Señor Coconut and his Orchestra feat. Argenis Brito - Yellow Fever!
What is Coconut? It's a good question, asked three times on Yellow Fever! in comedic interludes between songs. A quick dig around on the internet is, unfortunately, enough to ruin the mystique. For those who don't know, Señor Coconut is the alter ego of German, Uwe Schmidt, who has produced apparently more typical electronic music under other names. (This album was supposedly recorded with a real orchestra rather than using just samples and keyboards as previously, not that it sounds any different.)
Yellow Fever! continues the Coconut obsession with covering songs, from the familiar to less so, in a kitsch Latin style. His El Baile Aleman was a whole album of Kraftwerk interpretations, and this time out he does the same for Japanese trio, Yellow Magic Orchestra (who make individual guest appearances here). The name may not ring a bell, but that's not to say some of the songs won't. While doing some research, I was surprised to learn that Behind The Mask (which most people will associate with Eric Clapton) was originally recorded by them. In fact, it's because of the Clapton link that this track is a high point. As with Coconut's astonishing cover of Smoke On The Water, there is immense glee in hearing a rock "classic" played out with brass, xylophone and tropical rhythms. You can just imagine a certain type of person shaking their head in disapproval. Elsewhere, Simoon (featuring Mouse on Mars) is awesomely cheesy - check the "wah wah wah" sound.
It is true Señor Coconut won't appeal to everyone and, even if you do have an appreciation of his charms, the law of diminishing returns applies. He is after all a one trick pony. Still, he obviously takes this tongue in cheek business seriously. Yellow Fever! is a smooth cocktail; just the thing for a warm evening.