Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
Senor Coconut, the man of a thousand aliases, has struck again and amazed everyone once more. Following El Baile Alemán (dedicated to the German Electro pioneers Kraftwerk), Fiesta Songs (a joyful collection of popular songs including Smooth Operator, Beat It, Smoke on the Water) and Yellow Fever (a tribute to his Japanese fellow musicians of the Yellow Magic Orchestra) here comes his fourth trick, which the musical knight of the Order of the Coconut has worked on for almost a year in real and virtual studios. Around the World would actually be a simple pop album if it was not for el Senor, alias Atom: he is just not interested in the easy route! If you are going to cover the pearls of international pop, you really have to contribute a powerful idea of your own. And you know you’ve made it when the musicians you are covering themselves take part in the recording, as the three members of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi and Oscar and Grammy winner Ryuichi Sakamoto, did on the Yellow Fever album, and as Stephan Remmler, the legendary head of the band Trio, did on this occasion. Which brings us to the heart of the matter: for Around the World, Señor Coconut has again conjured Electrolatino songs from international hits. And once more, he first recorded the big band with which he has been bringing his concepts to the stage on rapturously received tours for many years, in order to then take the recordings apart in his own studio in Santiago de Chile, reassemble them, surgically process each track, and inject that special Coconut magic. As singers, he had available to him his front man Argenis Brito, the crooner Louis Austen (yes, the Viennese Frank Sinatra!) and the aforementioned Stephan Remmler.
Atom has again adopted the perspective of an alien who, from Chile, his distant orbit, perceives the world as a remote place and not as his place of origin. For this purpose, Atom uses the technique of mash up or culture clash: an Austrian crooner sings on a Swiss Cha-Cha-Cha (Pinball ChaCha), a Japanese, Toshiyuki Yasuda, programs the computer part on a Brazilian Bossa Nova classic (Corcovado Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars), and this voice does a duet with Argenis Brito, a Venezuelan singer who lives in Berlin. One theme which all Senor Coconut albums share is Mambo, which is in turn an artificial product developed by Dámaso Perez Prado. And once again we are dealing with someone living in exile: the Cuban Perez Prado lived, worked and died in Mexico and produced for the American market. It was he who brought together stereotypes from the widest imaginable range of sources to make Latino marketable for the first time, leading in turn to Mambo making the crossover to jazz and turning up in popular hits in Germany in the 50s and 60s. In La vida es llena de cables a Latino big band arrangement clashes with Reggaeton-Rap and the Aciton sounds developed by Atom Aciton is a hybrid of Acid and Reggaeton. The track Around the World by the French band Daft Punk provides the background for this exceptional production, it is the common thread that unifies the album: electronica which is put back on its acoustic feet, because Senor Coconut’s creative process is no one-way street.