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Right Time

Maluco

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Album Review

Calling one's introductory track for an album "Doped" is almost begging the question musically, but Maluco knows how to deliver, with swirls of flanged feedback and distanced singing echoing out over a sprightly, plucked banjo line and head-nodding drums. If the goal was to create the ultimate acid-folk track, they might well have succeeded — but to their credit, they then add boppy background vocals and dub bass, and somehow make it all work. With that as a calling card, the three-piece act, a collaboration between the duo Mambotur (whose singer Argenis Brito is well known for his work on the Señor Coconut albums) and German musician Max Loderbauer plays around with a variety of combinations and recombinations much like "Doped" throughout Right Time, not interested in either a specific genre exercise or some sort of conceptual statement from the sound of it. So if the combination of country twang guitars and near-Mogwai like mood music shading into loungey funk on "Evandro," and the spacy keyboard melodies on the title track are all part of a grand plan, it doesn't feel like it — a strength! About the strongest commonality is the use of very dub-specific rhythms as noted — the echo alone would showcase that — and Brito's singing sometimes suggests, if indirectly, the sound of prime Dennis Brown or Horace Andy as a result. Meantime, the concluding song is a lovely touch — a reinterpretation of "The River," one of the songs from John Cale and Brian Eno's 1990 collaboration album Wrong Way Up, which seems to have become a secret touchstone in recent years for many artists.

Right Time, Maluco
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