Chico Science / March 13, 1966 - Feb 2, 1997

Unless you are a Brasileiro or follow modern Brazilian music you probably don't know who Chico Science was but he was a favorite of mine. In fact his band, Nação Zumbi, have continued to tour the world and make fresh albums mixing samba, psychedelia, funk and hard rock, along with regional folk styles of Northeast Brazil.

Francisco de Assis França was born in the Northeastern state of Pernambuco, literally coming out of the swamps ("mangue"), and he helped found the manguebeat movement in Recife, a collective identity that nurtured the highly original arts and music scene that was on the upswing in the region. Forming around '91, Nação Zumbi play a heavy rock-meets-hiphop-meets-funk-meets-electronica hybrid that assertively included Brazilian folk rhythms (especially the maracatu).

Chico was the leader and frontman of this unit that traveled heavily in Europe (and the USA for a tour) spreading the word about this new scene in Brasil. Chico Science & Nação Zumbi had a sound and style that took in influences such as Public Enemy, Kurtis Blow, Pink Floyd, James Brown, heavy metal and samba. By all accounts, Chico was an intense front man. I wouldn't know from personal witness because I never got a chance to see him, given the car accident that took his life in '97. But NZ continue to be one of the best bands from the South American continent.

While I also seriously encourage you to check out the music Nação Zumbi has made (and continue to make) since Chico's passing, we're going to focus on a few nuggets of the early years involving his fresh and energetic command:

Here's the band live in concert in Recife in '94:

Here is the video for the classic "Maracatu Atômico":

From an MTV special:

Here's a heavy DJ Soulslinger remix of "A Cidade":

Tagged: Celebrate Icons, Chico Science, documentary, dub, edit/remix, latin funk, metal, Nação Zumbi, official video, psych, punk, rap/hiphop, rock, samba, soul/funk, Video, vintage footage

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