Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spangish Fly on Electric Cowbell Records

Spangish Fly sent me a copy of this single that had been previously been out of stock at Electric Cowbell, but is sinceback up for purchase. Spanglish Fly brings back memories of living on 42nd Street and seeing those weird pills and herbal supplements for sale at every bodega....some kind of weird viagra? Maybe. Is this the audio equivalent? I'm positive this will have a better chance than those packets of who knows what.
Let's find out.

The A-Side, "Think (Pensamiento)" has Erica Ramos on breathy emotional vocal duty on this one, basically reminding the audience forget about your troubles, remember the good times and dance. It's purely celebratory music, and again I'm way out of my element here in general. I've never heard of 90% of the influences they list on their myspace. Still, it's making me want to relisten to that Buena Vista Social Club Soundtrack, that's probably the last time I ventured into latin funk territory like this. That will probably make these guys cringe, but you gotta start somewhere.
The horn section really drives the melody of this, with a huge array of percussion and recognizable piano (?) progressions providing that rhythm funk foundation. The fact this is essentially a cover of the 5 royales is insane. Like the James Brown reinterpretation it's completely changed, there isn't an immediately recognizable piece of the original. More than just latin funkifying the original, like those novelty lounge tracks, this sounds to me like a classic reinterpretation. You're a fan of the sentiment, and this is more of a homage through a Spanglish filter.
It's an amazingly expertly engineered mix, everything is perfectly captured.... that bass groove must be heard on vinyl. The smack of every conga, that bleating trumpet, really impressive recording.

The B-Side, "Let My People Bugal├╣" begins with a slow groove bassline and building rhythm section. I'm completely impressed by this kind of massive orchestral instrumentation. Little punctuated sections at the end of a verse part, mostly instrumental. Nice smooth trumpet solo with a guiro washboard style rhythm throughout.
The title lyric just comes in during a breakdown section at the end, a group harmony...the song pauses for this statement.

It's one thing to listen to this sound on 7inch vinyl, but to experience a band like this live, whole different story. This 7inch captures a crystal clear separated clean mix of this funk, but can I imagine this outside?...that would be an entirely different uncaged animal. They should work out some kind of dancefloor.

From Electric Cowbell Records who will always remind me of the insane diversity of music out there, and if you think you're some kind of expert about music in general...you're an idiot.
For their Electric Cowbell debut, Spanglish Fly gives the Latin soul treatment to Think! Spanglish Fly takes a tune that was an r&b hit for the 5 Royales in 1957, that is better known as James Brown's 1960 proto-funk smash. and radically re-arranges it to create "Think (Pensamiento)" a sizzling Latin dance floor burner--just like the 1960s boogaloo groups might have covered it.

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