ARTIST: Da Cruz
TITLE: Eco Do Futuro
LABEL: Boom Jah / Broken Silence
Brazilian Mariana Da Cruz was singing bossa nova in Lisbon when she met musician-producer Ane Hebeisen of the Swiss industrial band Swamp Terrorists. This unlikely duo has been working together for 12 years; this is their sixth album. The Da Cruz sound combines elements of MPB (Brazilian popular music) with global bass music: Nigerian Afrobeat (which is very hip in Brazil right now), South African kwaito, Angolan kuduro, Brazilian baile funk, Jamaican dub, American hip hop and international electronica. Their sound is edgy and jittery – tempos are fast, Mariana spends as much time rapping and sing-jaying as straight singing, electronic beats butt up against decidedly analog drums and a hot horn section. Tracks 4, 9 and 12 are the best examples of their approach to Afrobeat – it’s similar to the way Brazilian rapper Criolo is using it, as another urban flavoring. 11 is electro right out of Afrika Bambaataa’s playbook, but with a Brazilian tinge. And 10 is 2017 vintage samba-soul, a song that could have been recorded by Jorge Ben. The album is a little slow to get started, but its second half is a runaway freight train, aimed right at the dance floor.
TOP TRACKS: 4 9 10 11 12
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 1 3 13 14
Bill Lupoletti is world music director at WRIR 97.3 FM and wrir.org in Richmond, Virginia, where he hosts the Global A Go-Go radio program on Wednesdays at 3 PM and writes the globalagogo.com world music blog.