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[image-1] Instrumental group Dr. Mambo’s latest LP, Mambophone, is another interesting step for the mask-clad hip-hop favorites. The newest album continues the cinematic flare found on Corridors, released in February, but exchanges the spooky vibe for a more light-hearted and jazzy outing.

“For us that was an interesting direction to go after going dark on Corridors,” drummer/co-producer Stephen Massar says.

[embed-1] “College Lounge” and album closer “Heat” exhibit the classic hip-hop beats and unique keyboard grooves that have made Dr. Mambo a popular backing group in the rap scene. The latter track’s sparse instrumentation uses silence to its advantage, adding a level of mystery to every smartly placed guitar note.

“Country Hams” and “Dust” remind the audience of the band’s eclectic tastes, using world and baroque influences, respectively. “When It Goes Down” is perfect fodder for an action film trailer, another far cry from the horror movie sounds of Corridors.
[content-1] Dr. Mambo makes leaps in their songwriting on Mambophone, focusing less on static grooves and more on the song’s progression. “Sunsets in West Texas” is a beautiful tune that utilizes serene acoustics and sudden record scratches and samples to mix things up.

“The tone shifted naturally,” Massar says about the LP’s jazzy sound. “The opening track, ‘By the Purple Pond,’ was mostly improvised and written during sound checks when we played our first few shows. So, yeah, those notes just kind of came out.”