Ranga – Outer Space and Inner Peace
An enchanting nine track (seven, really) album of down-tempo jazzy, latin, bossa nova sounds from Ranga (Oli Hudson) that has summer (1968?) written all over it.
Breathe in. ‘Reality Is…?’ is 42 seconds of what could be a bossa nova orchestra tuning up, frantic, mangled percussion followed by delicately plucked harp notes. Yin and yang. ‘Boss Man’ is the first proper tune and how charming, the elegant percussion, birdsong, keyboards and soft guitar all well blended to form a sultry, summery, jazzy whole. Despite its lad mag title, ‘Nutz’ is balmy music for a balmy evening, delicate keyboards, honey-dripping bass with a tempo change midway that doesn’t affect the overall mellowness. There’s a more jazzy, latin feel to ‘East End Mango’ with its silky bass, tip tapping percussion, lyrical flute and Spanish vocal snatches driven by an easy going beat that gets slightly more excitable towards the end.
Quirkiness to the fore with the abstract beats and irregular sounds of ‘A Waltz On Venus.’ Leisurely almost to the point of stopping, the heavily sedated sax, nonsensical vocal chant, bongos and xylophone lazily trip over each other in a somnolent haze. ‘Dommm’ has spoken word borrowed from who knows where, very ’60’s in its abstruse, navel-gazing content and the dulcet, stoned quality of the flute and bongos up the hippy-dippy factor considerably. ‘Zombies’ is subdued funkiness composed of thick, kibbled synth and a shake your hips rhythm while ‘Pyramid 3000’ has an unremarkable intro of steady beat and twangy guitar that eventually opens up into more abstract vocals and spacey keyboards but never loses sight of its essentially lolling nature. ‘Forget About It’ is 94 seconds of mellifluous beats and little else. Exhale.
For warm and dreamy August days.
Review by D