Senor Coconut Yellow Fever: Senor Coconut Plays the Yellow Magic

Senor Coconut’s third album of electronically buffed "cha cha chas” may be his best yet. Uwe Schmidtt’s touring experience with a live band interpreting his studio crafted jams has folded back into the writing process for this disc. Yellow Fever is a collection of YMO tunes reanimated for the Palladium mambo dancers of the 1940s. This disc is both more cut-up and more orchestrated than previous Coconut cocktails. There is a busload of special guests contributing to the party: all three original members of YMO, Akufen, Mouse on Mars, Schneider TM and fellow Flangerian Burnt Friedmann. As with their album of Kraftwerk covers, the arpeggiated synth pop suits the sweetened, shredded Coconut treatment. But whereas Kraftwerk was austere, YMO’s sense of humour is more in line with Schmidtt’s irreverence. Case in point: "Pure Jam” opens with the line "this is the ugliest piece of bread I’ve ever eaten,” which works over pretty much any post-modern treatment. Vibes and xylophone are the melodic statements within ever changing horn lines. The beats are pretty much pre-’60s Puente style grooves, albeit with a bit of a Schaffel feel on at least one tune. This shtick hasn’t gotten boring over three albums, the music has only improved and YMO will get some love from a new audience. (Essay)