Mr Bongo Records have announced that they are re-releasing the 1971 LP “Ritual” by Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc. as part of their Holy grail Latin Funk Fuzz LP reissues on 22 April 2013 (CD and Digital).
Belgium might not be the first place you’d think of when it comes to Latin or Afro funk, yet one of the greatest records to blend both styles came from the small northern European country in 1971’s ‘Ritual’.
The album was originally released on the Dutch label Omega International, and now Mr Bongo are re-releasing it in order to bring its blazing funk grooves to both new ears and those already tuned in to this masterpiece’s legacy.
Across its 10 tracks ‘Ritual’ delivers the kind of production, arrangement and musicianship that one can only define as being completely professional. Musically, Gomez’s band was entirely in sync and the tightness of his band becomes evident in their covers of ‘Caballo Negro’ and ‘Lupita’, where they inject their deep funk sound that blends both Afro and Latin influences into the originals.
The unrestricted talents of Nico Gomez and his band becomes even more apparent in the bands covers of ‘Samba De Una Nota So’, and ‘El Condor Pasa’. This pair of covers demonstrates the unlimited musical ability of Gomez and his band, as they switch to a more soulful downtempo sound with mesmerising ease.
The title track remains to be one of the album’s highlights. A devastating dance floor groove with horns to match that has aged with sheer beauty and was heavily sampled by Liquid People for ‘The Dragon’. The song borders on a slightly rockier sound, using fuzz effects that allow the listener to get lost amongst the warmly distorted sounds of the guitar.
‘Ritual’ is the perfect embodiment of an album that used the kind experimentation that was abundant during the 1970s. Due to its exceptional musicianship, production and arrangement, ‘Ritual’ establishes itself as an album that is quite simply timeless.