Tag: 2016

The Mirror Album Reviews: Baltic Fleet 'The Dear One'

The third album from Lancashire wunderkind Paul Fleming is an instrumental synth-centred delight.
The looming darkness of track Sheriff Full of Blessings and the bright circling disorientation of Elizabeth Glue are inspired by the early 19th-century
diary that gives the album its title.
Drawing on past masters such as Tangerine Dream and Talking Heads, this album is full of swooning glory.

3 Stars

Liverpool Echo Get Into This:Baltic Fleet interview and album stream

“I’ve created my own electronic Nebraska”

Monkey Boxing Album Reviews: The Bongolian 'Moog Maximus'

It’s surprising how long it’s been since the lastBongolian LP – four years since the Lost In Soundcollaboration with Fay Hallam and five since Bongos For Beatniks in fact. Mind you, it’s not like the man behind the project (multi-instrumentalist Nasser Bouzida) has been resting on his laurels what with recording and then touring to support the massive success of Big Boss Man’s fourth LP (the Craig Charles and Cerys Matthews-repped Last Man On Earth) and putting together the Beat Mountainseries of retro sample packs. Why – it’s enough to pre-occupy any man and prevent an earlier release for this – the latest Bongolian epic, Moog Maximus.

Moog Maximus? Sounds like it might feature a fair bit of retro Moog synthesizer action and have something of a Roman theme too? Right on both counts – for this album finds the Bongolian indulge his Moog fetish with positively imperial excess – along with the Hammond and bongo work you’d typically expect. What’s interesting is that this LP is arguably more dancefloor-oriented and upbeat than past releases and finds traditional Bongolian fare overlap with the more euphoric Hammond funk of early Big Boss Man LPs (as on the psychedelic breakbeat-fuelled Londinium among others) though the LP is informed by other influences too. Vacation In Westworld pitches the vibe somewhere between a spaghetti western and Barbarella (appropriately enough, given the film it’s named after) for example. Then there’s B-Boy Toga Party which is all slo-mo breaks and squelchy funk with a deadly Moog bridge and no-one is getting any prizes for guessing the key(board) inspiration for Jan Hammer Of The Gods – even if it does turn into Donna Summer’s I Feel Love at the forty second mark. It’s the gloriousGooga Mama which is the LP highlight however, a track which pitches things somewhere between Big Boss Man and Deee-Lite and ticks about a million dancefloor boxes: ridiculously upbeat organ riff, female vocals chanting a ‘Gimme that soul…soul time baby’ refrain, crowd-cheering sounds, a synthesizer wig-out in the middle featuring a certain distinctive type of analog keyboard and, of course, bongo bedlam. The new one from The Bongolian then – it’s Moog-aloo time baby!
(Out now on Blow Up Records

Vive Le Rock Album Reviews: The Bongolian 'Moog Maximus'

Eclectic bongo beats and grooves collide as The Bongolian strikes five.

The Bongolian — Big Boss Man frontman Nasser Bouzida’s heavy groove alter-ego – once again throws convention to the wind with his latest album of bongo-fuelled funk eclecticism. With its infectious beats and weighty psychedelic aesthetic, ‘Moog Maximus’ is sure to gain widespread appeal with fans of a range of genres, from
jazz, to hip-hop, to furious freakbeat, although its experimental nature will
likely distance those who prefer a bit more bite to their music. That said, even hardline rockers will find it tough to resist the call of rhythmic tracks like ‘B-Boy Toga Party’ and ‘Jan Hammer of the Gods’, which surge with primal abandon. Largely following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the record is anything but predictable
and features Hammond-fuelled soul grooves that are guaranteed to keep the party going.

Louder Than War Album Reviews: The Bongolian 'Moog Maximus'


Fifth album from the Bongolian, taking us through the fractures of time like HG Wells, landing in ancient Rome, armed with a bank of Moog synthesisers, some heavy grooves and an eclectic fusion of Funk Soul Hammond Beat Jazz and a Sci-Fi Boogaloo… Ged Babey gets down on it. 

This is the feel-good album of the summer – and boy do we need it!  It’s retro, it’s groovy. it’s a trip in a time-machine made out of dismantled and reassembled Moog synthesisers and bongos.

Do you remember  back in 1997 when Fat Boy Slim seemed like the best thing since sliced bread with chocolate spread? When he sampled Yvonne Elliman covering the Who and Led Zeppelin  to make this.   (My original draft said ‘the Clash and  Gene Krupa’ thank fuck for Google, that would’ve been embarrassing!)

Well, the Bongolian does much the same in that he makes Mod and post-modern dance music that has a rock backbeat and never gets boring like ‘repetitive beats’ do.  He takes the hearty groove of Deee-Lite, the burbling farty synth noises of the Moog (as used by Dave Greenfield in certain Stranglers classics), Hammond organ, vocoder and yer granny on bongos and comes up with this…

The Bongolian is one Nasser Bouzida from the band Big Boss Man.   I discovered his work when he also collaborated with Fay Hallam on the album Lost In Sound.  He occupies a strange unique, unfashionable place in  dance music where Fat Boy Slim and Bentley Rhythm Ace perhaps previously held sway. Dance music lead by syncopation of the drums and the groove and ever-changing sounds. Dance Music that is Fun… and dug by those of us who brought up on rock’n’roll perhaps.

The best thing about this album is that despite having an undeniable identity of its own, every single track is different to the one which precedes it. The titles are clues. (Goes for classic, track by track run-down, because I haven’t done one for a while…)

Octavius  – Some Roman style trumpets herald the stately arrival before vocoder-ed vocals, background toasting, moog and bongos gentley suck you in with a mid-tempo groove, before it goes a bit spy-theme-in-dub.

Googa Mama – is the most Fat-Boy Slim -a floor-filler with a touch of Austin Powers and Betty Boo. Knock-out.

Vacation in Westworld – Ennio Morricone goes Acid Jazz in space. Great bass and operatic vocal backing. Some beautiful big burbles of Moog before a Hammond interlude. This is a fine, fine piece of music. Four minutes fifty-two of perfection.

Jan Hammer of the Gods  – Gene Krupa meets Giorgio Moroder via Magic Fly and Jimmy Smith. I know it sounds strange, but its great.

Moog Maximus – Moody, cinematic, plaintive electric piano and phlanged synths to begin, before turning all Portishead play John Barry.  Hip-hop noir almost with a touch of Shangri-La’s melodrama.

B-Boy Toga Party  A bit Beastie Boys this one, at their most funky … have a listen.

Boudica Rides Again  – Widescreen operatic film-theme -classical bits and a very Dave Greenfield bit of Stranglersy moog. Starts with whip-cracks and ends with bongo’s and keys lifting off into space

Londinium Calling –  Squelchy synth on a straight forward Swinging Sixties type number – Booker T / Northern Soul.

Mr Woo  –   Return of the novelty female vocalist(s) – is it Shampoo?  More Better Living Through Chemistry type stuff really, on possibly the weakest track on a near perfect album.  Could’ve been trimmed by a minute.

Ritmo do Rio   – A Brazilian vibrophonic bongo-fest this one with great bass and light Hammond stabs with Moog squiggles used sparingly. Beat crazy.  Watch that beatnik go!

Kids Love Moogs  – Bizarre! Like a theme tune to a Kids TV programme from the 70’s.  The Double-Deckers on E?  the Blue Peter team get off they nut and go Go-Go dancing!??

Aries and Scorpio –  Like a Big Beat version of Add N to X  – a Thunderbirds in Dub remix !  Yeah baby, that good!

Well, if that hasn’t confused you, then nothing will.  It’s a wonderful album, which despite verging on novelty (mainly the video, song-titles and ‘ image’ – a touch of Deee-lite) is a serious yet ger-oovy set of tunes, marrying TV themes, 70’s weirdness like Space and the Rah-Band to Mod dance music -via Big Beat and Acid Jazz.

If there’s one album to dance away the post-Brexit blues, then this is it.

Buy the album hereOfficial website

All words by Ged Babey whose author profile is here.

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