Based out of Melbourne- Australia, the 9 piece afro-funk collective, Papa Chango is a bit of a mystery. Their latest musical adventure is The Matador- a soundtrack for a movie that does not exist. Papa Chango says the Matador is inspired by 70's ethio jazz and afro funk sounds. Every song is bright, energetic and extremely tight. Sonic battles between percussion sections, heavy brass sections, guitars sounds and that amazing Farfisa organ. The sweep of delicious and nostalgic sounding songs bring to mind spaghetti westerns, black exploitation films, 70's grind house and maybe even a hard edged James Bond, that is if he had soul. Quentin Tarantino are you listening?
I am really feeling the descending melodies of the dynamic "Bouncy Castles in The Sky", the guitar rhythm break, part western / part surf, is amazing and the horn hook with the superbly subtle (by Papa Chango's standard) Farfisa simply rocks. "Dark Passenger" edges into prog rock a bit with it's tightly woven structure. Midway the dynamics and feel become more spartan highlighted by a wonderful lead guitar bed. This song all by itself has the musical / dramatic arc of an entire movie. "Theme From The Matador" has elements that fit together as snugly as a Jenga puzzle but has some beautiful horn crescendo's that give way to the dirty Farfisa. "Boneyard (Funeral of A Man),with it's slow burn introduction portends of danger ahead. It feels like a man, guns in tow heading to a battle that he may not come back from.
Smartly conceived, wildly nostalgic and cool, The Matador inspires one to grow a nice pair of sideburns and wear a serious face. Check out the songs here on the Papa Chango Bandcamp page.