Nico Gomez & His Afro Percussion inc. – 1971 – Ritual
This album is a monument!! Afro Latin Funk at its best, full of heavy percussions, exciting brass, psychedelic organ grooves & fuzz guitar. Killer beats and breaks all along! 10 tracks including “Ritual“, “Caballo Negro“, “Baila Chibiquiban“, “Lupita” & “Naci Para Bailar“.
Note that this rare reissue features the beautiful sexy nude cover and that original LP copies are up to 300 euros nowadays! Essential!!
A1 Caballo Negro 3:09
A2 Naci Para Bailar 4:46
A3 Cuba Libre 3:28
A4 Samba De Una Nota So 3:08
A5 Baila Chibiquiban 3:05
B1 El Condor Pasa 3:40
B2 Lupita 3:41
B3 Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa! 4:46
B4 Ritual 3:54
B5 Eso Es El Amor 3:46
Nico Gomez is a Belgian writer/composer who is famous for his Latin-American sounds. He conducted the famous Nico Gomez Orchestra and also wrote for Los Chakachas, another well known Belgian group.
“Ritual” recorded in the early 70s in Belgium its a tasty batch of Latin funk grooves, with a deep Afro-soul sound thrown into the mix, and some slight Chicano rock touches, like fuzzy guitar and heavy organ.
It includes fantastic funk versions of two Perez Prado groovers “Caballo Negro” and “Lupita”the latter of which is the monster dance floor mash up but the whole album really rocks.
Fierce funky grooves from the legendary Nico Gomez – a set cooked up in Europe, but heavy with influences from the other side of the Atlantic – from Havana all the way up to New York! There’s definitely a Latin groove to the record – one that’s similar to other Gomez productions – but there’s also lots of heavy funk at the bottom – with basslines that drive most numbers along boldly, really raw percussion played with a nice sense of spontaneity, and these super-tight keyboards and guitars that you might find in American funk! The mix of modes is very much in the best spirit of contemporary groups like Chakachas or Lafayette Afro Rock Band.
Belgium, not the first place you’d think of when it comes to Latin or Afro funk. Yet one of the greatest records to blend both styles came from the small northern European country, masterminded by Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc. Ritual was originally released in 1971 on the Dutch label Omega International (Gomez was born in Holland before moving to Belgium in the late 40s) and is being reissued by Mr Bongo in 2013, bringing its blazing funk grooves to both new ears and those already tuned in to this masterpiece’s legacy. Across its 11 tracks Ritual delivers the kind of production, arrangement and musicianship that rightfully belong in a dictionary next to the definition of professional. Gomez’ band was tight and they knew it, showing it off on their covers of Perez Prado’s ‘Caballo Negro‘ and ‘Lupita’ by injecting the originals with a deep funk that blends both Afro and Latin influences. On ‘Samba De Una Nota So‘ and ‘El Condor Pasa‘, another pair of covers, they switch to soulful downtempo with mesmerising ease. The title cut remains one of the album’s highlights, a devastating dancefloor groove with horns to match that has aged beautifully and was heavily sampled by Liquid People for ‘The Dragon‘. ‘Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!‘ adds touches of rock with fuzzy guitars for one of the album’s headier experiences. Ritual is a perfect example of the kind of experimentation that was rife in the 70s and which, when done as well as on this album, proves quite simply timeless.”