Monday, 11 January 2010

RECOMMENDED: Julio Bashmore - Um Bongo’s Revenge/World Peace [Dirtybird]

If any more proof were needed of funky’s extraordinary capacity to infiltrate regions far beyond its immediate remit, Bristol boy Julio Bashmore’s signing to Claude VonStroke’s Dirtybird label provides it in excess. In terms of tempo, atmosphere and overall aesthetic ‘Um Bongo’s Revenge’ fits far better with the Dirtybird roster than it would on something like Apple Pips or Tectonic, pivoting around a startlingly minimal motif crafted almost entirely from percussion. Yet there’s something fundamental contained within that identifies its heritage as particular to the UK.

This 12” version is markedly different from an earlier form that circulated for a while, stripping away any semblance of its distinctive ascending melody, and with it any retention of tropical moisture. Whilst the unpredictable, Africanised snare pattern is pure funky, the track’s core is dessicated, brittle and oddly rigid - a paradox that lends the track a constant and barely resolved sense of tension between the demands of the dance and its machine heart. Yet it is this very contradiction that makes it so ferociously addictive, and eminently danceable – ‘Um Bongo’s Revenge’ is devastating in its very simplicity, and its chameleon-like nature ensures that you’re likely to hear that cartoonish voiceover in a huge range of DJ sets in the early half of 2010.

By way of contrast to the A-side’s oddly anthemic charms, the aptly named ‘World Peace’ moves into more subdued territory, generating a more contemplative atmosphere a little reminiscent of Berlin’s Rhythm & Sound label. Less overtly dancefloor oriented, it swells with shimmering melody and a downtempo warmth that remains hanging in the air long after the track’s end. Along with ‘The Moth,’ his track on fabric’s up and coming ‘Elevator Music’ compilation, its more considered nature is suggestive of more interesting material to come from Bashmore.

Words: Rory Gibb
Out: Now


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