REVIEW: MAD KING LUDWIG & THE MOJO CO 'FREAK BOP STEW' 13/01/17 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What are we talking about? Mad King Ludwig and the Mojo Co's debut EP, Freak Bop Stew. Summary Mad King Ludwig is a character along the lines of Captain Beefheart. A twisted, monstrous reimagining of the bluesman, with a cracked bellow of a voice that by all rights should belong to a 70-year-old black man, yet somehow resides in a skinny white 20 something who often takes to the stage in a dress or kimono, and kabuki make up. The Mojo Co. are a deadly band, au fait with a stunning variety of influences, able to weave jazz, blues (but not boring watered down modern blues, Tom Waits style skronk), psychedelia, funk and a certain dollop of unknowable freakishness into an idiosyncratic, bombastic wonder. What hooked me? The persona is irresistible. I've shared a bill with them three times now, and each time the audience has been put into shock when this sylph like frontman sashays up to the microphone and produces such a monstrous roar. All three shows were stunning, messed up parties, so I've been awaiting this release eagerly. The hook is that it captures their live energy fantastically. It's like being in that sweaty room with the bodies writhing while the Mad King holds court. Key Track Cannibale - It grooves almost like No Quarter by Led Zeppelin or perhaps the end of Lazarus by David Bowie, with an irresistibly dark and seductive atmosphere. The band stretch out to their greatest peak here, playing off each other telepathically, it feels half improvised but always perfect. The Mad King delivers a stunning vocal performance and the guitar and piano interplay is demented. Feedback God I wish it was longer. At just 4 tracks, this thing flies by. Occasionally the band goes closer to their inspirations than I'd like them to, for instance on Take Your Partner by the Foot, which while irresistibly fun, isn't doing anything as invigoratingly fresh as Cannibale or Acoutremania. They're at their best when following their most twisted and freakish urges. Artwork The pencil drawing is definitely charming, and I love the inclusion of the stew's ingredients (funk, bop beans). Line From The Band Frontman Henry Baroche said the following on the release: ‘Freak-Bop Stew’ is our debut release, and one we feel offers a taster, a palate cleanser of an offering to your senses, as we welcome you into our world of ‘Freak-Bop’. It features four tracks of diverse origin and composition, melded together with artefacts and curios, all under the guiding influence of our mad musical mantra: “Throw things together to see what they do.” It was recorded at the end of the summer of 2016, with producer and orchestrator of madness Jake Wilmott of jw-music.co.uk at the stove, prodding and stirring the mix, adding hints of reverb and overtones of compression where the taste tingled for their inclusion. Jake is a master director and manipulator of creativity, and it was a true delight working with him. It is available exclusively on Bandcamp, at this address: https://madkingludwigandthemojoco.bandcamp.com/ For our next course, we intend to release another piece of material in the late spring, with our desire and aim being to serve it up on vinyl-printed plates, as in to crowdfund a vinyl release, the songs for which have already been recorded over the course of a delightfully eccentric day recording on a boat on the Itchen river in Southampton. We are also currently touring ‘Freak-Bop Stew’, starting with its launchaganza at the Joiners, Southampton on Friday 13th January, and continuing throughout the month, with dates at the Canteen, Bristol on Friday 20th, and Mau Mau in Portobello, London on Saturday 28th. Further dates are booked between February and July, with a much anticipated and joyous return to the Duke, Whitstable on Saturday 18th March amongst them. Moving into the sweet summer months, we will be playing the festival circuit, with some tantalising dates due for announcement. Furthermore, we plan to release a mini-album in the mid-to-late summer of 2017. All in all, with a mad wind at our heels and a heavy hint of freak-bop in the air, we hope 2017 will be a truly stonking year. Thank you to all those who have made this first year or so of our maniacal existence a wonderful pleasure and privilege. Vital Info Sights Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBb2_jh6FOxpLyYU9XbSJ2g Sounds Bandcamp: http://madkingludwigandthemojoco.bandcamp.com Social Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mklmojoco Twitter: http://twitter.com/mklmojoco Website: http://madkingludwigandthemojoco.co.uk ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MICHAEL EDWARD Plays in Elevant and Galactic Funk Militia, runs the record label Loner Noise, sometimes writes things about music. Has nothing else to talk about except the futility of life and the slow decay of the universe. Likes dogs. Does not own a dog.

 

 

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