#funkyfriday — Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band / "Jungle Fever"

You’d think a band with the chops of Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band would be based in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, a sort of home base for steel drum music. But you’d be wrong. They actually hail from the port city of Hamburg. In Germany.

Distance be damned, the Bacao crew clearly knows their way around the steel drum, as evidenced by 55 (as in 55 gallon drum; get it?), their first full album after 10 or so years of releasing singles. Led by Bjorn Wagner, who spent some time in T&T and fell in love with the instrument, the band has taken steel drum music in several directions at once, boldly reinterpreting classic soul tracks as well as modern hip/hop (their cover of 50 Cent’s “Pimp” is what attracted the attention of their label, Big Crown Records).

[You’ll hear Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band and sounds of a similar nature on several Conduit channels, including TerraSonic, GYSHIDO, SoulTerrain and, if the wind’s blowing in the right direction, UPbeats. You’ll hear all kinds of underheard, overlooked music of all types across all of Conduit’s eight channels. Sign up for 10 free sets and hear what’s special about music curated by humans for humans.]

Yes, Hamburg may be 4700 miles from Trinidad, but…so what. We’re guessing you may have heard “Jungle Fever” before, but probably not quite like this version. When they’re hitting you, it doesn’t really matter where grooves this deep originate. Where they take you is what counts.