It tells a story in which the people of the third world are turned into androids by the economic exploitation of the first world. However, as "androids", individuals contain "defects": "they think, dance, and dream - things that are very dangerous to the first world bosses...to think will always be considered an effrontery."
This consideration leads to an "Esthetics of Plagiarism" in which the "sonorous civilized trash" and "alphabet of emotions" of the first world, which also invades the everyday life of those in the third, are recycled and "put to use in small 'cells' of 'plagiarized' material," with "all of this put into a rhythmic or dance music format, with choruses, and within the parameters of popular music." Zé compares this aesthetic to arrastão, or dragnet, an urban robbery technique where "A small group fan out and then run furiously through a croud, taking people's money, jewelry, bags, sometimes even clothes. Translator's note: a type of "wilding" with a purpose, i.e., robbery.
ReviewsWith a little practice, I heard so far past ZÃ©'s experimentalism that his two collections ended up among my most played records of the '90s. On Puerto Rican vacations they provided just the Latin-flavored reality principle I needed while speeding bedward from Boqueron or navigating the crammed strip malls and barrios of Ponce. So it's a tribute to ZÃ©'s avant-garde principles that it took me forever to access this album-as-album. Although the songs are no less tuneful/grooveful for their latest batch of odd rhythms and found harmonies, I was distracted by the amelodic spareness of three or four, all of which I now savor, especially the one with the (is that?) forro accordion. In a world where the poor are rationalized into civilized trash," "androids" reduced to their economic functions and dysfunctions, ZÃ© insists on the vitality of the technological. Among the defects he celebrates in so many words are politics, curiosity, genes, and the waltz. A-" - Robert Christgau