If you are in the mood for some transcendental summer jams, Mangoseed’s new album “Basquiat” will certainly quench that thirst. This up and coming South London quad offers a unique blend of sound stemming from their diverse backgrounds; Trinidadian, Jamaican, Irish and Australian. Having performed with the likes of Manu Chao (a personal favorite) and Grammy Award Winner, Micki Free, “Basquiat” is an album you’re going to want to share with any friends who are a fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, Ziggy Marley or Bjork.
The spirit of the album is dedicated to the graffiti and contemporary artist Jean- Michel Basquiat and does a good job of capturing his raw elegance and self-awareness. Listening to this album is equivocal to and works as a complimentary soundtrack to Basquiat’s work. The first single off of the album titled “Brix-tone” is a commentary on the 1981 Brixton Riots in South London. As one of my favorite songs (and a good choice for their first single) the song is a subtly aggressive commentary that moves you to dance for peace. Nicholai La Barrie has a captivity about his reggae vocals that makes you want to party for a purpose.
Like any man made album, “Basquiat” has a few tracks that can be passed over, but the ones that stick are worth adding to a summer playlist. While tracks like “Careful” have really rich synthetic tones that are fun to dance to, “This Life” is an awesome tracks for a cruise to the beach. By the looks of their videos, this is the kind of band whose live and energetic performance will give their music the justice it deserves but until they tour in the states, I recommend checking them out on their soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/mangoseed/sets/basquiat/s-G0zOD.
By Lori Gottlieb