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The London-based Brazilian fusion group Da Lata established themselves long before it became fashionable for a dance act to quote South American forms. In 1992, the group's core members -- Christian Franck and Patrick Forge -- formed Batu, which played numerous live gigs and recorded a couple of songs for Big Cheeze in Paris and for the excellent Rebirth of Cool, Vol. 4. After several years of group inactivity, the duo re-formed in the summer of 1998 as Da Lata and invited Portuguese percussionist Oli Savill and Brazilian singer Lilana Chachian to join the band. Along with a lengthy roster of string musicians, horn players, vocalists, and percussionists, Da Lata released Songs From the Tin in 2000 on Palm. Respectfully interpreting Brazilian musical styles from their predominately Western European perspective, Da Lata blended Savill's live percussion and Chachian's authentic Brazilian vocals with Franck's gentle guitar work and Forge's production. The Remixes album followed two years later, and their proper follow-up Serious appeared in 2003. ~ John Vallier