Monday, 21 September 2020

The Fall ‎– This Nation's Saving Grace (1985)

Style: Alternative Rock, New Wave
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Beggars Banquet

01.   Mansion
02.   Bombast
03.   Barmy
04.   What You Need
05.   Spoilt Victorian Child
06.   L.A.
07.   Vixen
08.   Couldn't Get Ahead
09.   Gut Of The Quantifier
10.   My New House
11.   Paint Work
12.   I Am Damo Suzuki
13.   To Nk Roachment : Yarbles
14.   Petty Thief Lout
15.   Rollin' Dany
16.   Cruisers Creek

Band, Bass – Stephen Hanley
Band, Drums – Karl Burns
Band, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Bass – Simon Rogers
Band, Lead Guitar, Vocals – Brix Smith
Band, Rhythm Guitar – Craig Scanlon
Band, Vocals, Violin, Guitar – Mark E. Smith
Producer – John Leckie, Leckie, M.E.S., Rogers

Mark E. Smith has a reputation for being an irascible drunk, a miserable misanthrope, and a disagreeable bandmate. He’s the only permanent member of The Fall, whose lineup has changed so many times, it’s been a completely different band, several times over. Yet, Smith is The Fall. It’s his songs that drive the band’s albums. It’s his cantankerous and garbled delivery that sets them apart. Musically, however, the band was always traveling in an exciting direction, playing jangly post-punk on early records like Live From the Witch Trials, more recently taking on glam-inspired, yet dirty stompers. Yet the band hit their stride in the mid-80s during a time known as `The Brix Period,’ named for the band’s then-guitarist, and Smith’s wife at the time. During this period, The Fall recorded several of their greatest albums, including The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, Bend Sinister, and the album that has come to be known as the greatest of their career, This Nation’s Saving Grace.

This Nation’s Saving Grace marks a true high point for the band, mixing confident and strong musicianship with knockout songwriting. While the band had previously mastered the fine art of messy and dissonant post-punk chaos, this line-up had taken it to a more accessible realm, albeit one still arty and strongly independent. After a short instrumental in “Mansion,” the band brashly announces their presence with the explosive “Bombast.” As gruff and as confrontational as ever, Mark E. Smith shouts with venom, “Bastard! Idiot! Feel the wrath of my bombast!” over a loud and thoroughly rocking backing. And more of Smith’s random bursts of genius erupt in “Barmy,” where he declares, “Out of England I dream of its creamery/when I’m here I dwell on Saxony.”

Though by no means straightforward, “Spoilt Victorian Child” is full of rock `n’ roll swagger, propelled by Brix’s awesome riffs and Mark’s sideways delivery, ultimately resulting in him spelling out “E-N-C-Y-C-L-O-pedia.” Yet “LA,” slightly mellower and darker, finds Mark E. Smith showing an incredible amount of vocal restraint on this almost-instrumental track. Musically, it has a dark, synth-propelled groove, making it one of the most accessible tracks on the album, followed by one of the most abrasive—”Gut of the Quantifier,” a glam-inspired stomp with repeated cries of “stick it in the mud/stick it in the gut.” An almost rockabilly swing style drives “My New House,” another rollicking standout.

“Paint Work” is one of the strangest songs on the album, an acoustic track paired with sampled voices, an organ melody, a drum machine and Smith’s indecipherable mumbles. On “I Am Damo Suzuki,” the band pays tribute to Can frontman Damo Suzuki, borrowing melodies from the band and dropping references to their songs in the lyrics, such as “what have you got in that paper bag? Is it vitamin C?” As tributes go, it’s a bizarre one, but a damn good one, making it a true Fall essential. The short, eerie “To NKroachment: Yarbles” closes off the album with a haunting bassline and bizarre layers of effects.

Cassette and CD versions expanded on this eleven-track version of the album, adding the rockabilly, Brix-sung “Vixen” and the melancholy jangler, “Petty Thief (Lout).” And in 1988, three singles released around the time of the album were tacked on to the tracklist: the careening punk rock death-ride “Couldn’t Get Ahead,” the ’50s-ish singalong “Rollin’ Dany,” and the awesome, abrasive rocker “Cruisers Creek.” These five tracks have become so inseparable from the original, that it’s easy to forget that they weren’t originally there. In any case, they’re absolute must-haves.

The Brix period didn’t last all that long, she and Mark eventually getting divorced. And as a result, Mark penned the vicious “Sing, Harpy!” in 1990. It might just be that Mark E. Smith isn’t meant to be a married, domestic man. And I can’t imagine him being one. Rather, he’s the frontman of one of the greatest, most inconsistent, most unpredictable and strangest bands in history. With 25 studio albums, there are several that achieve a greatness similar to that of This Nation’s Saving Grace, but it’s still at the top of the pyramid, displaying the best that the post-punk legends had to offer.
Jeff Terich / TREBLE

EP-4 ‎– Lingua Franca-1 (1983)

Genre: Electronic, Jazz, Rock, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: WRWTFWW, Columbia, Solid Records

1.   Robothood Process
2.   The Frump Jump
3.   Similar
4.   Coconut
5.   E-Power
6.   Talkin' Trash
7.   Broken Bi-Psycle
8.   Tide Gauge

Bass – Ko Sakuma
Drums – Tohru Sanjo
Guitar – Tatsuo Kohki
Keyboards, Tape – Banana 
Voice – Kaoru Sato

WRWTFWW Records is extremely excited to present the official reissue of cult album Lingua Franca-1 (originally released in 1983) by groundbreaking Kyoto band EP-4, available on vinyl housed in heavy 350gsm sleeve and digipack CD.

Straight from the delirious minds of beautiful provocateur Kaoru Sato (who had previously released an album as R.N.A. Organism on legendary Osaka label Vanity Records) and unconventional genius Yuji "Banana" Kawashima, Lingua Franca-1 is a seamless voyage of spellbinding mutant funk grooves, joyful post-punk explorations, synth fantasies, sexy distortions, and fluid cool-no-sweat vocals. Constantly mutating in an almost biological way (similarly to Colored Music’s self-titled album), always mysterious and seductive, sometimes reminiscing of a freaky cross between PiL, Liquid Liquid, Bowie and Yello, EP-4’s debut is hard to label, although "Debonair Wave" could be a legitimate way to describe this Japan’s best-kept-secret of an album.

Defying the rules wasn’t limited to sonic experimentations for band leader Kaoru Sato. To promote Lingua Franca-1, he and his crew plastered gigantic (illegal) billboards all over Shibuya and Harajuku, announcing performances in four different cities on odd hours of the same day (May 21st 1983) - and yes the shows did happen. Other of his notable antics included originally sub-titling the album Death to the Emperor Showa causing a controversy (which led to censorship and a title-change), trying to release two albums on the same day without the concerned labels being aware of the plan or, in the R.N.A. Organism days, fooling Vanity Records into believing the demo he sent them came from a foreign band (it worked). Unique personality, unique music! 
WRWTFWW / bandcamp

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Mulatu Astatke + Black Jesus Experience ‎– To Know Without Knowing (2019)

Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul, Folk, World, & Country
Fomat: CD, Vinyl
Label: Agogo Records

1.   Mulatu
2.   Ambassa Lemdi
3.   Kulun Mankwaleshi
4.   Living On Stolen Land
5.   To Know Without Knowing
6.   Lijay
7.   Blue Light
8.   Mascaram Setaba
9.   A Chance To Give

Arranged By – Ian Dixon, Peter Harper
Bass – Richard Rose 
Chorus – Addisalem Taye, Corry Harper, Mearge Abate
Congas, Shekere – Olugbade Okunade
Drums – James Davies
Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Ian Dixon
Flute – Dominique Chaseling
Grand Piano – Bob Sedergreen
Guitar – Robbie Belchamber
Guitar, Chorus – Zac Lister
Masinko – Haftu Reda
MC – Elf Transporte, Liam 'Monk' Monkhouse
Shaker, Wood Block – Kahan Harper
Tenor Saxophone – Peter Harper
Vibraphone, Congas, Electric Piano – Mulatu Astatke
Vocals – Enushu Taye, Vida Sunshine
Producer – Ian Dixon, Peter Harper

Mulatu Astatke is undoubtedly the most important and well-known proponent of Ethio-Jazz: a branch of jazz that incorporates elements of traditional Ethiopian music. Not only a great composer, Astatke plays keyboards and a wide range of percussive instruments of which many are unique to Ethiopia. He developed his style of jazz while studying in Britain and America in the 1960s and took his music back with him to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, during a brief period of extraordinary musical creativity in his home country, just before it was mostly suppressed by a series of intolerant governments. Astatke is one of the stars of a landmark series of compilation albums released in the 1990s entitled Éthiopiques, of which there were ultimately 30 volumes, that was the sole means whereby the music of Ethiopia’s golden age first became known to the general public outside of Ethiopia.

The Black Jesus Experience are a truly cosmopolitan group of musicians based in Melbourne: a city that can lay claim to being one of the most vibrant in the world, and certainly the Antipodes, for contemporary jazz. The group’s primary musical influence is Ethio-Jazz, so Mulatu Astatke is their ideal collaborator, but the music has a more extensive range of influences that includes hip-hop and funk. The lead saxophonist and co-founder of the eight-piece band is Peter Harper who was introduced to Ethiopian music by his father, a music teacher for the Ethiopian Navy band in the 1960s. They are most notable for their live performances, which includes a performance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2017. It is a shame for audiences in the UK and elsewhere that they aren’t able to tour their latest album given current circumstances.

To Know Without Knowing is the second studio collaboration of The Black Jesus Experience and Mulatu Astatke and is the culmination of over a decade of having performed together. It is a varied album. Only the song Kulun Mankwaleshi is very much like the type of Ethio-Jazz that can be heard on the Éthiopiques compilations. The vocals on this track comes from Enushu Taye, the band’s co-leader and principal singer who in 1992 was forced to leave Ethiopia where she’d sung for her local community, before eventually emigrating to Melbourne. The vocals on the album are shared with the Zimbabwean/Australian MC, Mr. Monk (Liam Monkhouse), whose style of rap is of the type prevalent across modern-day Africa and whose lyrics emphasise tolerance, consciousness and community.

The first track on the album is Mulatu, a tribute to Astatke without whom there would be no Ethio-Jazz, which rhythm is most prominent in the harmonious horns that lead the first half of the track before Mr. Monk’s rapping provides the lyrics. There is a taste of West Africa on the second track, Ambassa Lemhi, where Taye weaves her voice around the trumpet and sounds almost like the great Oumou Sangare. Taye mostly sings in Amharic except on songs such as Living On Stolen Land where she sings in English.

The mix of international musical influences is generally seamless and unforced throughout the album. The title track, To Know Without Knowing, moves from one style to another, where it features in turn Taye’s Ethiopian vocals, Mr. Monk’s rap and lilting horns and piano. The single Lijay, a paean to motherly love, is underlaid by a lilting African reggae with Taye and Mr. Monk swapping the microphone between them until midway through the song where it settles into a chugging rhythm conducive to a dancing audience. Blue Light begins with Mr. Monk’s rap before becoming perhaps the most conventionally jazz track on the album. The album ends with two tracks, Mascaram Setaba and A Chance To Give, that would be ideal for swaying to at an open air festival on a lazy hot sunny day.

There is much on this album for the enthusiast of Ethio-Jazz to enjoy, but much else for fans of jazz and other forms of global music. To Know Without Knowing and its collaboration between Mulatu Astatke and The Black Jesus Experience are a good fit for Agogo Records, a Hanover-based record label that features danceable music of all styles from around the world.
Graham Spry / London Jazz News

Ultramarine ‎– United Kingdoms (1993)

Genre: Electronic
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Blanco Y Negro

01.   Source
02.   Kingdom
03.   Queen Of The Moon
04.   Prince Rock
05.   Happy Land
06.   Urf
07.   English Heritage
08.   Instant Kitten
09.   The Badger
10.   Hooter
11.   Dizzy Fox
12.   No Time

Accordion – Jim Rattigan
Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By – Ian Cooper
Bass, Keyboards, Programmed By – Paul Hammond
Clarinet, Flute, Piccolo Flute, Soprano Saxophone – Jimmy Hastings
Hammond Organ – Simon Kay 
Additional Percussion – Paul Johnson 
Trumpet, Harmonica – Phil James
Violin – Robert Atchison
Vocals – Robert Wyatt
Producer – Ultramarine

La Mecánica Popular ‎– La Mecánica Popular (2012)

Genre: Latin, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Names You Can Trust, Perumusic Records

1.   La Paz Del Freak
2.   Ella Le Decia
3.   Guajiro
4.   Se Que Me Olvidaste
5.   Arbol
6.   Muy Distinto
Bonus Tracks
7.   Milagro
8.   La Tragaespadas
9.   Se Que Me Olvidaste (Alternate Version)

Bass – Abraham Saenz, Julio Zavala
Bongos – Louis Bauzo 
Congas – Gerome Goldsmith, Javier Ponte
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Ernesto Lucar
Lead Vocals – Joselo Samaniego, Joy Hanson
Piano – Pablo Mayor, Ricardo Canales
Synthesizer – Yvonne Ubillus
Synthesizer, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Efraín Rozas
Music By, Lyrics By – Efraín Rozas
Producer – Efraín Rozas

La Mecanica Popular, una agrupación ecléctica asentada en la ciudad de New York que interpreta -segun su terminologia- Salsa Psicodélica,  nos presenta su debut para el sello Names You Can Trust.  El octeto, nacido en el 2011 despues del encuentro de musicos peruanos, colombianos, venezolanos y estadounidenses, presenta un sonido unico, con fuertes y profundas raices en la salsa hecha popular en New York desde finales de la decada del 6o del siglo pasado. Los toques psicodélicos son añadidos por el sintetizador, interpretado por Yvonne Ubillus, y los riffs de guitarra al estilo de la cumbia chicha peruana. 
El album, el cual esta compuesto por 9 piezas escritas por su director y vocalista , el peruano Efrain Rozas, conto con la producción de Rafael “Xuxi” Lazzaro, quien trabajara con la estrella dominicana Juan Luis Guerra. 
Destacamos títulos como Muy Distinto, una explosiva descarga, así como Se Que Me Olvidaste, un bolero -aqui presente en dos versiones. Milagro una salsa mid tempo con importantes solos de Ernesto Lucar y Ismael Baiz en la guitarra y los timbales respectivamente. Ella Lo Decía es un son montuno donde se destaca su director Rozas en el solo de piano, mientras el bajista Alejandro Haaker tiene una destaca actuación en el numero Guajiro. 
La Mecanica Popular logra un debut inigualable, la elección de canciones así como los arreglos y cada uno de los instrumentistas se merecen la mejor calificación. Ojalá mas artistas siguieran su ejemplo. Musica sin concesiones y con una fuerte convicción de las propias ideas.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Auntie Flo ‎– Radio Highlife (2018)

Genre: Electronic, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Brownswood Recordings

01.   Life Is High
02.   Nobody Said It Would Be Easy
03.   Havana Rhythm Song
04.   Isbjorn
05.   Radio Souk
06.   Lights In The Northern Sky
07    Western Princes
08.   Inga's Choir
09.   Malawi Skit
10.   Cape Town Jam
11.   One Guitar
12.   Kampala
13.   Magic Stones Skit
14.   Mame's Story

Synth – Laurie Pitt
Keyboards – Yohan Kebede
Percussion – Jon-Eirik Boska, Yissy
Fiddle (Ugandan Idingiti) – Hakim Kiwanuka, Julio Rigal
Vocals – Mame Ndiack, Dan Mugula, Inga Mauer, Zozo, Andrew Ashong, Eric Alejandro, Shingai Shoniwa
Vocals, Talking Drum, Percussion (Magic Stones) – Mame Ndiack Seck Thiam
Written-By, Producer – Brian D'Souza

The tracks on Radio Highlife, Brian D'Souza's latest album as Auntie Flo, were made in the past seven years and recorded in Indonesia, Cuba, Norway, the States and various parts of Africa and South America. The artist's British passport makes touring life easy, but a key presence on the LP is the Senegalese multi-instrumentalist Mame N'Diack, who, to perform a single gig with D'Souza in Edinburgh, had to ride trains, sleep rough, crash on floors and queue for hours before securing the necessary visa. It's N'Diack's unrehearsed clattering of rocks we hear on "Magic Stones Skit," recorded in D'Souza's mum's back garden in Glasgow. A song named after him, "Mame's Story," closes the LP.

D'Souza's music has drawn naturally from his long-running party, Highlife, which Huntleys + Palmers' Andrew Thomson once described as connecting the dots between "kwaito, UK funky, early Cóméme records, stuff that was getting reissued by labels like Soundway and Sofrito and artists like [Ricardo] Villalobos, Shackleton and Actress." Though Radio Highlife is much less club-focused, it has several joyful, percussive highs. Take the bright and bubbling "Western Princes," which is lifted by N'Diack's talking drum and synth playing from Laurie Pitt, a member of Glasgow bands like Golden Teacher, Modern Institute and Banana Oil.

You can hear older styles of music here, too. On "One Guitar," Dan Mugula, who has been making hits in Uganda since the '70s, explains the country's oldest genre of mainstream music, kadongo kamu (or "one guitar"), a style of pop that comes from traditional music played on a bass guitar. With Radio Highlife, D'Souza presents a musical travelogue of the sounds he's heard while on tour, from the echoey township beats of "Cape Town Dub" to the snake charmer reeds and traffic noises in "Radio Souk," while creating his own hybrids along the way.
Claire Sawers / RA

Friday, 18 September 2020

Bernie Worrell ‎– All The Woo In The World (1979)

Genre: Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Arista,  RCA Rcords

1.   Woo Together
2.   I'll Be With You
3.   Hold On
4.   Much Thrust
5.   Happy To Have (Happiness On Our Side)
6.   Insurance Man For The Funk
7.   Much Thrust (Reprise)

Bass – Billy Nelson, Rodney "Skeet" Curtis
Drums – Gary Cooper, Jim Wright, Tyrone Lampkinp
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Bernie Worrell
Backing Vocals – The Brides, Casper, Dr., The, Parlet
Horns – Fred Wesley, Macio Parker, Richard Griffith, Rick Gardner
Guitar – Eddie Hazel, Gary Shider, Glenn Goins, J.S. Thiracon, Michael Hampton, Phelps Collins, William Collins
Producer – Bernie Worrell, George Clinton

Bernie Worrell (1944-2016) needs little introduction. He was an American keyboardist, arranger & composer best known as a founding member of Parliament/Funkadelic and for his work with Talking Heads. The list of his musical collaborations is extensive and includes renowned artists and acts from the likes of Manu Dibango, Bill Laswell, Fela Kuti, Jack Bruce, Mike Watt and Les Claypool. Bernie Worrell’s list of achievements is equally impressive: highlights include his induction in as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and receiving an honorary Doctor of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2016. 
All The Woo In The World’ was Bernie Worrell’s solo debut album, originally released in 1978 on Arista, the album features various P-funk alumni including George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Eddie Hazel. 
When you listen to ’All The Woo In The World’ it’s no wonder David Byrne wanted Worrell to record and perform with Talking Heads. The album, co-produced with George Clinton, is so funky you can smell it through the dust jacket. In seven tracks, Worrell shows how important he was to the P-Funk sound—in fact, the whole thing could easily be passed off as a lost Parliament/Funkadelic record, if not for Worrell’s name up top. it has everything: layered sounds, a toe-tapping midtempo beat, and some incredible horns. It proved to be a classic platter of cosmic slop: funky, loose R&B (with just a bit of disco flavor). 
Heavily sought after by collectors, ‘All The Woo In The World’ is an essential funk album by an artist who leaves a legacy as big as his career. Now back available as a limited color vinyl edition (1500 copies), released exclusively for RSD Black Friday 2017 and officially in North America for the first time since 1978. Only available in participating record stores on 11/24.
Light in the Attic

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes ‎– Wake Up Everybody (1975)

Genre: Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Epic, Legacy, Philadelphia International Records

1.   Wake Up Everybody
2.   Keep On Lovin' You
3.   You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good
4.   Don't Leave Me This Way
5.   Tell The World How I Feel About 'Cha Baby
6.   To Be Free To Be Who We Are
7.   I'm Searching For A Love
Bonus Track
8.   Don't Leave Me This Way (A Tom Moulton Mix)

Arranged By – Bobby Martin, Norman Harrisio
Producer – Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff

Philly soul staples Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were in full swing on 1975's Wake Up Everybody. Sporting their trademark lush, string-laden production from Gamble and Huff (who also wrote about half the album's material), the smooth soul outfit delivers a mix of deep soul balladry and uptempo dance tracks. The title track, with its socially relevant messages, is a standout. There is no shortage of fine vocal performances all around, notably from Melvin and from future solo star Teddy Pendergrass.
Anthony Tognazzin / AllMusic

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Karl Hector And The Malcouns ‎– Non Ex Orbis (2019)

Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Now-Again Records

1.   Non Ex Orbis
2.   Crawling Through Your Mind
3.   Hymnin5 (Extended)
4.   Stossgebet
5.   Asteroid
6.   Inhale/Exhale
7.   Mother Seletta
8.   Dekagon

Bass – Al Markovic
Drums, Backing Vocals – Zdenko Curulija
Guitar, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – J J Whitefield
Lead Vocals, Organ, Vibraphone – Marja Burchard
Producer – J.J. Whitefield

There has been a compelling trajectory at work since J.J. Whitefield's Karl Hector & the Malcouns issued 2008's Sahara Swing. It articulated Whitefield's lifelong love of sounds from the African Diaspora that include Ebo Taylor's slippery guitar funk, Zamrock, Malian blues, and disco-fied Nigerian Afrobeat. Six years later, the Malcouns dug deeper on Unstraight Ahead by exploring the Ethio jazz of Mulatu Astatke, Hailu Mergia, and Getatchew Mekuria, soldered onto the German band's love of Krautrock and trancey psychedelia as exemplified by countrymen Can, Agitation Free, and Tomorrow's Gift. Non Ex Orbis, issued more than a decade after their debut, finds the band traveling further afield without losing their way. This eight-track set engages the experimentalism of krautrock as it meets classic German prog influences such as Amon Düül, Popol Vuh, and Embryo, and dark, trippy analog funk. Woven in are an eclectic mix of trance, analog synth, interlocking Afrobeat grooves, and ghostly, dark mercurial psych. 
The lineup on Non Ex Orbis includes Whitefield on guitars and vintage Prodigy, a monosynth from Moog, founding Malcouns' drummer and second guitarist Zdenko Curulija, bassist Al Markovic, synthesist Andreas Kainz, and vocalist, organist, and vibraphonist Marja Burchard, daughter of Embryo founder Christian Burchard. The title-track opener showcases the intersection of staccato, stop-and-start prog and beat-driven funky psych. Introduced by Burchard's wordless vocal, its knotty guitars offer an angular theme before the Prodigy, an ARP, and organ reach flanged guitars and a whomping bassline that pump out massive psychedelic funk. "Crawling Through Your Mind" comes out of the gate with a funky drum shuffle extrapolated onto a droney soundscape with Robin Trower-esque guitar vamp (à la "Bridge of Sighs"), a fragmented melodic idea, and a wandering bassline that draws the listener down into a sonic vortex. "Hymnin5," is jazz-prog fusion with drifting vibraphone solos, pulsing organs that alternate between vamp and fractured melody lines, a galloping bass, and Whitefield's sitar-esque electric guitar. "Stossgebet" employs Krautrock and skeletal psych with Burchard offering a single syllable as the tune's vocal, while the bass, effects-laden guitar, and Afrobeat drum kit delve deep into spidery funk. A Return to Forever-esque arpegiattic synth solo adds a spacious, hard-grooving fusion element as well. "Mother Seletta" is anchored by Burchard's vocals and Krautrock; Whitefield's use of Fela Kuti's rhythmic invention and Embryo's textured drift -- colored by stinging, distorted, Hendrix-ian guitars and punchy organ -- create a multi-dimensional foundation that breaks the mold. Closer "Dekagon" straddles Krautrock and space age dub in a steamy, nightmarish union that results in aural hypnosis. While not as exotic as its predecessors, Non Ex Orbis is in many ways the most satisfying Malcouns' album because it channels its influences in a more natural articulation of ideas and inner space grooves. Tune in, turn on, and dance.
Thom Jurek / AllMusic

Monday, 14 September 2020

Trio Mocotó ‎– Trio Mocotó (1977)

Genre: Latin, Funk / Soul, Pop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mr Bongo, Arlequim

01.   Não Adianta
02.   O Meu Violão
03.   A Rosa
04.   Xuxu Melão
05.   Doca
06.   Toda Tarde
07.   Sossega Malandro
08.   Dilê
09.   Onde Anda Voce
10.   Que Nega É Essa

Arranged By, Conductor – Daniele Patucchi

A seasoned favourite group of Brazilian music fans and pioneers from a sub-genre that has become known as the samba rock or samba soul movement. The group comprising Luiz Carlos Fritz (Fritz Escovão), João Parahyba and Nereu Gargalo debuted in the late 1960s and first served as the backing band to Jorge Ben on some of his classic late 1960s and early 1970s recordings before they recorded a debut album for RGE in 1973. This previously hard to find original and now new re-issue finds them four years later in 1977 with an identical sound, and a formula that they have essentially maintained right up until recent years when they recorded brand new albums for Crammed Discs including, ‘Samba rock’, and, ‘Beleza! Beleza! Beleza!’. Opening up the album is the classy mid-tempo groove of, ‘Não adianta’ and one of the group’s hallmarks here is the subtle addition of brass and strings. Naturally, the three-part male harmony vocals feature heavily throughout, and they are the near equivalent of Quarteto em Cy from a male perspective. However, scratch beneath the surface and you will find multiple US influences, not least of which are some deliciously jazzy licks. On the lengthy near seven minute, ‘Dilé’, rhythm guitar starts the intro which morphs into a more laid back samba complete with a restrained male lead. In fact on, ‘Sossega Malandro’, the strong guitar influence of Wes Montgomery and protégé in the young George Benson can be heard and the brass provides a wonderful uplifting support. For those in need of a more traditional form of samba, ‘Xuxu Melão’ fits the bill, while for a faster tempo, the funk-tinged bass and discofied guitar work in close tandem on, ‘Que nega é essa’. What this writer enjoyed especially was the rapid passage from melancholia into all out samba attack and no better is this illustrated than on, ‘O meu violão’/’O my guitar’. Worthy of re-issue and a fine way to start a new year with such a positive sound.
Tim Stenhouse / UK VIBE