It’s Showdown at the funk-ay corral at the end of this month as The Mighty Mocambos prepare to drop their third album which, while relatively short at only ten tracks, tips the needle on the scales all the way over to ‘heavy’. One might attribute this to a more-than-casual acquaintance (three previous singles and another three tracks on this) with hip-hop grandaddy Afrika Bambaataa or to the other guest spots which include (among others) original Rocksteady Crew member Charlie Funk, Donald D of Ice T’s Rhyme Syndicate, Shawn Lee and DeRobert (of The Half Truths fame). The truth is however, that without the band’s blistering funk and real deal analog production how would they attract guest spots of such calibre? Let’s see how they got on:
ROAD TO EARTH with PETER THOMAS
Crunchy atmospheric collab. with the noted film score composer. Look on it as the calm before the storm…
IT’S THE MUSIC with AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, CHARLIE FUNK, HEKTEK & DEEJAY SNOOP
…respectable b-boy call-to-arms – includes a cheeky vocoderised nod to Andre Young’s production because it’s important not to forget about Dre.
IN THE DARK with NICOLA RICHARDS
Not unlike one of the band’s Giselle Smith collabs. Moving on…
THE SPELL OF RA-ORKON
Slightly afro-funk inflected and super-punchy instro that sounds like it was named after a ’30s Conan The Barbarian short story…
POLITICAL POWER with AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, CHARLIE FUNK & DONALD D
Bloody hellfire! Bambaataa calls the system on its bullshit over insistent funk artillery. This, kids, is how to stick it to the man…
Menahan Street Band-style funky horns foray into sixties sleaze.
NOT GET CAUGHT with DEROBERT
Another LP highlight as the GED Soul man does what he does best – Stevie-style vocals over a JB-style groove
LOCKED AND LOADED
This might not be everyone’s choice of an LP highlight but it’s certainly the monkey’s. The very pinnacle of cowbell-powered b-boy breaks. The bomb.
Generic uptempo funk filler – see also almost every ‘new’ funk band since 1998.
Cheeky Stones cover and utterly ridiculous vocoderising. Good stuff.
Execute it like a car chase theme but style it like a western theme – it’s a funky horse chase theme!
A mightily reasonable showdown, all things considered. Superb production, some sample-able breaks and enough whooping and firing into the air moments to warrant a whole album listen without that ‘ol skip finger getting all itchy.
Political Power, The Spell Of Ra-Orkon, Locked And Loaded, Not Get Caught, The Showdown
(Out 27 March on Legere Recordings)