Friday, 2 December 2011

Mandrill - Mandrill Is (1972)

This may be Mandrill's sophomore album but it shows that they are no amateurs. Each track is solidly rooted in hard pounding rhythms and funky horn harmonies. The group was originally formed by three brothers: Carlos, Lou and Ric Wilson from Panama. They grew up in Brooklyn which served to influence their musical style, fusing soul with latin and rock to make a unique breed of funk. Tracks to watch out for include the hard driving "Ape Is High", and the cosmic "Universal Rhythms".

The album is rich in cosmic mysticism and features some great harmony's and beats. Both the A and B sides end with solid closers - "I Refuse to Smile" and "The Sun Must Go Down" respectively, leaving you wanting more. The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in NY between December '71 and March '72 and is a great showcase of the sounds coming out of NY at the time. Rumour has it that Hendrix himself was supposed to play with the group (before his premature departure).

I remember hearing this album for the first time at Kops Records in Toronto and it blew my mind. I hope it does the same for you.

Here today, gone tomorrow....

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