You are bound to hear a lot more of this band in the near future.
Kate Sharp 2008-05-16
After playing to an estimated worldwide audience of 55 million people opening Live Earth, you would assume that you would recognise the gentlemen and lady behind BlocoElectro. Forming part of the SOS All-Stars, the drumming super group of 40 members, led by Roger Taylor of Queen, the band are slowly making the transition between support slots to the main attraction.
Global Beatbox Part 1 is a curious collection of electronic and hip hop-tinged dance, compromised of solely percussive based sounds. Largely influenced by the sound of Brazilian drumming groups (Bloco) and fusing the distinct rhythmic patterns with both Latin and other world beats, BlocoElectro have a sound that is like a thousand holidays rolled into one.
The emphasis is very much on the 'Global' throughout this album, with inspiration gained from just about anywhere you care to mention. Echoes of India, Africa and the Middle East all feature but each influence never sits incongruent to another and each sound seems to meld seamlessly into each other in this international melting pot.
While African Beat also retains a progressive feel with the use of more synthetic drum sound, it is tracks such as Afro Cuba which mesh together the international influences in perhaps the most organic way. By merely allowing these percussive sounds to meet without any electronic intervention, they combine to make the most interesting noises on the album.
Whereas keyboards, decks and loops are usually the staple of most dance music, the lack of such tools does not hinder the sound produced by BlocoElectro. It is perhaps, by not falling into the trap of other bands which use these fusion techniques by layering loops and such to infinitum, that the band retain a rather fresh and uncluttered sound.
Although this album isn't rewriting any of the rule books or trying to punch through any boundaries, it is still a relatively accomplished collection of interesting sounds. After gaining a fan in the shape of Annie Nightingale and having secured a slot on the BBC Introducing tour, you are bound to hear a lot more of this band in the near future.