors. That’s how you end up with such popular and influential exports as samba, lambada and bossa nova, musical styles that are constantly mutating and developing, absorbing new elements from around the world along the way.

That brings us to Bossacucanova, the Rio-based trio whose new album is a perfect illustration of the way Brazilian musicians will happily grab and incorporate influences from around the world — and of the way they can turn those elements into music that is both freshly modern and deeply, traditionally Brazilian — not to mention arm-wavingly, butt-swingingly, irresistibly danceable.

DJ Marcelinho DaLua, bassist Márcio Menescal and keyboardist Alexandre Moreira burst onto the international dance music scene in 1999 with Revisited Classics, a collection of both new and old bossa nova songs given new life and vigor through the application of funky breakbeats, skillful turntablism, electronic manipulation and adventurous mixology. The idea of fusing the smooth sounds of classic bossa nova recordings with up-to-the-minute electronic elements wasn’t exactly brand new — No Wave legend Arto Lindsay had been combining Brazilian music with modern influences for years, and European DJs had already figured out that bossa nova’s laid-back, free-flowing rhythm could add a crowd-pleasing spice to their own material.


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