The Mauskovic Dance Band hail from Amsterdam but are in love with Columbia’s Caribbean coast. Their debut LP, on Soundway, documents the five-piece`s take on the region’s music – Champeta – and the vintage Soukous and Highlife vinyl pumped out by Barranquilla`s day-glo carnival soundsystems. The group are led by Nik Mauskovic, and, in a Ramones-like gesture, two further band-members, Marnix and Mano, have adopted his surname. The ranks completed by Chocolate Space Donnie, and Juan Hundred. Fittingly there’s a Punk edge to the proceedings. Meaning in places the album sounds like James White`s Contortions at NYC`s Mudd Club, with Fela Kuti on keys. Their Afro-Disco update placing them alongside Rogue Cat`s Central Executives in this obsessive`s mind. Other “contemporaries” might be Earthboogie, label-mates Family Atlantica, Ibibio Sound Machine, and “heat-beaters” No Zu. Their melting pot of World Music mores and Rock invoking the Indie-Pop sides of Django Django, and the eccentric vibes of Jesse Hackett. All of the tracks are driven by Mano Mauskovic`s bass. His line on Late Night People being a live ringer for River Ocean`s Yemaya Y Ochu. All are accompanied by an organic, percussive, South American, flow of cowbell, guiro, and timbale. Racing Griot rhythms and Cubano rumbas. Where group harmonies are Arkestra-esque, and solo vocals recall the Tom Tom Club. Dance Palace Garage sounds like The Lidjau Sisters remixed by Larry Levan. Jungle shouts and nursery rhyme jiving to hand-clapping machines, and synths pushed through every noise they possess. Some of them near-Acidic. Percussione & Spazio Sounds is a drum circle short of tribal electronics. Like Kay Suzuki`s Afrobuddah swapping DMT for whizz. The closing, It`s The Wrong Goodie, is a Kikuyu groove for cuica and siren.
You can order a copy of The Mauskovic Dance Band`s debut long-player over at the Soundway website.