‘Zombie Mandingo’ by Larry Manteca | Album Premiere
Exclusive album premiere of ‘Zombie Mandingo’ by Larry Manteca, out February 9, 2024 via Four Flies Records.
After over a decade as a digital-only album, Larry Manteca’s ‘Zombie Mandingo’ gets its first vinyl release, making a fresh comeback in a completely renewed version. Like Manteca’s previous full-length releases, this album too is conceived as a soundtrack to a non-existent exploitation film, drawing inspiration from the classic Italian B-movies of the 1970s. This time, cinematic references encompass both the zombies found in Lucio Fulci’s horrors and the cannibalistic adventures directed by Umberto Lenzi, creating a strange mash-up between Jacopetti’s Mondo Cane and Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust. The setting is an unspecified island in the Atlantic Ocean, nestled halfway between equatorial Africa and the Caribbean. A handful of Western tourists, having miraculously survived a plane crash, collide with the age-old rituals of an indigenous tribe who perform human sacrifices to appease their local god—the Zombie Mandingo of the title—a monstrous creature with superhuman strength, half Haitian zombie, half African cannibal. This fusion of genres and cultures is reflected in the music. Manteca creates horror-tinged exotica that evokes and re-imagines the soundscapes of distant lands and dreamlands, from Africa to South America, to the mysterious islands in the Bermuda Triangle. He boldly and brilliantly combines Les Baxter with Fela Kuti, Joe Zawinul with Piero Umiliani, Janko Nilovic with KPM libraries, sprinkling the mixture profusely with psychedelia, Afro-groove, and Italian soundtrack vibes.
The album’s nine tracks, recorded between 2013-2019, were meticulously remixed and remastered in 2023. This process made it possible to add new solo instruments, including the Fender Rhodes on the title track. The result is a captivating, kaleidoscopic journey taking us into the sonic depths of the tropical jungle to unveil its dark secrets and surrender to the primary emotions behind every B-movie: action, adventure, erotic desire, and fear.
The album is embellished with a 650-gram hardcover sleeve featuring breathtaking artwork by Matteo Fumagalli.