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Prince Fatty meets The Mutant Hifi - Return Of Gringo! - out on Mr. Bongo Records

Prince Fatty meets The Mutant Hifi in Return of Gringo
Prince Fatty meets The Mutant Hifi in 'Return Of Gringo!'
(CD/LP/Digital) Mr. Bongo, 2011-11-21

In the end, we had to wait until November for 2011's funniest record. 'Return Of Gringo' is a faux soundtrack in which dub, ska and surf meet spaghetti western in the tradition of maestro Ennio Morricone. Dub and spaghetti have always been good bedmates - just lend an ear to Swiss duo Trance Hill and Dub Spencer to understand why. But here we're not dealing with some low-rent Trinita series but a bigger budget altogether. The result? A genuine blockbuster with first-class actors...

Prince Fatty meets The Mutant Hifi in Return of Gringo
Prince Fatty meets The Mutant Hifi in 'Return Of Gringo!'
(CD/LP/Digital) Mr. Bongo, 2011-11-21

...Starring famed Brighton producer and retro-futurist dub wizard Mike 'Prince Fatty' Pelanconi (Hollie Cook, The Pharcyde, Lilly Allen) and his pal Nick 'Mutant Hifi' Coplowe (multi-instrumentalist and producer for Asian Dub Foundation, Little Axe, Adrian Sherwood et al.), Return of Gringo is catchy from track 1 to 12. It's short enough to make a killer party album but long enough to mesmerize the audience. Nick Coplowe plays guitar (adding tons of spring reverb), glockenspiel, bass, keyboards and melodica. Prince Fatty runs the mix and the special effects, loading fun and frenzied sounds such as a mule braying itself to death, horses neighing, gunshots and, of course, echo throughout. There's also a classy backing band with a rich horn section that captures the Arabic and Mexican sounds to a T (for the full line-up, read below). The accomplices are joined by a guest star, the legendary Alessandro Alessandroni. And it's a brilliant idea. For newbies and dummies, Alessandroni is the unforgettable whistler from the Sergio Leone/ Ennio Morricone westerns (Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon a Time in the West, etc.) as well as being a highly respected multi instrumentalist and composer. Adding Alessandroni's mellow whistling to the project not only gives Return of Gringo an unexpected touch of beauty and a melancholic tinge; it also shows Prince Fatty's and Mutant Hifi's respect and love and respect for their predecessors. That's why it's a major achievement, one the best-ever parodies yet sincerest tributes to Leone/Morricone - along with Australian act The Western Spaghetti Orchestra.
The last word goes to cheeky Nick 'Mutant Hifi' Coplowe, who styles himself as a 'musical pervert'. He was a bit slow to write, so I threatened to send both Lee Van Cleef and Henry Fonda over to pay him a visit.

So Nick says:
"Hi Paris DJs! Prince Fatty and I are old friends, former flatmates. We've talked about a surf/ska collaboration for years, laughed about it, plotted, planned, come up with concepts - some of which may yet see the light of day in future releases. A mutual love of spaghetti, and westerns led us to Return Of Gringo!, marrying the arab/hispanic/sephardic influences on our favourite surf instrumental music to our love of Jamaican ska. Being an instrumental project, a theme is very important in order not to disappear up our own creeks and give guidance. Return of Gringo! came about after a long session of watching the original Italian versions of the great Sergio Leone movies (originally the album was to be Dub for Victory - themed after the various boys' WWII comics popular from the 50s-70s). The influences (and titles) came thick and fast, and tied in with our new found love of cumbia music (we watched Butch Cassidy) and so we went with the cowboy theme. Although the album took nearly 2 years from conception to release, being inspired, we worked fast, and spent most of that time making other records. Both of us have long experience of working with people who take forever agonising over their records, killing the vibes and boring everyone stupid and blowing budgets, and we didn't want to do that for ourselves. Return of Gringo! is an album made strictly our way, with no compromises - even the deal wasn't sought until the album was near completion to avoid the kind of unconstructive interference experienced on other projects. Above all, it was a labour not only of love, but of fun, which I think comes out in the general irreverence of the end result, and is the only way to make music for yourself. No donkeys were harmed in the making of the album, even while performing tricks..."
(Nicolas Ragonneau)

Prince Fatty Meets The Mutant HiFi - Return Of The Gringo by Mr Bongo

01. Transistor Cowboy
02. Balck Powder
03. Plague of Locusts
04. Wear The Black Hat (If The Black Hat Fits)
05. Way Back to Town
06. Across The Border
07. Up The Creek
08. Moscow Mule
09. Son of a Thousand Fathers
10. The Good, The Vlad and The Ugly
11. Blondes have more Guns
12. Hava Nagila

Links :
Prince Fatty: official | facebook | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter
Alessandro Alessandroni : official | wikipedia
Mr. Bongo: official | facebook | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter | youtube

Press Release
Prince Fatty Meets The Mutant Hifi in 'Return of Gringo!' is the fevered and frontal lobe-damaged brainchild of Nick Coplowe (The Mutant Hifi) and Mike Pelanconi (Prince Fatty), the result of years of plotting, planning, laughing and procrastinating. Put simply, it is a surf/ska/spaghetti western soundtrack album for a film that is yet to be made. Think Dick Dale jamming with the Skatalites with Morricone at the helm, including appearances from Alessandro Alessandroni (the original spaghetti western whistler) and you're in the right section at the record store, although it is possibly a very small section.

As Steve Barker (on the wire) said about a previous Mutant Hifi release 'it's refreshing to hear a record which fits so badly into any genre'…

It's a quick draw shootout in a mexican standoff, pitting hard hitting ska against ripping surf riffs and outlaw bandito brass, the cold anarchic freedom of the wild west seen through a lomographic lens where the hot sun and scorching sand make sure that only the toughest survive, leaving their enemies to the flies, the prairie dogs and the vultures. It is the son of a thousand fathers, every one of them a bastard. Every gun sings it's own tune.

Biography :
There are two kinds of people in this world...

Mike 'Prince Fatty' Pelanconi is well known for his productions over many years, from Acid Jazz to Lilly Allen via The Pharcyde and Graham Coxon as well as his own Prince Fatty recordings and most recently Hollie Cook and, with the Mutant Hifi, the 'Battle For Seattle' Nirvana Reggae covers up featuring Little Roy. A staunch defender of live analog music production, his keen nose sniffs out the best grooves and cooks them to perfection with a sound that has just the perfect blend of retro flavours and fresh spices.

Nick 'Mutant Hifi' Coplowe is known for his work for many years for the On-U Sound label, producing the likes of Asian Dub Foundation, Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, Mark Stewart and Little Axe, in his guise as Adrian Sherwood's right hand man. A long time love of instrumental surf music, as well as Russian and Jewish folk melodies shape his musical world along with his love of ska, dub and reggae. He is a musical pervert, and proud of it.

No horses were spared in the making of this motion picture soundtrack.

Complete cast on 'Return Of Gringo' :
Nick 'Mutant Hifi' Coplowe: guitar, bass, melodica, glockenspiel
Mike 'Prince Fatty' Pelanconi: mix & effects
Special Guest Star, Alessandro Alessandroni : whistling
Horseman: drums & percussion
Graham Fox: drums
Mafia: bass
Rev. Paul 'The Preacher' Powell: bass
Diane White: bass
Carlton 'Bubblers' Ogilive: piano & organ
Adrian McKenzie: piano
Barth Corbelet: keyboards
Max Gilkes: guitar
Will Rumfitt: trumpet
Megumi 'Miss Megoo' Mesaku: sax
Lee Richardson: sax
Space Monkey III: sax
Teerus Laohverapanich: baritone sax
Fulvio Sigurta: trumpet
Sarit Tanpensuk: trumpet
Winston Francis: vocals
Nicolas Ragonneau

Nicolas Ragonneau

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