Monday, January 9, 2012

El Coco - Cocomotion

W. Michael Lewis & Laurin Rinder arranged and produced this innovative sounding studio disco group (they also wrote for many other artists on the Avi and Butterfly labels). Most of their recordings are extremely good disco tracks and well worth owning. Rinder and Lewis gave El Coco a truly unique and unmistakeable sound.
Their first album includes the tracks "Caravan" and "Zanzibar", which are a taste of things to come. A rather ridiculous cover version of "Brazil" (also covered by The Ritchie Family) and the magical chill-out track "Masquerade" are other highlights of the album.

The title track of "Mondo Disco" is noteable for its funky, overlapping wah-wah rhythm guitars and groovy bassline. Listen also for the jazzy "Put on your jeans", the catchy "Love vaccine", and the absurd "The Count of Monte Disco".

These two formative albums paved the way for the 1976 underground disco smash hit "Let's get it together", now a rare groove classic. Difficult to find as a 12" single, its insistent wah-wah guitar, yet 1920's styled horn stabbing are just the right combination. Other tracks on this album to listen for include "Fait le chat", "Gimmie some", and the rather burlesque "Mr. Lucky".

"Cocomotion" is perhaps Rinder and Lewis's finest hour and presents the most driving, bouncy bassline to date. Even reaching the UK charts, it was a dance favourite throughout the remainder of the 1970's, and a new version was remixed in 1979. "I'm mad as hell" is another wah-wah guitar classic, and the vocals are based on the movie "Network".

The follow up hit to "Cocomotion" was "Dancing in Paradise", written to the same funky, irregular chord-changing formula. A formula which works very well, and is continued in tracks such as "Afrodesia" and "It's your last chance". Finally, listen out for "Coco Kane" - and make of it what you will.



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