September 4, 2014

Jungle Fire | Tropicoso

ARTIST: Jungle Fire
TITLE: Tropicoso
LABEL: Nacional
Here’s the debut album from Jungle Fire, a full-sized (8 to 12 players) Afro-Latin funk band from Los Angeles. They introduced themselves to the world with a smoking 2012 single (tracks 2 and 3 on the album); now it’s time for a full-length. This is the rare ensemble where the drummers are out front – it’s a full Latin percussion section and the mix lets you hear all of their interplay. The arrangements are brisk and punchy – guitar and bass always in the pocket, horns spraying the melody over the top, the whole thing calibrated to keep dancers continuously active. The closest comparable band has to be The Budos Band, but Jungle Fire has much more of an LA Latin tinge to it, whereas Budos comes more out of an NY rock background. Much of the material leans toward Afrobeat (3 and 6 are in this category, and 2 is actually a Fela cover), 5 is primarily Latin, 4 sounds like the hottest funk show band you’ve heard (DC’s The Funk Ark comes to mind on this one), and 10 is something different – a slow tempo. This is a very impressive debut by a band that you just know has to be a blast in live performance.
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    4    5    6    10
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    8    9    11

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