For those born in the ’70s, or even youngsters who just foster an invented nostalgia for what it was like to be a kid in the ’80s, there’s a certain timeline of sounds that inevitably weave their way through the collective memory.
Portuguese electropop band Bangguru have a sound that embodies all these elements within a single package, and not only is this the kind of music I like to listen to, these seem to be exactly the sort of people I’d like to hang out with.
This EP begins with “Target Love,” a song that really surprised me, taking me right back to the early ’80s pop-reggae craze, when we were all nuts over UB40 and Eddy Grant. The modern touch here is the smooth vocals of Marisa Fortes, whose English lyrics show absolutely no hint of awkwardness. Her effortlessly relaxed melodies are a welcome scoop of ice cream on top of the cake.
The second track, “Love Never Ends,” embodies pretty much everything I always loved about Massive Attack’s heyday, and I adore the way Bangguru takes this track and says, “yes, we remember how great that time was, too, but we have something new to add.” Then on to “Daball,” which again sent me into fits of the kind of giddy nostalgia that transcends decades. Lords of Acid meets Chemical Brothers meets LCD Soundsystem – what a great combination.
The last half of the EP develops a more forward-thinking aesthetic, incorporating elements of modern electronica, though still dotted with heaping spoonfuls of the ’90s vibe. One is reminded of Lemon Jelly at certain times, and Madonna at others. It’s not often that I listen to such a nostalgic offering and come away feeling good about it, but I can’t find anything bad to say about this collection. It pretty much embodies what I like to listen to on a Saturday night while I’m getting ready to go out, and for that reason alone I’d say this EP is a keeper.
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