Sunday, 17 July 2016

THE BONGOLIAN – MOOG MAXIMUS (Blow Up Records LP, CD, D/L).

The Bongolian is back with the feel good sound of the summer……….the summer of 1976 that is. Moog Maximus sees the welcome return of The Bongolian, AKA multi-instrumentalist and Big Boss Man front man Nasser Bouzida. His fifth album under the Bongolian moniker continues the musical journey where 2011’s 'Bongos For Beatniks' left off……….armed with a bank of Moog synthesisers and a bag full of heavy grooves, in a wildly eclectic fusion of Funk, Soul, Hammond Beat, Jazz and Sci-Fi Boogaloo, Moog Maximus takes us on a trip through Latin Prog/Psych, groovy 60s influenced French Yé-Yé Pop, imaginary film soundtracks, Moroderian Space Disco and bubbling Moog instrumentals. Back to analogue and eschewing the cold digital sounds of the 80s, Moog Maximus is a retro romp of funky beats, dancefloor grooves and the warm, rich classic sound of vintage Moogs, swirling Hammond organ, electric piano………..and bongos.

Pitched somewhere between the cusp of the 70s where the synthesizer was a relatively new instrument and towards the middle of the decade, when the Mini Moog was a near ubiquitous part of the sonic arsenal whether it be for Prog, Funk, Rock, Disco and Reggae bands or soundtrack composition, Moog Maximus taps into sounds familiar to anyone growing up in the 70s listening to pop radio. Mix in Soul, Funk and Latin beats and you get a seriously groovy blend of Mod/Psych and late 60s experimental Synth Pop from pioneering electronic composers such as Bruce Haack, Giorgio Moroder and Jean Jacques Perry combined with infectious pop smarts and an ear for the dancefloor. There are some absolutely mind blowing tracks on this album……………….featuring Louisa Hygate on vocals, ‘Googa Mama’ is a delicious slice of 60s influenced Yé-Yé pop with a prominent Hammond groove and bubbling Moogs, it’s floor shaker in the style of another technicolour retro futuristic act, the gloriously psychedelic and funky Dee-Lite………watch the video for ‘Googa Mama’ here. With a pulsing Moroder-esque sequenced synth line, ‘Jan Hammer of the Gods’ is a belter of a tune and is either a top pun or a tribute to the great Jazz Rock fusion keyboardist/composer perhaps?? If so, this Space-Disco mix up of driving beats and swirling, sparkling Moog is more about his work that ended up with him soundtracking Miami Vice than his time with Prog/Jazz fusion titans the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The Bongolian also explores the art of the almost cheesy 70s TV/Movie theme with ‘Vacation in Westworld’, the album’s title track and the outstanding ‘Boudica Rides Again’ all sounding as if they have been lifted from some obscure Hammer Sci-Fi/Horror. It’s an absolute blast of a record that knowingly stays just on the right side of the groovy/cheesy divide whilst ripping the roof offa the mutha. There is something here for almost everybody who digs 60s/70s Mod/Psych/Funk and 90s Acid Jazz and with twelve tracks of top quality tunes Moog Maximus is a total delight, mashing together vintage synth sounds with big beats it’s a kandy koloured kollision of irresistible grooves, psychedelic pop and mad retro vibes.

Out now on Blow Up Records and available on LP, CD and as a digital download from all the usual on-line outlets and groovy record stores. Also available directly from the Blow Up Records web store………………….dig it kidz.


THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN           

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