Da Lata

Da Lata

Serious

Palm Pictures

Now, I remember back in 2000 (when Da Lata’s debut Songs from the Tin came out) being told that this was an electro-live Brazilian band along the same lines as Suba and Zuco 103. Shows what I know. Da Lata is actually Patrick Forge and Christian Franck, and — guess what — they’re based in London. Normally, I’d be a little annoyed, but the first album was so good and this second one, Serious, is a hell of a lot better.

Franck and Forge have branched out drastically from their Brazil-inspired debut. They’ve now taken their sound worldwide, and this growth is not only benign –but welcomed.

The title track, with help from Bembe Segue and label mate Mamani Keita, is a real jump-up electronic hi life that would have King Sunny Ade jujuing in the aisles. Jhelisa (oh, where have you been?) loans her haunting voice to a real R&B gem, “Reeling.” “Can It Be?” is another sweet soul track, featuring Courtney Denni’s impeccable vocals. The duo has not forsaken their Brazilian “roots” (check out “Something,” “Firefly” and the pleasant dreamscape of “Distracted Minds” with Baaba Maal’s plaintive voice scrambling the song’s oneiric sounds), it’s just that Forge and Franck have expanded beautifully in the past three years. Serious shows it and benefits immensely from the artists’ broadening their horizons. This is truly the best way to follow-up a really impressive debut — come out with something even better.

Palm Pictures: http://www.palmpictures.com/

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