Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Track 1 - Rollin' With You
Track 2 - Merve Plays Vibes
Track 3 - Bongohead
Track 4 - The Fatback Showdown
Track 5 - Champagne And Pizza
Track 6 - Dirt, Sweat And Bones
Track 7 - Madman In Africa
Track 8 - The Shackles Of Ramm
Track 9 - Flight Through The Five Galaxies
Track 10 - 16 Valve News Reel

The title might lead you to believe this is just a simple collection of bongo heavy tunes but in reality it has more in common with the Alan Hawkshaw-esque organ grooves on the Blow Up compilations. Ofcourse the bongo playing is a feature, however it is complimented by some nice breakbeats, vibes and 70's grade guitar work. The sound is highly authentic with almost no sign that this is a modern release, highlights include "The Fatback Showdown", the psych funk groove of "Madman In Africa" and the extended jam "Flight Through The Five Galaxies". In fact the only disappointment is "Bongohead", a rather underwhelming song that was inexplicably released as the single for the album. 9 out of 10 Frolics!


Mike said...

As Chong would say, "Far out, man!" So this is a modern recording?

Most modern music lacks the punch, warmth and vibrancy of the 70's recordings (not to mention the technical brilliance due to more skilled, inspired performances). Don't know why. Perhaps because today's recordings are more 'clean' due to digital. Nevertheless, you can hear nuances and mistakes, if you will, much more easily with a clean digital recording than with analog. Although I prefer analog, I must confess that digital recordings, especially at higher bit depth and sampling rate, are indeed superior.

Just my two cents.

Mr. Craig said...

You can add "soul" to the list of qualities lacking in much of today's music. However there are small pockets of joy to be found, such as the Daptone releases and some of the European funk groups that are bring 70's grooves back to life. This was recorded in 2000, so it almost qualifies as retro already I guess...

Whether it's analogue or digital doesn't concern me as much as the actual mix and production qualities to start with, if those are spot on then I can just relax and enjoy the ride.

Mike said...

Oh I totally agree with you. Even if something is recorded on a piss-poor 4-track player, if it's good music then it's worth listening. Another point you touched on, the soulful (emotional) aspect, is something which has been all but lost in the modern recordings, in lieu of such things as 'technical proficiency' and such. The things is, someone may be able to cut a queaky-clean track but if there's no soul then you're just as well off listening to a MIDI recording. That's why the 70's especially holds the lion's share of the music I've come to love.

Of course there are exceptional recordings in the current era but you have to dig deep to find 'em.