It’s very hard to research the name “Mandingo” without coming across movies from the 70s and porn actors, but thanks to the wonderfully helpful allmusic.com, I discovered this particular Mandingo is not the man on the cover brandishing a sinister-looking, decidedly non-traditional kora (oh no, wait, it’s a gravikord!), but an Afro-funk supergroup composed of him (his name is Foday Musa Suso), Bill Laswell, Jeff Bova, and Nicky Skopelitis. The KCMU folks might have had a similarly difficult time digesting this record, but it seems in the end they were won over.
“I was tempted to judge this ‘book’ by its cover, and, indeed, it is highly produced, but I think they’ve used the technology well instead of being victims of it & successfully blended african, hip-hop, & ‘ethnic’ (awful word) sounds in an engaging way. I wish there was more variety between cuts, but this is still a solid M. His instrument is beautiful. P.S. Read the credits. — Nola”
“”First I look at the purse…’ — The Contours”
“‘First I stare at the stick…’ — Nola”
“Technology? Makes this kind of music, Nola. Rock with it!”