MR BONGO label about themselves:
We started life in 1989 as a small record shop underneath Daddy Kool’s Reggae Store on Berwick Street in London. We were the first shop to sell vinyl releases from independent hip hop labels such as Def Jam, Rawkus, Nervous and Big Beat outside of the USA. We also became an established bearer for hard-to-find, classic Latin music, particularly Brazilian, outside of the Americas.
Over the following years Bongo moved three times within Soho and opened in Shibuya, Japan. We moved our offices to Brighton in 1999 and closed all shops in 2003.
25 years on we now have a recording roster featuring some of the best Brazilian, Latin, reggae, African and Jazz music by artists including Terry Callier, Jorge Ben, Joyce, Seu Jorge, Prince Fatty, Incredible Bongo Band and Marcos Valle.
In 2004 we moved into world cinema, a venture that has grown to compliment the music. In keeping with the record label philosophy, we carefully select and source films from around the world and our catalogue now includes works by esteemed directors including Scorsese, Coppola, Has, Bertolucci, Rocha and Dovzhenko amongst others. We aim to unearth iconic, stylish, hard-to-find gems and cult classics and make them readily available to cinema lovers.
We are modest compared to our competitors in the film world but hope that our rich history and knowledge has established us as an aficionado that punches above its weight (and is yet to reach its full potential).
We also have a publishing arm with an in-house team that produces and licenses music for use by third parties. Our clients include advertising, film and TV companies around the world; brands such as Bacardi, Nike, Adidas, Fosters, Nissan and Guinness have used our music. We also deal with worldwide royalty collection for artists and organisations.
MR BONGO gives us new portion of Brazilian music.
MARCIA LOTT – TEMA DE BABY B
Marcio Lott’s ‘Tema de Baby’ is a REALLY rare one. We spent a long time trying to license this, and delighted to be able to release it as part of the series.
Laid back sunshine samba-rock/funk/MPB, laced with Ramsey Lewis esque piano and wah-wah guitars. Lovely vocals top it off.
Originally released on 7” by Tapecar in 1974.
SILVIO CESAR – A FESTA
A Festa’ was brought to our attention – like many others in this series – by the almighty duo Brazilian Beats Brooklyn. A firm favourite here with everyone at Mr Bongo.
A stormer from the opening beat; jazzy, samba-rock fusion that touches on disco when the hi-hats open up. Floating synth lines, tough drums and crowd noise throughout to add to the vibe.
LUIZ CARLOS VINHAS – YE ME LE
Another very firm Mr Bongo favourite, and always a contender for end/start of the night track. A true classic.
Opens with a distinctive vocal harmony/chant and claps before dropping into bossa piano, organ and drums, which calms for a moment before reaching the chorus… and then building more into a horn section, that plays until the end. Immense.
Taken from Vinhas’ now relatively expensive and very excellent ‘O Som Psicodelico’ LP from 1968.
GOLDEN BOYS – BERIMBAU
And again – yet another favourite. Awe inspiring arrangement, of the highest order.
Opens with what is very reminiscent of a Brazilian Western soundtrack, before soaring into vocals, strings and horns. And then THAT end section…!
Golden Boys were a male vocal group, of brothers. ‘Berimbau’ is taken from their self-titled 1969 LP.