Since 2016, Amsterdam’s Nicola Mauskovic and his Dance Band have been less-and-less quietly taking over the European festival scene with their custom blend of psychedelic Caribbean Afrodisco. Their new EP, Down In the Basement, drops soon on Soundway (it’s yet another out-of-nowhere A&R coup for the label). We’ve just heard the title track and a previous single (on the Bongo Joe label) and already we know that the four tracks on the new record will not be enough.
Mauskovic Dance Band’s sound reflects the far flung origins of its members, and Amsterdam’s melting pot multinational music scene — the nexus and impetus for these crafty artists to hone their spectacular sound. Tube electronics and digital electronica, real and synthed drums, heavy disco accents and NYC loft-scene riffs, all catching a ride on a panoply of cumbia, palenque and other Caribbean riddims.
“Down In the Basement” starts out with a retro synth sound building up to the happy tappety-tap of the aforementioned percussion styles. On top of that, a choir-like vocal section sings something about islands and disco (two of our favorite things). Then, this slinky, swirly, noodly bassline, echoed by a township jive guitar lick, kicks in, and all of a sudden we’re deep into a crazy cosmic groove. Then it really gets going.
Wielding a sound they describe as “hypnotic analog dance music” and “Afro-Caribbean space disco,” Mauskovic Dance Band have carved themselves quite a special niche — one that’ll likely be spreading across dance floors worldwide.
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