Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Album Review: Spam All-Stars- Trans-Oceanic

Spam All-Stars
*** out of *****

The eight piece electro-Latin-jazz-jam-funk band from Miami the Spam All-Stars newest record Trans-Oceanic brings their South Florida sounds to broader audience while keeping their roots firmly intact. Produced and arraigned by DJ Le Spam the group moves through sonic textures willingly and breezily never digging too deep or crashing hard.

While Le Spam takes care of samples, turntables and production the other members are, Tomas Diaz - timbales, vocals Mercedes Abal - flute Aj Hill - saxophone Chad Bernstein - trombone Jose Elias - guitar and tres Steve Welsh - saxophone Ted Zimmerman - trumpet.

The opening title blows in via sampled beats and horn lines structured around digital backing that ebbs in and out, easily setting the stage for the rest of the disk. The group's Latin influences take center stage on "Cosquilla" as the vocals are showcased in Cuban fashion, prime for dance floor routine.

That Latino groove swings back state side for some funky string and horn work on "Ruby Carat". "Around The Track" continues in this vein only adding a huge horn build, a ripping guitar solo and elements of a blaxploitation soundtrack that elevates it above all of the others on the disk. "Around the Track" seems to be the perfect combo of the bands wide range of talents showcasing their natural groove, electro flourishes and cultural flavor; if you just want a feel for this group here is your starting point. On the flip side "Satellite" puts an adult contemporary twist on things and the group clearly works better in other areas.

All the tracks are long pushing the seven minute mark for most, and while the majority drift by easily a few (like "Satellite") stick around a bit long. "La Concha" smooths things out over samples and electro beats/flourishes while "Agua De Poco" brings back the funky energy to close things on a high note.

Primarily known for their live shows, the collective have put together a solid studio disk to chill out, get down, drive around, or simply listen to with Trans-Oceanic.  
Support the band, buy the disk, see them live, peep some video below:

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