Monsieur Blumenberg – Divertissement Avec Du Punk (Kaleidofon)
artwork by Anna Bertozzi
Monsieur Blumenberg is the nom de plume of Federico Montefiori, twin brother of Francesco, and one half of Italy’s legendary lounge duo, Montefiori Cocktail. Monsieur Blumenberg’s first release in 2001 – Musique et Couleurs – was a wonderful, experimental, electronic lounge symphony. Compositions such as L’Altra Sera al Ristorante, Sciabadabada, Caprice des Dieux and Escamotage mixed with some interesting sampling created a fun, compelling, aural adventure into the land of the musical unknown.
(L) Francesco Kekko Montefiori (R) Federico Kikko Montefiori
Sixteen years later and Monsieur Blumenberg is back with a new release – Divertissement Avec Du Punk (Fun With Punk). Another fun, colorful romp but this time the good monsieur pays homage to old school punk rock. Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ramones, Generation X, Alan Vega even the Dead Kennedys are all given their props. In keeping with his passion for music and sense of humor, the album is a sort of lounge take on the punk sound.
Classics such as London Calling, California Uber Alles (previously released but remixed for this album), and God Save the Queen (featuring the trumpet of Kikko’s nephew, Elia) have all been lovingly lounge-ified. The album also contains two original tunes composed by Le Monsieur: the opening title track and the molto sexy, “Sex, Bugs, Rock and Roll”.
Divertissement Avec Du Punk is available on iTunes and other online music shops.
Teaser: Divertissement du Punk Rock – Monsieur Blumenberg
Ridillo Live at Blue Note Milano (PLAYaudio)
“Ridillo is a unique band of its kind. A cocktail of funk, soul, jazz, afro-brazilian, folk and lounge..the result is sophisticated and fun, stylish and full of energy…”
I have to agree with the opening statement of Ridillo’s biography. Italy’s Ridillo, formed in the early 1990s, has been playing their unique brand of “funk-soul italiano” for over 20 years and are still going strong. They’ve had numerous successes in Italy over the years, both albums and singles, and have even had the pleasure of opening for Earth, Wind & Fire in 1997.
Their latest release – Ridillo Live at Blue Note Milano – is their first live album, and as that opening sentence in their bio attests, they are sophisticated, fun, stylish and full of energy. They perform live many of their biggest hits: Mangio Amore, Figli di una Buona Stella, Aroma Funky, Sessonestissimo.
Their covers are great, too. Among them, Mina’s Cartoline and Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual. But their most impressive cover is the medley of James Brown’s Sex Machine/I Feel Good featuring guest singer, American-born, Italian-based Ronnie Jones. Performing anything by the Godfather of Soul is no easy task. But Jones and Ridillo pull it off with a hot performance much to the delight of the Milanese crowd. A great live album, and it is packed! 37 tracks in all.
Jean Honeymoon – Beginnings (ChinChin Records)
Jean Honeymoon’s Beginnings is a sweet nu jazz-lounge infused 5 song EP with hints of bossa and deep house. The title track, Beginnings, is a beautiful trip. Inspired by her move to the Western Isles (Originally based in Glasgow), the track also has two remixes: Late Night Version and Club des Belugas Remix. Two other songs – the bossa-inspired The Way You Looked at Me and I Want to Be are both lovely. Jean says of Beginnings: “In the years that I’ve been involved in music, it’s always been as co – writer; whether it was as part of a band or in collaboration with other producers and recording artists. ‘Beginnings’ is the first EP that I’ve written on my own.” It’s a wonderful solo debut.