The Vicious Seeds from St. Petersburg have been putting out 45s with their blend of raw cinematic grooves and deep funk instrumentals for a while, here they introduce us to vibraphonist Pavel Chizhik, who adds his midas touch to the group’s well seasoned rhythm section. Reminiscent of early CTI recordings and – of course – Roy Ayers, the band delivers their own version of summer jazz dope beats, with sample-friendly drumbreaks, funky basslines, psych guitars and lush vibes. With communication to the group largely cut off or heavily censored, we leave it to the music to do the talking and spread the band’s message. “Make records, not war”.
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band follow up their 2021 Expansions album with another solid 7” offering.
The A side, “Represent,” is one of the stand out tracks from Expansions. BRSB covers the DJ Premier-produced Nas classic, taking the original and expanding the arrangement with guitar and brass riffs. Tuba chugs along the drum break while the steel pans hammer out the famously infectious melody of the original sample making this an easy winner in hip hop circles and beyond.
The B side is a non-album cut available on this 45 for the first time ever. Bacao covers the Mtume classic “Juicy Fruit,” made popular again when The Notorious B.I.G. sampled it for his smash hit “Juicy.” A sure head-turner when people realize they’re dancing along to a new version of the classic melody.
Favorite Recordings proudly presents the new 12″ of Magic Source. The all-star group around producer Björn Wagner (known also for his cosmic and tropical-flavoured disco music as Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band and The Mighty Mocambos) creates here a hypnotic four-on-the-floor sound that is both earthy and spaced out and all their own.
Recorded on 16 track analogue tape with inexpensive vintage gear, the crew explores the more unusual facets of disco music off the beaten track in favour of more otherwordly and international stylings. In their music, one could hear echoes from lost tropical disco records, cinematic flavors from library soundtracks and a healthy dose of DIY garage funk rawness.
On A side, “Riviera Drive” is an extended Mediterranean disco groove based on hypnotic percussions and soulful horn themes that alternate with trippy keyboard excursions. The tune is equally at ease on the dancefloor as in a chill-out zone, but of course, prefers to be in its natural habitat in a classic car somewhere between Nice and Monaco.
On the flip, Tom Tom Club’s “Genius Of Love” is reimagined as a jazzy yacht soul instrumental with an echoed flute taking the lead. You’ll also find a shorter Radio Edit of “Riviera Drive”.
Mocambo Records is proud to present an official reissue of this uberrare piece of German psychedelic soul! Susan Avilés’ epic ‘Eine schöne Welt’ from 1970 is one of the toughest 45s to get hold of. With its dope wah-drumbreak-intro, lush orchestration and powerful vocal performance, the tune has deservedly turned from an obscure sleeper into one of the most wanted European rare grooves. On the flip side is the orchestral folk soul ‘Versuche zu versteh’n’ – an uptempo number with breakbeat drumming hidden behind a wall of sound that has become an obscure b-boy favourite.
Originally recorded for Abi Ofarim’s PROM Production and released by Philips with high hopes to establish Susan as a new star of an upcoming scene of young singers, ‘Eine Schöne Welt’ and the two follow up singles failed to chart – despite (or maybe due to) the extravagant production, socioconscious lyrics and the unique mix of psychedelic soul, bigband funk, chanson, folk & schlager.
Little is known about Susan Avilés. Born to a German mother, schlager lyricist Utta de Avilés, and a Spanish father in 1945, she started performing at an early age and released a few singles in the 1960s under the name Suzie Marcus. She had been romantically involved with Abi Ofarim at the time of the recordings in the early 1970s. After they parted ways, she had a brief stint with Donna Summer and Tony Gregory in the group Family Child, spent the rest of the 1970s in relative obscurity, returned with two chanson albums in the early 1980s and then vanished from the scene completely. Susan Avilés passed away in 2016, but we could get in touch with her husband Oliver Avilés-Lehnert, who encouraged us to do a re-release of these songs to ensure her legacy and bring these lost treasures back to the light of the day.
The record comes in a picture sleeve with original photos from the era – a picture showing Susan holding a copy of her own single and a shot for an autograph card to support the original release. Artwork & label design: Lasse Singlemann. The original recordings have been carefully remastered for this limited vinyl run by Michael Schütz. All audio and photography licensed from the family estate of Susan Avilés.
In the wake of their new album Expansions Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band drop another must have two-sider.
On the A side they take on the J DIlla produced Slum Village club banger “Raise It Up” and give it the BRSB treatment. SV fans will lose their shit when this comes on. Heads will be nodding from the first beat of the opening drum break and when they start playing the top line on the pans it’s a wrap. Now that they have your attention they take the tune and expand on it changing the arrangement and lacing it with brass and guitar parts that keep pushing the tune to higher and higher levels of energy.
The B finds BRSB taking on the infamous Galt MacDermot tune “Space”. Made famous in the hip hop world when it was sampled for Busta Rhyme’s classic “Woohah Got You All In Check” it is about to receive another boost from Bacao’s version. Both sides of this 7” are going to be mainstays in DJ sets for years to come.
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, the mysterious steel pan outfit hailing from Hamburg, Germany have amassed a cult following around the globe. With a slew of classic 7”s and two critically acclaimed full length albums, they set a high bar for themselves, one they clearly intend on pushing even higher with this new offering. On their third album, aptly titled “Expansions”, BRSB are back with more of the same, but more of the same with them is inherently different. Covering songs that span genres and range from mega hits to album cuts, they make them their own with their unique approach to the traditional steel pans of Trinidad and Tobago.
Part of the allure of a new record from Bacao is finding out what covers they chose. However, die hard fans are also waiting to hear the original numbers like the stellar album opener “Tough Victory”. Its airtight rhythm section, brass arrangements, and layers of steel pan melodies make the term “cover band” a shoe that could never fit Bacao. Within the next three songs they go from Jazz (Galt MacDermot), to Hip Hop (Slum Village / J Dilla), to a dance floor classic (Grace Jones) taking them all on with their signature style, expanding on the originals. An easy crowd favorite is their gritty, gully, and neck snapping cover of the Timbaland produced Jay-Z club hit “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”. The infamous crushing Bacao drums start the show and the moment they start playing the top line on the pans, all bets are off. Sure to become a dance floor filler is their bottom heavy, four on the floor version of Sylvester’s classic “I Need Somebody To Love Tonight”. They venture into some gutbucket funk with Ike Turner’s “Getting Nasty” and bring the steel pans to Minnie Riperton’s Jazz classic “Les Fleurs”. Digging deeper in the modern canon and paying tribute to a tribute, they cover Erykah Badu’s homage to the late great J Dilla, “The Healer”. This is the type of thing to make Spice Adams jump on his kitchen counter and scream. From the second the beat drops they give the original Madlib production a run for its money, shaking subwoofers with the eerie tremolo bass while the pans play E. Badu’s vocal melodies.
By the time the album is through Bacao has taken the listener on a journey that spans a myriad of energies, tempos, and moods while somehow managing to keep it all under one umbrella. For all that, these songs are alive, and they will be taken out of the context of this album and sewn into the fabric of DJ sets around the globe for many years to come. Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band is breathing renewed life into the originals and continuing to push the boundaries of steel pan music, or, as the title suggests, expanding on it.
Dirt Off Your Shoulder b/w I Need Somebody To Love Tonight
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, the kings of “wait, what is this!!!” are back with another two-sider that has a little something for everyone. Both of these songs are pulled from their forthcoming full length album Expansions.
The A side is a gritty, gully, and neck snapping cover of the Timbaland produced Jay-Z club hit “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”. The signature crushing Bacao drums start the show and the moment they start playing the top line on the steel pans all bets are off. They push the tune to new heights and places adding brass arrangements and working around the original riff never losing the groove. The way they walk the line between the original and making it their own will woo Hip Hop heads and Funk enthusiasts alike.
The B side finds BRSB taking it straight to the discoteque and ushering everyone to the floor as they cover Sylvester’s underground classic “I Need Somebody To Love Tonight”. While Bacao have laid down a few four on the floor numbers on previous albums this is the first one making its way to a 7” and we are sure it will get their music into a new sector of DJs playboxes.
Sci-Fi and library funk specialists Eleven76 return with an otherworldly breakdance double-sider. Their debut album ‘Space Voyage’ for Warner’s music library covered extra-terrestrial spheres and found its way into many films, TV programmes and documentaries. The scarce promo vinyl copies on Mocambo Records are already priced collector’s items among DJs. This 45s contains two hot slices of insect-themed outernational grooves with tropical and arabian flavours. Vintage synthesizers and hot tape-recorded drums continue to lead Eleven76’s mystique travels through unknown funk territories, all while frenzied percussion-heavy break beats keep b-girls and b-boys moving on the floor.
The Diasonics from Moscow, Russia bring two dope sides of what they describe as “hussar funk” – a style that seamlessly blends infectious deep funk instrumentals, east european flavours and psychedelic echoings. On this 7inch, their mystique vibe is complemented by a Koto – a japanese zither – that adds a samourai flic twist to the sovietsploitation groove of the band. File under “outernational” or “unusual funk”.
German funk stalwarts The Mighty Mocambos unleash another sample of their explosive live energy, a 7″ of two brand new tunes recorded straight to 8-track tapeduring JAM PDM! Breakdance Battle at Fabrik Potsdam on February 1st 2020.
“Arabesque Breakin’ Suite” on side A is an original instrumental medley written for the occasion and delivers the raw, heavyweight sound that has made The Mighty Mocambos a staple of b-boy battles the world over. Side B is a cover of the Axel F Theme from Beverly Hills Cop, taking the tune from 80s synth-heavy electro-pop to soulful, tropical-flavored b-boy funk.
In these peculiar times without concerts, these live recordings are a real labor of love that capture the special vibes of a Mighty Mocambos performance while remaining suitable for DJ-use and enjoyable to the dedicated listener.
The 45 comes in a beautiful picture sleeve – a reproduction of the tape box used for the recording with a b/w photo from the event.