After the release of three highly successful 12" EPs (2005's Gumbo Funk, 2009's Speakin' Nuyorican, and 2011's Ningane EP), Brooklyn's Bastard Jazz Recordings are proud to finally present the full length artist album by Captain Planet, entitled Cookin' Gumbo. This full length expounds on the vibe of his previous releases and explores the Captain's penchant for taking sounds from all corners of the globe and applying his hip-hop production sensibilities to making dancefloor + otherwise electronic music, tossed into the Captain's gumbo pot and spit out in the form of an irresistible album.
Coming from an early background in punk rock and rap music, Charlie Bethel (aka Captain Planet) began making hip-hop beats at an early age on archaic equipment, digging for samples in the usual Funk, Soul and Jazz wells - all the while developing a taste for Reggae and African music. After being offered a primetime slot playing strictly international music on WNYU's "Passport" radio show, Charlie began digging deeper and deeper into music from Africa, Jamaica, the West Indies, India, Latin America and the Far East - eventually coming into possession of the entire World music library at Lincoln Center's Public Library. Flipping these same World records the way Hip-Hop producers traditionally sample, these international sounds began creeping into the tracks that the Captain was producing for a few Hip-Hop groups at the time, before realizing these beats stood on their own and could function as a different kind of dance music, thus giving birth of his "Gumbo Funk" style of his production. His 2005 debut 12" in conjunction with Bastard Jazz Recordings sold thousands of copies in no-time, and put the Captain on the radar of up-and-coming producers to watch - leading to more EPs and remixes for the likes of Vieux Farka Toure, Alice Russell and The Pimps of Joytime - as well as seeing his music placed on HBO's Entourage and CBS's CSI: NY.
Fast forward to 2011 and the release of Cookin' Gumbo - the Captain's first full length album, collecting previous vinyl-only released favorites, as well as a slew of brand new joints. Things open up on "Ram Ad Infinitum," with it's deep & spiritual Hindu vibe, yet hard hitting head crackin' drum break, expert chops and buzzing synths. Next up is "Get You Some," a catchy sure fire radio hit with vocals from up-and-coming LA soulstress Brit Lauren on top of a tough bossa-nova inspired beat that fans of Captain Planet will recognize from his incredibly popular and oft-played remix of Erykah Badu's "Cleva." We stay for a in Brazil with both the funky "Macumba." the party starting drum'n'bass meets hip-hop in Rio vibes of "Fumando," and "Samba Radiante 2011," a total dancefloor reconstruction of a popular track from the Captain's first EP! Next we're off to Africa with "Ningane," a tough horn driven slice of hard afro beat with vocals from the Congo's Fredy Massamba (previously known for his vocals on famous South African house tunes by Bodhi Satva and Ezel), and the electro Nigerian bomb that is "Lagos Speedway." We also call on Puerto Rico ("Dame Agua," "Speakin' Nuyorican"), Japan ("One for Japan") the funky American South ("Another Dollar," "On Yer Feet") and more on this funky worldwide journey.
Captain Planet will be touring the US and UK in support for Cookin' Gumbo, with release parties happening Sept 6th in LA at the Afro Funke party at Zanzibar in Los Angeles, September 9th in Brooklyn at Southpaw with the Turntables on the Hudson crew, and Sept 16th at Afrolicious in San Francisco. The Ningane EP, a 12" leading up to the full album release is out now and has already generated a large amount of buzz on websites like Mad Decent, Pop Matters, OkayAfrica, Giant Step, Oliver Wang's Soul-Sides.com, This is Africa, and many others.