"Outro Lado"
1. Humana
2. Brazilectro
3. Maracatu Atomico
4. Zabumba No Mar
5. Outro Lado
6. Fome Total
7. Um Coco

The minimal & powerful electronic beats of Amsterdam drummer Stefan Kruger, fused with the jazz harmonies of German keyboardist Stefan Schmid, and topped by the extraordinary voice of Rio de Janeiro's Lilian Vieira. Suavely melodic and fiercely rhythmic, inspired and happy, inventive and accessible, Brazilian and electronic, ZUCO 103's debut album positions them right at the forefront of the new Brazilian movement.

By the way, Zuco 103 have previously put out a couple of tracks under the name Rec.a (including the beautifully deep "Outro Lado" which is included in the BRASIL 2MIL compilation).

The threesome first worked together when they produced a number of tracks for eclectic, electro-jazz Dutch ensemble SFeQ. Enthused by the results of that collaboration, they decided to form ZUCO 103.

Brazilian vocalist LILIAN VIEIRA arrived in the Netherlands in 1989. She studied singing at Rotterdam Conservatory. While in exile, her awareness of Brazilian culture and traditions developed more intensely. At first, she performed mainly with musicians who had also grown up with Brazilian music. But where does the influence of tradition end and where does a performer's interpretation begin? Lilian Vieira began to explore the possibilities offered by other musical styles. Lilian: "I didn't want to remain stuck in one musical tradition. In fact Zuco 103 is almost a European product. Naturally, my background provides inspiration, but that is mainly on a rhythmic level. At the moment my main interest is in modern European dance music".

STEFAN KRUGER drums with SfeQ and New Cool Collective and is much in demand as a studio musician: "I realized early on that there's no such thing as a style. It doesn't just stop with jazz, funk, bossa nova or drum'n'bass. The music we make is a mix of everything that exists, or at least our own interpretation of all that. We leave our own musical background behind us as far as the sound is concerned. We're continually discovering new sounds. And new grooves. Of course to a large extent it's the rhythm of Lilian's vocals which determines the groove."
STEFAN SCHMID was born in Munich, Germany, and has lived in Amsterdam for a number of years: "I started as a jazz pianist. But I left piano virtuosity and chord progressions out when working on Zuco 103 music. I want to get as far away as possible from what I've ever done before."

Three different backgrounds, three influences. How have they fused all that into such a musical synthesis ? The pieces Zuco 103 record in their musical brainstorm sessions are reworked in the studio. It's a voyage of discovery, in search of the perfect alignment of melody, sound and rhythm. Listening, polishing and refining until you get the exact balance between the three elements. Constantly devising new constructions. Stefan S.: "We record samples, examine what they are, and then manipulate them." Stefan K.: "We're continually cooking up new recipes with the ingredients we grow in our own garden." Lilian: "The texts I write for Zuco 103 are based on my own experiences. My own impressions. I write things down, I read, I think, and then the melody comes automatically."

Zuco 103 also happen to be a real, strong live band. But how can you get translate the technical perfection of Zuco's recordings into a concert environment ? Stefan S.: "There's no point trying to achieve that. Live, Zuco should be as loose as a free-jazz number. Playing live gives you the opportunity to respond to the audience's feedback. It lets you manipulate. It's a totally different kind of energy. Anyway, why should you play pieces exactly the same way as on a record? It's far more interesting to develop musically on stage. That's how new ideas form. And you can rework these into staple samples, sounds or melodies." Zuco 103 appears in concert with an extended line-up : Stefan Schmid (keyboards, sound manipulation and samplers), Stefan Kruger (drums and sampler) and Lilian Vieira (vocals) are augmented by Has Bangert (bass), Claus Tofft (percussion) and Kid Sublime (turntables/scratch). She shuts her eyes and sings.

'Outro Lado', the debut album by Zuco 103, is out now. A 12" is also out. A new LP is expected soon, with reworkings by remixers whose names will be announced shortly.


ZUCO 103 - Whaa!
ZUCO 103
ZUCO 103 - One Down, One Up
ZUCO 103
One Down, One Up
ZUCO 103 - Tales Of High Fever
ZUCO 103
Tales Of High Fever
ZUCO 103 - The Other Side Of Outro Lado (remixes)
ZUCO 103
The Other Side Of Outro Lado (remixes)