Spam Allstars - Trans-Oceanic - LP
Trans-Oceanic, the long-anticipated, brand new record from Miami’s Spam Allstars, is chock-full of tropical electro space-funk spiced with a heady dose of Cuban flavors. Instant trans-oceanic beach party! Download card with bonus track included.
The six-piece Spam Allstars have been at the forefront of Miami’s culturally blended, highly creative musical scene for twenty years. Formed by the multi-talented Andrew Yeomanson aka DJ Le Spam to create electronic descargas (Latin jam sessions), the band’s unique sound was incubated in a live setting while in residence in the Cuban-themed nightclub Hoy Como Ayer on Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana (their weekly night is still going strong after 15 years). Le Spam and his all-stars took their inspiration from the fabled improvisational Cuban jam sessions of the 1950s and ‘60s, deftly mixing them with funk, dub, electro, rock and hip-hop elements that reflect the city’s multi-cultural makeup. Through the course of six albums, international touring, and interesting collaborations with the likes of Phish side project Vida Blue, New World Symphony, and Rumberos de la 8, this cosmically jamming dance ensemble seamlessly combines various traditions and enlightens in ways you won’t find anywhere else. Their new long-player, Trans-Oceanic, offers up a tasty batida (tropical fruit shake) of funk, rumba, charanga, electro beats, fat bass and bouncy brass that leads to relentless grooving throughout the proceedings.
Trans-Oceanic is the latest edition in Le Spam & Co.’s storied catalogue and indisputable proof that their block-rocking yet melodic sound has gone to the next level. With its unique instrumental combo of organic and electronic, the Spam sound (expanded here to a 9-piece in the studio) manages to weave together seemingly disparate elements into a seamless whole, much like the experience of traveling through Miami’s different geographical zones on any given day.
The six tunes on the record (plus the bonus download cut) offer something for everyone, with different moods and intensities. The party-rocking title opener sets sail into wild synth, tasteful djembe, and a hand-clapping groove with a sweetly melodic front line of horns and flute. “Cosquilla” (Tickle) is a sexy Afro-Cuban rumba-inspired number with humorous Spanish lyrics kept in place by funk drums and a rock-steady montuno vamp played on Cuban tres guitar buoyed by some deep pulsing synth-bass. “Ruby Carat” is a funk-charanga hybrid (charanga is a traditional old-school Cuban dance orchestra with flute and violin lineup) aided by a rumba section and gorgeous trumpet underpinned by the timbales of Tomás Díaz. The centerpiece is the cosmic R&B number, “Satellite,” which is already receiving enthused responses from radio and club DJs alike. That’s saxophonist A.J. Hill pulling double duty on soulful vocal around the funky synth and fuzzy guitar solo. “Around the Track” is a great slice of Afro-funk with some rock axe to make it bristle with guitar swagger. The violin is back on the electro-soul cut “La Concha,” with some countryish guitar stylings just to flip the script a little. “Agua de Poço” is the bonus track on the download card and it’s a freaky djembe–driven electro-afrobeat number that has a lot of club DJs bumping the digital right now. The quintessentially Miami album cover artwork is by Francesco Lo Castro who uses an unorthodox painting technique involving the intricate layering of pigment and resin to achieve a heightened sense of dimension and depth, in much the same way that DJ Le Spam and his Allstars layer their music to create a rich recording that flows harmoniously and says a lot in an effortless, fun-loving manner. The Spam Allstars and Peace & Rhythm could not be more thrilled to showcase Francesco’s work in this highly appropriate cultural context.
“...Spam Allstars are the creator of the contemporary Miami sound....” - Miami Herald
“The Spam Allstars are generating a buzz in the music business for their rhythmic mixtures of electronica, Latin, funk, hip-hop and dub. And the band members are just as diverse as the music they groove to.” - NPR