Barabass & The Happy Few was a musical collective from Bergen, Norway. Now defunct, the band consisted of a standard DJ-keyboard-drums-bass-guitar line-up, but they could easily be fronted by a bluegrass-guitarist one moment and a jazz trumpet player the next. Barabass & The Happy Few’s aim was to make instrumental music where humor goes along with improvisation, while keeping things funky and focused on the dance floor, especially in their wild live shows.
The Madagascar EP was originally released on very limited vinyl in 2003 and has been unearthed and unleashed digitally for the ears of 2018. The tunes combine laid back instrumentation with cool breakbeat rhythms and heaps of melody. The title cut is a smooth downtempo jam featuring a righteous breakbeat, flute blurts, a snazzy percussion breakdown, and an unexpected detour into reggae territory. “Mumbai” opens with a beguiling vocal that leads to a laid back boom-bap beat and a menagerie of smooth instrumentation. Things get more upbeat and exotic with “Yalla,” as what might be a didgeridoo and hypnotic female vocal groove over bed of electronic funk. The worldly flavor continues with “Mantra,” evoking a morning after at the ashram rave, as curious sounds flutter in and out of earshot. This EP presents a diverse stack, ready to send any DJ set on a peculiar journey.
Floored Capri (Kane FM) – “Sweet Indian flavors with standout tracks Mumbai and Mantra bringing the trippy Bristol vibe of the 90s together with the sounds of a Bollywood love story.”
Shantisan (Salted Soul) – “I really like Madagascar and Mumbai … funky and very groovy.”
Aja Allsop (Ketch A Vibe Radio Show) – “A beautiful, eclectic blend of musical goodies … filled with the sound of the world!”
Rory Hoy (Howlin’ Records) – “Beatiful release, especially Mumbai!”
Double-D (Funky Fresh Radio Show) – “Dubby downbeats with a hypnotic vibe.”
SimonG (Volcano Radio) – “Smooth, dubby ethno vibes … just right for my summery early morning sets.”
Jon Fugler (Fluke / XLNT radio show) – “A thoroughly engaging selection. Very enjoyable.”
Roger Cowell (The Joint Sessions Berlin) – “I remember these guys from back in 90’s. They were great live. These tracks are great, and their album is awesome.”
Aroto (Aroto Hip Hop Radio) – “An interesting blend of sounds with good production.”
MisterG (Green Arrow Radio Show) – “Funky, funny and far out. Try this on for size and you will come away with a smiling groove.”