The Natural Yogurt Band - "Eastern Outro" (Tuck In With...)
Now-Again is the arm of the Stones Throw octopus typically charged with peculiar reissues, and, under different circumstances, some cheeky marketer could have come up with a superb bullshit bio for this, uh, “lost classic.” It could have been the work of some deranged missing-link library-music composer who got blazed with Esquivel, fucked Tuesday Weld and, while hot-tubbin’ with Robert Evans in the early ‘70s, mixed porn scores, cop-show themes and a particularly bold taste in syncopation to create a sinister, cerebral strain of jazz/funk soundtrack music. Because of some weird controversy involving Scientologists, Chuck Barris and a talking moped, his records are all out of print. At a Camden Town rummage sale, Prince Paul and the RZA fought over one of the few remaining copies. Both men lost teeth.
Alas, ‘tis not so. The Natural Yogurt Band is a known, contemporary entity, a duo consisting of drummer Wayne Fulwood (late of the U.K. rock band Little Barrie) and Miles Newbold. Together, they make a thick, jazzy OST R&B stew that’s weird and wonderful enough to fascinate, sans the BS. The debut Away With Melancholy sold out of 1,000 units and will supposedly never see a reprint. (OK.) For now, all we get is this half-hour double 10” collection of sketches. It’s less filling, but it’s more than satisfactory, considering all the hooks, rhythms and ideas that pop out immediately and tickle the brain for days.
Fulwood outs himself as an incorrigible math nerd - Tuck In With… could easily be relished simply as a weird rhythm hunt. But however shrewd and sophisticated, it’s still a dance record, a dance record with remarkable range. It’s lounge music for dancing and it’s dance music for lounging!
Dig the slinky cool-down number “Horn” (broken up with heavy, intermittent organ noise) and compare it with the dark hip-grinder, “A Romance In Blue.” And stay put for every last second of “Biscuits,” a series of 19 doodles averaging less than 30 seconds a crack; there’s some exquisitely eerie drone near the end.