Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Latest RA review on Julio Bashmore's 'Um Bongo's Revenge'.
From the lazer flares to the not-quite congo house meets Funky tabla riddim, by way of the '90s kid's fruit juice-referencing title, Julio Bashmore's "Um Bongo's Revenge" wears its British heart on its gravy-stained sleeve. More than that though, the release marks a seminal moment of sorts: It's the first major Funky release on a traditional house and techno label.
Dirtybird has made its name with a barmy, Bay Area brand of tech house, but Claude VonStroke's A&R ear clearly extends much further, as UK Funky arriviste Bashmore's debut rips that template to shreds, not so much desecrating past glories, but pointing the way toward richer, more innovative sonic pastures. "Um Bongo's Revenge" is without a doubt the standout track here, and seems almost to have anthem status written into its molecular structure, but its success should remind how useful such generic/scenic miscegenation can be. The oft-repeated "Um Bongo" refrain should be annoying, but isn't. The various illogical breakdowns, usually the hallmark of a producer with either ADD or a severe lack of discipline, should grate, but somehow arrive like manna from heaven, while the lazers and sirens fuse organically with the track's more Teutonic elements.
"World Peace" cannot help but come up short in comparison, a whirling organ ride that sets its cross hairs more intently on Berlin than London, replete with Rhodes and tambourine tropes. Nonetheless, with San Francisco, London and Berlin all in the mix on this EP, you get the sense that this globalisation thing might just work.