Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band - Was Dog A Donut



Via Fleamarket Funk: "the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band .. led by Bj√∂rn Wagner, the founder of The Mighty Mocambos, had spent some time in Trinidad & Tobago and fell in love with the steel drum, mastered it, and had a special drum made by master drum maker Louis C. Smith. ... enter Danny Akalepse. The two bonded over music and records, and after a 45 release on the Plain Jane label (“Bacao Suave”), they’ve joined forces to put out a full length called 55 on Big Crown.

Full of interesting covers (John Holt’s “Police In Helicopter”, Faith Evans “Love Like This”) and this track, Cat Stevens’ “Was Dog A Doughnut”, as well as tough as nails originals that stand out on their own, this full length has raised eyebrows since it was announced it was coming out.

The project was recorded to analog 8-track in Hamburg, Germany at Mocambo’s Studio and will be available on March 18th on a special 2-LP set as well as CD." Listen below:




Kiwi musician Bruce Lynch played with Cat Stevens for several years in the 1970s, on two world tours, and in the studio on his 1977 album "Izitso", which features the song Was Dog A Donut. He's also credited as co-writer for that song (his wife Suzanne Lynch also featured on the album).

That song was a DJ favourite with the likes of  Jellybean Benetiz and Carl Craig, ans was sampled by DITC, KMD, Jaylib, and  Fearless Four.

Lynch talked about it with Trevor Reekie for NZ Musician:

" A turning point for me was 1974 at Air London Studio. A Stevie Wonder track was playing as I walked past the open control room door. It was bass part that had me intrigued. It was not coming from a stringed instrument.

This prompted me to buy my first synthesiser, the ARP 2600. I later used this to program drums and bass sounds for a Cat Stevens’ track called Was Dog A Donut.

Some 30 years later, I was surprised to hear it described as one of the first ‘techno’ recordings and other musical labels, the meanings of which escape me."

Cat Stevens appears to have been equally surprised by the track's far-reaching influence, when Questlove from The Roots talked to him about it when Stevens guested on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, back in 2009.

“We talked about an obscure album cut from 1977 called ‘Was Dog a Doughnut?’ It was really just him creating a filler cut, experimenting with some electronic instruments – he f#cked around, man, and created a B-boy classic. What was just him messing around for four minutes in the studio wound up being a staple in the hip hop world, which he was very shocked to discover.”

Bruce Lynch talks more on the ARP sequencer he used, over at RBMA Daily

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