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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Mandingo - Savage Rite [Cherry Red/Righteous - 2012]

"Savage Rite” was seemingly the 4th & last album of this quirky project that offered up a late 70’s brew of funk, film-matic horn/ brass work, ethnic percussion, and grooving to wow-wow fuelled guitar textures.  The album originally appeared back in 1975, and this new reissue gives the album a remastering, and adds in a couple of pages of liner notes uncovering who was behind this project, which at the time was seemingly rather mysterious.

The album features ten tracks in all, and mostly the pace is kept fairly up-beat, dense & swirling. We find funk & wow-wow pined guitars going against a heady & camp brew of horn/brass work, buoyant yet sleazy African percussion, that are edged with groovy flute trails, woozy electronics, and the odd disco tinged touches.  There are a few more slightly dramatic moments that sound like a sort blend of James Bound meet Shaft soundtrack out-takes with a sprinkling of ethic percussion- but mostly the whole thing is kept very up-beat, flare swaying, head bobbing, and platform shoe stepping groovy.  At times it comes across as a more dumbed down version of Herbie Hancock’s Head-hunters period, or a long lost blacksploitation soundtrack, or even a cheesy funked-up 1970’s take on afro erotica; but sadly it also sometimes sounds like slightly bland funk tinged Pans People backing music too.

The interesting though rather short linear notes by Mojo journalist Dave Henderson tells us that behind the project was British easy listening composer and disco orchestra conductor Geoff Love- who worked with the likes of Max Bygraves, Ken Dod, Des O'Connor, ect.


On the whole “Savage Rite” is a campy & enjoyable enough trip back to late 1970’s, though none of the tracks here really stand out above retro party backing fodder.  So if you’re planning a little 1970’s themed gathering, and need something a little quirky & conversation making this is worth a look; but if you after creative & skilled mixings of ethno rhythms, funk & brass/horn soundtracking.. you'd best look elsewhere.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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