July 13, 2016
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band | 55
LABEL: Big Crown
When they first appeared on disc in 2007, the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band were said to be an obscure Trinidadian combo, known only to their immediate families and to crate-diggers, who dabbled in funk and soul covers. In reality, they were the alter-ego of steel pan aficionado Bjorn Wagner and his Hamburg, Germany-based funk band The Mighty Mocambos. They’ve kept the side project going for a decade; now this debut album collects four of Bacao’s singles and adds new material. Bacao’s sound is inspired by the 20th Century and Trinidad Esso Steel Bands who really did cover Stax and Motown hits – they’re one part steel, one part funk, served on the rocks. The cover that put Bacao on the map is track 1, their sensational interpretation of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” that’s so good many people assume Fitty used it as his sample. Another gem of a version is 3, Bacao’s take on J Dilla’s “Rico Suave Bossa Nova,” and 5 covers one of the oddest hit singles of the 70s. Bacao’s originals are just as good: try 8 (sounds like the Budos Steel Band), 4 (straight funk) and 2 (could be a riff on the Apache riddim). This is my idea of a summer jam.
TOP TRACKS: 1 2 3 4 5 8
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 6 7 9 10 11 13 14