Hoochie Pooch/Space Alligator: Freddie Viaduct at Naffi H.Q., 1979-83 LP
EM Records - Japanese press, 2013
This release is a vital companion piece to Brenda Ray D'Ya Hear Me! Naffi Years, 1979-83 LP, the two releases together providing the yin-yang dichotomy essential to full comprehension of the Naffi Sandwich circle!
Delving further into the Brenda Ray/Naffi multiverse, following their releases of Brenda Ray's Walatta and her work with Naffi in D'Ya Hear Me!, here is Hoochie Pooch/Space Alligator. This release focuses on the contributions of Freddie Viaduct to the delightfully strange world of the variously-named Naffi Sandwich/Naffi, the former being the earlier incarnation of the group as a trio, the latter a duo. Less vocal-driven than the poppier D'Ya Hear Me! tracks, these mainly instrumental pieces emphasize the group's "instant or not at all" ethos, an emphasis on spontaneity and in-the-moment freedom, allied with the creative freedoms offered by the band's ever-growing mastery of their Naffi H.Q. recording studio. The strong influence of American Funk and Jamaican Roots music is clearly felt in Viaduct's forceful and spacious bass playing; Jamaica is also present in the dub-influenced use of reverb, echo and other effects. Captain Catchpole's drums and Ray's multi-instrumental work fill out the trio sound, resulting in a pleasingly vast aural territory, with the aforementioned Reggae/Dub elements blending with Euro-improv, Free Jazz and Post-Punk viruses to create a subtly mind-bending, rhythmically compelling, and texturally varied DIY dandy, described as "weird instrumental psychedelic dub-up reggae funk" by one learned aficionado. Originally released on cassette and vinyl and extremely rare, released under the Naffi Sandwich and Naffi monikers, the tracks have been compiled here, along with two previously unissued pieces and three previously unissued full-length versions. Highest recommendations!