S IS FOR SLOW BONGO FLOYD

Slow Bongo Floyd is a silly name. But they were a wonderful, criminally under-rated, UK psychadelic dance group of the early 1990s.

Their biog says: Formed somewhere between Oxford Road and Haight-Ashbury, Slow Bongo Floyd was a spiritual journey into the undiscovered depths of experimental soundscapes – where acid house morphed with hippie-folk, rock, punk, psychedelica and the blues. Early recordings were chaotic and beautiful, anyone who came to the studio appeared on the music in progress in some way, either playing an instrument of some kind, singing, clapping or just grunting along. This was a time of acid, hash, mushrooms and free love.

The first album “Acid House Inspirational” was a truly free and open project, Bass was bendy and trippy, drums were provided by Roland in the form of a TR505, and several sets of cheap bongos taped to the one and only microphone stand. Ian Fetcher the guitarist was recorded playing several instruments for the first time and his first takes were used giving a truly unique feel. The keyboards were a Casio CZ101, a Roland SH101, a Juno 106 and Akai samplers S612 and S900. Vocals from Mick Jones, Maurice Olsberg, Ian Fletcher, Tupper Jones and Nikki Jones were distorted, delayed, demented and disturbing. Recorded on an 8 track linked to an Atari1040 STFM the album took almost 12 hours to complete and was a masterpiece of musical anarchy and dark humour, recently re-discovered in the studio archives at Northern Groove, “Acid House Inspirational ” is currently being re-mastered for download release in 2009.
Two years later and the second album “Brenda Salmons” is being delivered to Sony for an advance of £110,000, gone is the chaos and anarchy of “Acid House Inspirational” replaced with a smoother more professional and commercial approach. “Brenda Salmons” took about a year to record, 99% of the album was a solo effort by writer, producer and Slow Bongo Floyd founder – Mick Jones. Sony however decided to market Slow Bongo Floyd as a band ignoring the real selling point and Slow Bongo Floyd ethos – that anyone could make great music in a home studio with a couple of friends without spending a fortune on musicians and studio time, but the band were not simply token session musicians.With Mick Jones on vocals, the amazing Ian Fletcher on guitar,John Walsh on bass, John Holmes and Fernando Testa both on keyboards and sax and Phil Wilks on drums, Slow Bongo Floyd became a live band, and rehearsing 8 hours a day along with sequenced samples and synths to precise click tracks and arrangements made a tight and professional sound.With the advent of live shows the band became a powerful and vibrant living entity, delivering an exciting and uniquely stylized psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll treat.

From the “Brenda Salmons” period (1990-1992), and in love with piano house and ambient, the following from singles:
Slow Bongo Floyd – Open Up Your Heart (11 O’Clock Mix)  

Slow Bongo Floyd – More Than Jesus (The Irresistible Force Instrumental Mix)  

Slow Bongo Floyd – Open Up Your Heart (Piano Mix)  

Slow Bongo Floyd – More Than Jesus (The Irresistible Force Mix)  

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~ by acidted on November 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “S IS FOR SLOW BONGO FLOYD”

  1. […] Bongo Floyd featured way back here. They were an underated psychadelic dance band of the 90s. When they featured previously, we had […]

  2. […] and came from a psychedelic background before getting into acid house in the early 90s (more here). That perhaps is one reason for choosing them – they represent the move from rock to dance […]

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