Boohgaloo Zoo Boohgaloo ZooBoohgaloo Zoo
When the bass breaks, when the bass sounds like the beats of the monster of “Cloverfield”, when the bass is deep and sweaty, something is activated inside those of us who love funk. Our necks start to bob up and down, side to side, vertebrae squeaking like rusty hinges, and we start to sing in a falsetto that comes from the depths of our throats that would frighten the flamboyant singer Mika. Our feet start to move, and we stick out our tongues like Michael Jordan before he slam dunks the ball in the basket and shouts, “in your face!” with a crazy look in his eye. There are groups that know how to get your juices flowing with their eyes closed, and the friends of Boohgaloo Zoo seem to have been born for this job.
Those responsible for this funkster mayhem are K’Bonus (from Belgium) and U-gene (born and raised in Holland, like Louis Van Gaal), two guys who aren’t embarrassed to admit their passion for the saturated fats of funk, who pay no heed that their arteries are crying out for help, and are collapsed by the cholesterol of the most damaging groove. In this sea of fat sounds and obese rhythms, the duo uses their swift wrists to manage chemical compounds that go directly to your parietal lobe and run through your perineum like hungry ants filing along a mountain of morsels. They don’t do anything too hard: puffed up like Cheerios, hip hop basses echo the old school, and ultra cool jazz keyboards and summery trumpets burst with disco music and sweat. A lot of sweat. Evidently, they haven’t come into this world to reinvent electronic music, they don’t even aim to go down in history: their thing is partying, dancing, the here and the now. During these months of radical summer and unbearable levels of libido, a light, hot, juicy album like this one is absolutely necessary.
It’s enough to soak up the marvellous “Testify” to understand that you should be listening to it at the hotel pool, margarita in hand and in hot, hot company: swollen funk bass, Prince falsettos in the chorus, a trotting rhythm, disco sparks, and the smell of Ambre Solaire sunscreen for sensitive skin. Current legends of synthetic funk like Dâm-Funk have serious competition here - music makers with the kind with good taste and discipline. It could be considered the most likely club cut, along with “I Got”, another big shot of tasty funk that owes a lot to the teachings of Studio 54 and gives you the same rush as seeing Bianca Jagger riding a white horse . Anyway, K’Bonus and U-gene don’t limit themselves to reinterpreting the legacy of George Clinton and living off the legend. The shadow of Papa Funkster floats over all the tracks, have no doubt, the P-funk is a fundamental element here, but rap also contributes to the quality of the record. The man in charge of spitting it out is Cleveland MC Replife, who leaves his syllabic power clear in the frenetic “Found It”, in the relaxed “Watch It” (full-on R&B beach tune), in the house experiment “Tonight” –the weakest cut on the LP, I have to say– and in the most street, most enjoyable cut on the entire album, “No Joke”, which is four minutes of celebratory rap-funk with scratches of the huge Belgian turntablist DJ Grazzhoppa and winds from brothers Martín and Josué García of the Madrid group Speak Low. By the way, of the more instrumental moments, don’t miss “Dead Wood”, a 70s gangster film tornado to put their stamp on an album that is like a Coca-Cola advertisement, but with naked bodies and barrels of rum for mixers. Wait, someone is saying something to us over the loudspeakers… “Good evening, welcome to Funkadelic Airlines, this is your flight captain speaking: fasten your underwear and feel free to go topless, ladies, it looks like we’re going to take off.” Óscar Broc