Rising Amsterdam-based, global post-punk outfit Mauskovic Dance Band — W.I.T.C.H. touring member Nicola Mauskovic, Donnie Mauskovic, Marnix Mauskovic and Mano Mauskovic — can trace their origins back to school age, with all of the members growing up in the Amsterdam metropolitan area: Nicola Mauskovic is half-Dutch and half-Sicilian and spend his formative years in nearby Haarlem. Embryonic teenage chops were later fleshed out by playing weekday jam sessions in Amsterdam bars among “1960s rockers and Latin groovers”.
With the release of their full-length debut, 2019’s Shedance Hall, Mauskovic Dance Band quickly established a madcap sound and approach intent on expanding musical universes by flipping global music traditions and creating new, sound-system stylized, synth-driven dance floor experiments. Shedance Hall saw the band crafting a frenetic mix of elements of Colombian champeta, Ghanian highlife and spaced-out disco.
The Dutch outfit’s sophomore album Bukaroo Bank is slated for an October 28, 2022 release through Swiss purveyors of weird and funky global music, Bongo Joe Records. Bukaroo Bank reportedly sees the band reinventing their sound and approach with the material drawing from the industrial sounds of New York, post punk and the pioneers of electronic music, but at the center of it all, the material is guided by the work of legendary dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Recorded in 2020 during one of the Netherlands’ intermittent lockdowns, the four members of the band, plus second drummer Chris Bruining, a.k.a. Juan Hundred wanted to step up from their home base Garage Noord, an ad hoc space for recording, practice and after-hours parties. They chose Kasper Frenkel’s Electric Monkey. His stacks of what Nicola calls “very strange equipment,” and ability to sprinkle magic dub dust over everything, suited the vibe perfectly. The results glow and shiver with assembled synth sounds, rhythms spliced and echoed in a way that pays homage to Lee Perry.
Frenkel’s role in the creative process was just one way in which Bukaroo Bank saw the Amsterdam-based outfit function as a full-fledged band. Previously, songwriting was more or less handled by the band’s founder Nicola Mauskovic, who would bring songs to the band’s other members to be recorded. But this time, the material began in the studio from unstructured jams firmed up by discipline and edited down to the final 12 song album. However, one facet of their creative process that has remained is their tendency to build everything from the drums up.
Bukaroo Bank‘s first single, album title track “Bukaroo Bank” is a trippy and dance floor friendly synthesis of Lee “Scratch” Perry dub, no wave and post-punk centered around skittering beats, a sinuous bass line, wiry bursts of guitar, shouted mantra-like call and response vocals and wailing saxophone drenched in cavernous reverb. The end result is a song that sounds and feels as though it came from Jupiter sometime in the 22nd or 23rd Century.
The band is currently touring here in the States, and the tour includes a highly anticipated stop at this year’s Desert Daze. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
MAUSKOVIC DANCE BAND
Sept 16 – No Fun – Troy, NY
Sept 17 – The Drake – Amherst, MA
Sept 18 – Monkey House – Winooski, VT
Sept 20 – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH
Sept 21 – The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
Sept 22 – Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI
Sept 24 – FORMAT FESTIVAL – Bentonville, AR
Sept 25 – Rubber Gloves – Denton, TX
Sept 26 – Sahara Lounge – Austin, TX
Sept 28 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 29 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
Oct 1 – Desert Daze – Lake Perris, CA