Bahama Soul Club: Bohemia After Dawn

Chris M. Slawecki By

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Bahama Soul Club: Bohemia After Dawn
Soulful original music laced with judicious and striking samples, Bohemia After Dawn serves a textbook example of music that packs an impact larger than the sum of its parts. Written, arranged, produced and performed by Oliver Belz and André Neundorf (the Bahama Soul Club) plus guest musicians and singers live and looped, Bohemia After Dawn sets body, mind and soul to "simmer" from its opening "Afrodisia" through the end of its closing "Castelejo."

"Mango" slips and slides on its reggae beat while horns call and echo the melody in sweet and sticky scoops of sound. In the follow-up "Mango" (Club des Belugas Remix), a cool conga beat helps transports this reggae from the Caribbean to a nightclub in Brazil. "Alma Sola" walks along an ice-cold finger-snapping electric bass line with flute and purring female vocals drizzling sweet heat on top. Guitarists Ralli King and Bela Heine slice out soul-jazz blues chords and solos that feature touches of George Benson and Albert King to roll "Riding the Train" down the rails of a cool jazz guitar-organ combo sound.

Billie Holiday and John Lee Hooker (or at least their sampled voices) pop in as guest stars. Belz and Neundorf re-spin "Ain't Nobody's Business" around loops of Holiday's vocal, shaping the creeping shadow and darkness of Ray Manzarek's "Riders on the Storm" keyboard sound around the rhythms of Holiday's exquisite blues and punching out her words with the chorus horns.

In "Never Roam No More," the producers fold the gravelly growl and thunder of Hooker's inimitable voice into an improbable yet magical, thick and vibrant dance groove as smooth and cool as satin bedding. The SMOOVE Remix adds a full minute of extra music plus a whole lot of additional rhythm: a two-step drum kick, the synthetic disco pulse, and bass and guitar tweaked into Chic dancefloor funk, all sparkling in a slick Hamilton Bohannon-style mix.

The closing "Castelejo (Hommage à Vitor Hugo)" opens like a large jungle cat slowly waking, yawning, stretching, and then unraveling into a prowling instrumental, sounding thick and sparse, and creating moods both powerful and subdued.

Track Listing

Afrodisia; Ain't Nobody's Business (featuring Billie Holiday); Mercy Me (featuring Josephine Nightingale); Mango (featuring Arema Arega); Never Roam No More (featuring John Lee Hooker); Troubles All Be Gone (featuring Taly); Alma Sola (featuring Arema Arega); Riding The Train; Tears Run Down (featuring Sister Wynona Carr); Never Roam No More (SMOOVE Remix); Mango (Club des Belugas Remix); Castelejo (Hommage à Vitor Hugo).


Oliver Belz: various; André Neundorf: various.

Additional Instrumentation

York: saxes (Afrodisia), flutes (Troubles All Be Gone); Ralli King: guitar (Mercy Me, Riding the Train); Holger Stonjek: bass (Mercy Me, Troubles All Be Gone, Alma Sola, Riding the Train); Lars Lehmann: bass (Mercy Me); Maike Jacobs: backing vocals (Mercy Me); Claus Hartisch: guitar, bass (Mango); Bela Heine: guitar (Riding the Train); Vitor Hugo: cana rachada (Castelejo); Rui Correia: accordeon (Castelejo).

Album information

Title: Bohemia After Dawn | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Buyu Records

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