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Mop Mop - Lunar Love (CD/2LP, Agogo Records, 2016)

Andrea Benini is a brilliant Italian musician based in Berlin. His band Mop Mop is a 10-year old afro/jazz project that varies in size for concerts, recording, and touring. Every 2/3 years they come back to freshens up our ears with a new album rather different from the previous one, while keeping up with a kind of conceptual continuity. Trinidanian singer/poet Anthony Joseph is invited once again, on four entrancing tracks. This year the audio travel sounds very dreamlike, a dub-jazz-funk trip up there in the stars, with most spatial afro-caribbean surges, in the shape of an hymn to our dear blue planet.
Review extracted from the Paris DJs Tour Operator Magazine #1 - may/june 2016 issue

Mop Mop - Lunar Love
Mop Mop - Lunar Love
(CD/2LP) Agogo Records AR079CD/VL, 2016-05-06

Tracklisting :
Side 1 (The Journey)
A1. Alfa 2:04
A2. Adhara 5:12
A3. Totem feat. Anthony Joseph 4:26
Side 2 (The Awakening)
B1. Spaceship: Earth feat. Anthony Joseph 6:01
B2. Omega 1:59
B3. Lunar Love 6:17
Side 3 (The Experience)
C1. The Barber feat. Anthony Joseph 6:42
C2. Habibi 8:58
Side 4 (Close Encounters)
D1. Plato 10:07
D2. The Serpent feat. Anthony Joseph 5:34
CD/Digital bonus tracks
11. Supreme feat. Wayne Snow 03:52
12. Foreign Correspondents feat. Annabel 03:44

Links :
Mop Mop : official | bandcamp | discogs | facebook | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter | youtube Agogo Records : official | bandcamp | discogs | facebook | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter

Review (in French) : Andrea Benini est un brillant musicien Italien basé à Berlin. Son groupe Mop Mop est un projet afro/jazz à géométrie variable lancé il y a une dizaine d'années, qui vient tous les 2/3 ans nous chatouiller les esgourdes avec un nouvel album fort différent du précédent, tout en préservant une forme de continuité conceptuelle. Le chanteur et poète Trinidadien Anthony Joseph est à nouveau présent, sur 4 titres envoûtants. Cette année le voyage s'annonce très onirique, un trip dub-jazz-funk dans les étoiles, à base d'envolées afro-caribbéennes des plus spatiales, un appel à la rèverie en forme d'ode à notre chère planète bleue.
Review extracted from the Paris DJs Tour Operator Magazine #1 - may/june 2016 issue

Press Release :
"Love On A Far Away Planet" (Sun Ra)
"Space Will Be My Home?" (Mop Mop)

MOP MOP continue their journey through musically wide open spaces and places. Refining their sound even more, creating an unique and deep atmosphere based on the idea of traditional Gnawa rhythms mixed with a heavy Dub-Jazz-Funk pulse. They left the "isle Of Magic" - but the magical experience of their music and vibe gets even more exciting as ANDREA BENINI and MOP MOP once again take a wonderful imaginary trip to a place which echoes and results in another deep musical trip. From the "Isle Of Magic" to "Lunar Love" - "There are other places out there" – Sun Ra knew about these places outta space, MOP MOP now take a journey from a mystical bright shining star called "Adhara" to Mother Earth, being aliens from a kind of similar but yet different planet which they had to leave as they have destroyed and abused their ground, now in search of a new land. Looking at our blue planet from a different point of view. "Show me this place they call Earth and let me land this ship", says ANTHONY JOSEPH in one of the key tracks "Spaceship:Earth".

Starting the trip with the soothing sounds of a Hang Drum, "Alfa" leads into the four movements of "Lunar Love" – The Journey, The Awakening, The Experience and Close Encounters. "Adhara" then sounds like the Sultans Of Swing found their Karmacoma finally, melodies of leaving and inquiring discoveries at the same time. Unquestionably, Adhara must have been a wonderful place, but now it's time to find a new life somewhere in space, all under the sign of the magical "Lunar Love" in the end. Hardly anyone can elude the irresistibly rhythms of intrumental tracks like "Habibi" or "Plato" as parts of the journey through space and time. "Supreme", a beautiful and soulful love ballad and the dreamy "Foreign Correspondent", which is about the amalgamation of aliens and humans, the destiny for a new way of living and caring, are the soundtrack to the release in a quite peaceful setting after a long journey.

"Lunar Love" once again features over ten brilliant musicians, each one contributing their art homogeneously to ANDREA BENINI's musical visions. ALEX TREBO on piano, PASQUALE MIRRA on vibraphone, balafon and marimba, SALVATORE LAURIOLA on electric and double bass, DANILO MINEO playing all kinds of primary percussions like surdo, udu drums, tumbadora and the morrocan krakebs, which BENINI also uses on most of the tracks like a traditional drum set. Additional hang, ARP synthesizers, Moog, guitars and many other instruments create this unique atmosphere of the album. Poet and musician ANTHONY JOSEPH on the vocals adding his outstanding poetry as an essential ingredient, telling the story and matching perfectly with the overall vibe of the tribal Dub Jazz Funk pulse. WAYNE SNOW's sweet voice making "Supreme" this beautiful love song and Ninja Tune artist ANNABEL ELLIS dreamy chant inspired by Satie and Debussy feels just right in place in "Foreign Correspondent".

The whole album has been recorded in five excellent studios located in Berlin and Ravenna using vintage analog equipment for he bliss of a warm sound, which can only be achieved by using analogue tape in the end. "Lunar Love" is MOP MOP's fifth studio album and it turns out to be BENINI's best work to date, deep and sometimes dark, but uplifting, very soulful and very original at the same time. Combining his afro american jazz background with a tribal offbeat approach and a wonderful story on top. Reaching out to a state of trance which feels very good once you let yourself go. Please take your seats and join MOP MOP on this journey to these "Other places out there" you haven't seen and heard yet.

"So take the dark away, leave me the day" ANTHONY JOSEPH

Credits :
Arranged and Produced by Andrea Benini
Recorded by Andrea Benini at Mop Mop Studio, Berlin (Germany) / Andrea Duna Scardovi at Dunastudio, Ravenna (Italy) / Mo Stern at Mo Stern Studio, Berlin (Germany) / Roskow Kretschmann at Audiomoto, Berlin (Germany) / Jochen Ströh at Lovelite Studio, Berlin (Germany)
Mixed by Andrea Duna Scardovi and Andrea Benini at Dunastudio
Mastered by Kelly Hibbert
Artwork by Gianni Rossi Studio
Copyright p & c 2016 Agogo Records

Personnel :
Andrea Benini - Drums, Drum Machines, Percussions, Vocals
Alex Trebo - Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizers, Wersi Bass
Pasquale Mirra - Vibraphone, Marimba, Balafon, Glockenspiel
Salvatore Lauriola - Electric Bass, Double Bass
Danilo Mineo - Surdo, Congas, Tumbadora, Udu Drums, Talking Drum, Krakebs, Shakers, Rattles

Additional Musicians :
Anthony Joseph - Vocals
Wayne Snow - Vocals
Annabel - Vocals
Christoph Matenaers - Hang
Davide Angelica - Guitars
Nicola Peruch - Moog, Modular System
Max Castlunger - Steel Drum, Kalimba
Telonio - ARP Synthesizer

*Annabel (lee) appears courtesy of Ninja Tune/If Music


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