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Senor Coconut - Yellow Fever!

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Artist: Senor Coconut

Album: Yellow Fever!

Label: Essay

Review date: Jul. 10, 2006

Señor Coconut (a.k.a. Atom Heart, Uwe Schmidt) layers on the irony and giggles on Yellow Fever! like Dagwood slaps down the pastrami and pickles. The German-born, Chilean-based producer revisited the method that provided his greatest triumph – his first album under this moniker was an electro-latin Kraftwerk tribute – by applying a similar treatment to the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Venezuelan vocalist Argenis Brito waxes smoothly authentic, and the Orchestra’s former members (along with Mouse On Mars, Burnt Friedman, and various other power-strip-dependent Germans) all help out.

The YMO always wore its sense of humor on its sleeve, and it often looked like a big splotch of Velveeta on its collective elbow. Sir C ups the cheese quotient by bringing the music closer to the ersatz tropical exotica of Martin Denny, whose faux-eastern fantasias were a favorite Yellow Magic target, and throwing in a little Steve Reich just for snickering’s sake.

The album alternates between covers of YMO tunes – all done up with languid marimbas, chipper sampled horns and bongos, anachronistically futuristic electronic beats, and Perez Prado’s ubiquitous grunt on nearly every track – and much briefer interludes that goof on the concept of mambo electronico. Is that gas making your gut split, or just belly laughs? Maybe a bit of both; Yellow Fever! makes for smooth but uneasy listening

By Bill Meyer

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