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- Me, Myself, and I
- Zuco 103 is currently one of the best live bands on the Dutch scene. It’s a magic vibe that resulted from the collaboration between drummer Stefan Kruger, keyboard man Stefan Schmid and Brazilian singer Lilian Vieira while producing a number of tracks together for the Dutch formation SfeQ. Inspired by the sound that resulted, they decided to form Zuco 103.
Brazilian vocalist Lilian Vieira arrived in the Netherlands in 1989. She studied singing at the Rotterdam Conservatory. Once in Holland, her awareness of Brazilian culture and traditions developed more intensively, performing mainly with musicians who had also grown up with Brazilian music. But where does the influence of tradition end and a performer’s interpretation begin? Lilian Vieira started to explore the possibilities that were presented by other musical styles: ‘I didn’t want to remain stuck in one musical tradition. In fact Zuco 103 is almost a European product. Of course my background provides inspiration, but that is mainly on a rhythmic level.’
Stefan Kruger drums with SfeQ and the New Cool Collective and is much in demand as a studio musician: ´I realised early on that there’s no such thing as a style. It doesn’t just stop with jazz, funk or bossa nova. Or drum ´n´ bass….. The music we make is a mix of everything that exists, and our influence on 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 (Portuguese) vocals that determines the groove´.
Stefan Schmid was born in Munich, Germany, and has lived in Amsterdam for ten years. Stefan played with the New Cool Collective as well. `I started as a jazz pianist. But I leave the piano virtuosity and chord progressions out when producing Zuco 103´. I want to get as far away as possible from what I’ve ever done before´.
About the music
Three different backgrounds, three different sources of input. How have they gorged all these influences into a musical synthesis? The pieces Zuco 103 record in their musical brainstorm sessions are reworked in the studio. It’s a voyage of discovery finding the perfect alignment of melody, sound and rhythm. Listening, polishing and refining until you get the exact balance between the three elements. Constantly searching for new constructions.
Stefan S. : “We record samples, examine what they are and then manipulate them”.
Lilian : “The words I write for Zuco 103 are based on my own experiences and impressions. I write, I read, I think, and I put things into perspective. And then the melody comes automatically”.
About the recordings
- Zuco 103 recorded their first vinyl 12” feat. a premature remix of the track ´Outro Lado´(the other side) on the SfeQ label Dox Records.
- Their debut cd ‘Outro lado’ was released spring 99 on the Belgian label Ziriguiboom /Crammed (known for it’s eclectic choi