You do not get many albums from the 2000’s with nice EARTH WIND & FIRE vibes, or touches of old hero artists like DE 5 or HALBERG/LARSEN. However, with this cool trial by Danish HENRIK CARLSEN we get a visit in the past but in a new costume.
It all began with the band or project STREET BEAT, releasing a vinyl LP called “Gaga Jungle Land” in 1986. Nope, no premonition of the LADY GAGA to come. Because this is real music!
Even the list of personnel involved shows a bunch of well-known names if you are into Scandinavian westcoast and/or related: vocalists CAECILIE NORBY (ONE TWO), NINA FORSBERG (ONE TWO), MIKAEL ROUPÉ (BAMBOO BROTHERS), guitarist SOREN JACOBSEN and JAN GLAESEL on horns. And the list is much longer than that!
So the 15 songs then. There are plenty of goodies! The semi-ballad “Ku’ det vaer dig?” (”Could it be you?”) bears a lot of LAVA! ”Tell them where the funk is” (by Carlsen and Caecilie Norby), well the title speaks for itself. Cool funk/soul with a beat you simply can’t stand still to. The mainly instrumental “Summer days” has lots of KOINONIA and MEZZOFORTE elements, with harmony vocals and all. Lovely!
The album also includes two re-recordings of the songs from the “Gaga jungle land” LP: “City paranoia” and the title track “Gaga jungle land”. Hear the latter and you’re gonna wanna hear more – and if you’re a true fan of music you want to get the LP as well! It includes a nice organ/synth solo.
OK, the production and the ways of recording the songs were made in a rather simple studio environment, but this being considered - this is still very good!!! It can easily be heard that these are great musicians, and they really love funk, soul and westcoast. It must be underlined that the use of horns really lifts the CD. Take “Montmartre” for example, just hear the horn blows! Great. Same goes for some crispy guitars off and on through the CD. I love it when musicians dare to add some punch in the guitar sound, even though the music style is pretty smooth and cool.
I might add that there will soon be a chance to buy the CD from me at a very reasonable price, in due time. The money gained will go to health research.