Swing Family's Music Force is dramatic mid-80s synth-funk. From the maverick mind of Sauveur Mallia, it's a thrilling and uniquely brilliant album from start to finish. It's undoubtedly known and revered for its unbelievable standout track, "Mission Africa". Those that know, know. And if you don't know, get to know. It's the reason this record has been hugely sought-after for the best part of two decades.
Originally released on Tele Music in France in 1985 but now tear-inducingly rare, this is the definition of "a welcome reissue."
Gentleman And Musician
Swing Family's Music Force is dramatic mid-80s synth-funk. From the maverick mind of Sauveur Mallia, it's a thrilling and uniquely brilliant album from start to finish. It's undoubtedly known and revered for its unbelievable standout track, "Mission Africa". Those that know, know. And if you don't know, get to know. It's the reason this record has been hugely sought-after for the best part of two decades. Originally released on Tele Music in France in 1985 but now tear-inducingly rare, this is the definition of "a welcome reissue."
Swing Family is basically a supergroup of French Funk royalty. Led by French disco lord and Arpadys maestro Sauveur Mallia, they were augmented by trombonist Alex Perdigon from legendary French funk rock collective Godchild, trumpeter Kako Bessot from funky fusion group Synthesis and saxophonist Pierre Holassian, a member of Giant, Janko Nilovic's French jazz orchestra. So, about as heavyweight as it gets for funky French goodness. Mallia handles, of course, bass duties throughout, as well as utilising his arsenal of synths including his E-mu, Yamaha Dx7, Roland MSQ 700, Mini Moog and Oberheimm.
The maximalist disco fusion of "Exorcistor" is perhaps a bit too 80s French cheese for most tastes, so either linger on its singular style or head straight to the soundtracky typo-funk of "Greewich Boulevard". A deep, swaggering powerhouse, it comes on like mid-80s Chic jamming on the set of Beverly Hills Cop with Kashif. Yes, *that* good. It's followed by the vital "Music Force", a synthy, sleazy instrumental full of sax and flute and those 80s drum fills. Just the right side of acceptable.
OR! You can even choose to forget all the rest and just stick "Mission Africa" straight on. A rumbling, strutting, afro-cosmic low-profile banger. The slick drums hit hard, the synth strings warm things up, overlapping horns add swagger whilst electric guitar flourishes and a chanted refrain sit in the mix quite perfectly. A track that's almost impossible to describe and do justice to. You just need to hear it. Preferably as you saunter into your favourite after-hours club, after spotting all your friends at once, as you cut a swathe to the bubbling dance floor. A track quite like no other, it makes you sit up within its first bars and, to us at least, sound like something you'd have heard on a Print Thomas mix from the mid 00s. Basically, it's cosmo-galactic.
The B Side opens with "Musical Stars", an oh-so-80s funk-lite track which, at times, sounds like something Daft Punk may have left on the cutting room floor during their Discovery sessions. Another unimpeachable favourite of ours is the druggy brilliance of "Gentleman & Musician". You can almost hear the white powder through the speakers, as soaring, acidy synths, slick, heavy beats and the irresistible interplay of the primo horn players create a real sleazy wonder.
"Film Action" follows, a galloping horn-heavy synth romp with moments of extreme bass breakdown brilliance before the drama-synths of "Episode Double" take things up another notch as it oscillates between gorgeous funky horns and urgent bleepy magic. Super tense, super funky and super stylish. Just ace. The elctro-tinged horn workout "Fatal Lady" closes things out majestically.
The audio for Music Force has been remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring the punch of Sauveur's bass and those sick drums come through to the fullest. Pete Norman’s expert skills has made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the original and iconic sleeve - complete with perky Liberty Belle - has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.