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Zoo Brazil - Brazilian Swedes

Author: Cyclone
Thursday, 7 August 2008
They're not world famous like pop mogul Max Martin, but Zoo Brazil are working with the stars - and not just any pop wannabes, as 3D's Cyclone discovers.

The Swedes contributed to Kylie Minogue's X, their song The One the album's final single. No one was more astonished about the Aussie icon's interest in their track than Zoo Brazil's John Andersson.

'That's an amazing big act, and we have lots of respect for her, so it was really fun,' he enthuses of the exchange from Stockholm. 'But, actually, we already wrote the track back in 2002. We were supposed to release it on our own album -under one of our other names - but we didn't want to release it as it was too 'poppy' and didn't really fit onto our albums.

'We just gave it away to our publisher in the UK, but they kept the track in their office for five years or something. Then Kylie heard the track at the EMI office and she really liked it and asked if she could use it. It was a big surprise because we didn't send her the track, but she heard it anyway.'

In fact, John and his cohort Johan Emmoth previously cut - and, yes, circulated - I'm The One, its initial title, as Laid.

They have been a production team since the early '90s, disseminating music under different handles. The pair didn't re-record The One with Kylie themselves, leaving that to The Freemasons. In the meantime, they've received requests 'to write something similar' for other pop types. Incredibly, Zoo Brazil, veritable multitaskers, have ventured into the pop realm without undermining their credibility in clubbing circles.

'We listen to all kinds of music, we don't only listen to underground electronic music,' John stresses. 'We've produced some pop and rock music as well for acts here in Scandinavia. It's not that unusual for us.'

Nevertheless, Zoo Brazil are associated with 'cool' labels such as Get Physical. The duo are currently promoting an LP, No Place Like Home, on Gung Ho, while remixing everyone from Tiësto to Steve Angello to Moby.

Andersson is again touring Australia, his sidekick Emmoth, a reluctant traveller, staying at home. (Zoo Brazil's last international gig together was in Argentina at the start of the decade.) John, committed to DJing, flexed his skills on 2007's It's Only a Mixtape, traversing electro, house and techno.

Zoo Brazil have enjoyed memorable experiences other than that Kylie coup. Andersson, into '80s bands like our own Icehouse, loved remixing The Human League's Open Your Heart. 'The Human League really liked the stuff we'd done for other artists, so they asked us to do a new version of [Open Your Heart]. It turned out really well. They even put it on their Greatest Hits album.

'It was fun to have the original parts that they'd recorded back in the '80s and to have a listen to it and hear them talking in the background when they were recording the vocals. It was quite unique material to work with.'

And then Zoo Brazil's music was recently licensed for the US TV program Nip/Tuck. 'I'm a bit ashamed to say that it's a striptease scene,' John laughs bashfully. 'It's strange that they used that track in that scene... I'm a guy, so that's probably why I like it!'

WHO: Zoo Brazil
WHAT: Play Ladylux
WHEN: Saturday 9 August