Named after a type of Brazilian drum, London duo Cuica exhibits a fondness for South American rhythms, adapting well-known styles like samba into its mix.

Named after a type of Brazilian drum, London duo Cuica exhibits a fondness for South American rhythms, adapting well-known styles like samba into its mix. Sometimes, the touches are subtle, as in the faint mariachi horns that drift in and out of "Slipping Away," while others, like the house-music hybrid "Cuidado," careen along with a rhythm section that could easily be interpreted as Cuban. A Latin influence is nothing new in the electronic culture (as seen in some of the more successful acts, such as Thievery Corporation and Basement Jaxx). But Cuica has found a way to develop a sonic landscape that sounds effortless and necessary—and not like the cheaply sampled cultural tourism that's normally much easier to find.—TP