July 14, 2006

Señor Coconut & His Orchestra - Behind the Mask Mixes

Chile’s Señor Coconut (aka Uwe Schmidt/Atom Heart) took Yellow Magic Orchestra’s 1980 techno-pop zinger, “Behind the Mask” and mutated it into a Latin-jazz jaunt that sounds 50 years old, and possibly had countless senior citizens learn to tango to it in community centers from Boise to Des Moines. Al Usher’s remix is faithful to the YMO original: he indulges in nifty, twerp-techno on a rusty Casio and roboticized vocals that are slightly sexier than airport announcements. Ricardo Villalobos’ remix first strips the orchestra down to a few brass blurts and a fine, punchy Latin-electro rhythm that may be too ethnic for the Red State cha-cha circuit. But Villalobos curiously “leaves for the bar” halfway into the track, and once Señor’s orchestra comes back in, it doesn’t sound that different from the original. A letdown, but I’ll forgive him if he gets a hangover tomorrow morning.

Essay / AY 07
[Cameron Macdonald]