Having started as a fun band, Hobocombo (Andrea Belfi on drums, percussion and voice, Rocco Marchi on guitar, synth and voice, Francesca Baccolini on double bass and voice) in fact has become much more than a tribute band to Moondog.
They found their own sound and amuse themselves while reinterpreting Moondog’s songs in an indie pop/rock context, a vision for a general public of our times and perspectives, projecting the positive notes of Moondog.
This is no exploitation of Moondog’s heritage, but a fresh understanding what to do with these songs, Hobocombo’s way. The rather complex but playful rhythms that are slightly repetitive in nature in a pre-minimalist sense are divided into drum rhythms and the pleasant presence of the shakers, and occasionally guitar rhythms or double bass.
Hobocombo | Bird’s Lament
The melody (or sometimes, in his minimalist sense overlapping repetitions of melodic song themes) is either fronted by the Korg ms10 keyboards, the male and female voices, the electric guitar but also by the double bass again, occasionally we hear an harmonica (,a spoken word on distorted vocals). Beautiful to hear is that the female vocalist has a more ethereal folkie voice adding once more another new aspect and mood to these interpretations.
I know the family who has inherited the music of Moondog never was keen on hearing new interpretations, a band like Hobocombo proves it could inject new pop music with new life. The band not only interpreted the earlier, most known works of Moondog, they even tried one of the later songs, “Enough about Human Rights”, a stylistically different sort of interpretation with which they managed not to make a too obvious pop/rock rhythm driven song alone thanks to an electric guitar improvisation added to it.
Hobocombo | Stamping Ground
On ‘Be A Hobo’, Belfi uses his percussion to perfectly emulate the sound of the trimba, and the forlorn distant singing voices of the trio here really do inculcate the sort of wanderlust that the song reaches for.
The electric guitar really comes into its own on their version of the ‘Witch Of Endor’ ballet piece, played in a suitably astringent and minimalist style, and their ambition in tackling this complex (though short) piece is admirable. If you’re a fan of Moondog, we recommend immediate investigation.
Friday, 29 June 2012 | 21:00 CET
Ausland | Lychener Str. 60 | 10437 Berlin/Prenzlauer Berg