For the past decade, Medellin, Colombia-based DJ and producer Benjamin Woods has excelled making reverent disco-funk jams inspired by Afrobeat and Latin grooves. While he got his start flipping samples and helming dance parties in his native Boston as a member of Whiskey Barons, his solo work as Bosq is more expansive and danceable, relying on live-instrumentation and a revolving door of collaborators from around the world. His 2018 LP Love & Resistance is a perfect encapsulation of his genre-and-border defying approach, enlisting artists like soul veteran and Curtis Mayfield collaborator Nicole Willis and Beninese singer and former Fela Kuti affiliate Kaleta, along with many others throughout the album.
But since the release of Love & Resistance, Bosq’s upcoming releases have been in limbo since his previous label Fania was bought out last summer. Because of this, he's decided to launch his own label Bacalao with a pair of excellent and endlessly funky covers of the Fatback Band, the iconic New York City soul-funk band that has been extensively sampled by everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Kendrick Lamar and Bjork. He reunites with Kaleta on both his renditions the band’s 1973 single “Goin’ To See My Baby” as well as their 1980 ripper “Backstrokin’” and the results couldn’t be more infectious.
Recorded between Bogotá, Colombia and New York City, Bosq recruited La Bogotá Orquesta Afrobeat to provide horn arrangements over his skeletal synth and percussion. He explains to Noisey over the phone, “The horn line in "Goin' to See My Baby" is based around the scatting that the Fatback Band had done in the original track. Those vocals really stuck out me because it was clear he was trying to replicate a James Brown trumpet riff with his voice.” In New York, Kaleta, who also performs in Super Yamba, provided vocals on both covers, reinterpreting the lyrics in English, French, and Yoruba.
For Bosq, who plans to self-release more music on his label in the coming months, says reuniiting with a music veteran like Kaleta was a no-brainer. “It's really important also to not just be the white dude making afrobeat-influenced music without sharing any of the possible benefits I'm going to get with the originators,” he says. “I think everyone who does music like that owes it to the people who came before.” You can pre-order the 12-inch here and track Bosq as he announces tour dates throughout Europe and the U.S. this summer. Listen below.