There is so much music in the modern world. Perhaps too much. You could argue that sheer volume isn’t the way forward and that there is a good reason why the phrase “quality over quantity” is still appropriate today. Because someone has the technology and accessibility to make music, that shouldn’t mean that they should. But how do you sift through so many sonic samples, all of the mass musical mayhem? How do you ensure that you don’t end up wading through music and videos that deserve the term “style over substance” rather than find yourself engaged in more worthy musical pursuits? Two words – Bongo Boy. Or, more correctly – Bongo Boy Rock n Roll TV Show.
The Bongo Boy Rock n Roll TV Show has been a prime-time feature on National TV for over ten years. Each episode delivers an avalanche of new music, hopping both genre and geography, sound and style, a broad-minded slew of music whose only concern is quality rather than any trend, fad, fashion, or genre that might be the current zeitgeist. If it is excellent music, it is in. Bongo Boy sift the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, so you don’t have to. Since airing on 1st November, this show has been in heavy rotation Nationwide on more than 72 TV channels in the USA.
Things kick off with GelaX and a dark and delicious slice of cutting-edge dance-pop called Voodoo. It is full of energy; the beats are both hypnotic and euphoric, the vocals of-the-moment and yet slightly otherworldly, and even though the song sometimes comes on like a steam train through the clubland scene, there is plenty of change and dynamic to keep things interesting.
Run, by Reverse Mechanic, also runs on a dance-fuelled beat but in a much more understated way. The blend of cascading acoustic guitar, chilled clubland vibes, conventional singing and rapped deliveries is the perfect dance of old-school analogue styles and contemporary digital creation.
And Tina Tara’s Maybe is both in the same musical ballpark as the pop-dance of what has gone before but also very unique and of itself. There is a glitchy, staccato vibe, the verses almost clinical and the perfect balance for the engaging and energetic choruses. A new and beguiling style of dance music? I’d say so. And a brilliant video too.
The Dead Daises change the mood and then some. Incendiary, foot-on-the-monitor, Fist-in-the-air, old-school rock and roll is the name of the game. But Bustle and Flow is done so well that it crosses eras and audiences. Like all rock music done well, it would feel at home in an earlier age, anytime from the 80s onwards, but it feels suitable for today’s rock aficionado. But that has always been the great thing about the genre. Get it right, and it’s timeless. And this is an excellent example of that in action.
Underlining the diversity and eclecticism of these productions, next up is Niko Brim’s Bonita, a cool slice of skittering hip-hop that pulls in from that more relaxed, more measured end of the genre, the dexterous lyrical deliveries combining with the ticking trap-house-like beats to create a cool and inescapable groove.
Next up is….hang on…wow, that’s Tom Kiefer! Those with long enough memories might remember a neat, low-slung rock and roll band called Cinderella from the late eighties and early nineties. They were the band that Poison could have been if they had gotten a bit more serious, the sound that Izzy would have turned Gun’s n Roses into if he’d been in charge (as evidenced by his later Ju Ju Hounds albums.) And this is their leading man who has been doing his own thing for a few years now. And his own thing is that perfect blend of Stones swagger, Hanoi Rocks glamour and Aerosmith sonic punch all wrapped up. Give All Amped Up a few spins, and then buy Rise’s album. Do it. Now!
Things wrap up with Obas and Rick Ross and their track Hug The Street, which proves that modern-day rap can have a heart, a head and a social conscience.
And there it is, another serving of what’s cool, happening and essential listening. If you can’t find something to tickle your musical tastebuds or get your feet moving, then perhaps music isn’t for you after all!