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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

3 Na Massa

By Tom Pryor
Published June 13, 2008

3 Na Massa

In case you were wondering whatever happened to Brazil’s mangue beat standard bearers Nação Zumbi, two of the band’s members recently surfaced on the dubby, downbeat 3 Na Massa project. Bassist Alexandre Dengue and percussionist Pupillo are joined by hip-hop producer Rica Ambris and a rotating cast of languid Brazilian chanteuses for this sexy slice of chilled out São Paulo-style electronica, and nothing could be further from the thundering maracatu rhythms of Recife than the ambient atmospherics favored by the Paulistas. Taking cues from artists like Suba and Curumin, 3 Na Massa creates a lush tropical soundscape where sensual basslines and gently propulsive rhythms underpin an arsenal of programmed sounds, from smooth grace notes to roughed-up electronic squelches. The mix occasionally veers into dub territory, but what really grabs the ear are the breathy, pouty, vampy performances by the women. From current hot property Ceu (on the standout track “Doce Guia”) to attitudinal rapper Lurdez Da Luz, the pheremone level is off the charts, making 3 Na Massa sound like the Brazilian electronica record that Hugh Hefner and Serge Gainsbourg never got to co-produce.