From the 2001 Liner Notes by: Tom Schnabel - Cafe LA / KCRW 89.9fm
I first received a copy of Spellbound's last CD, Funqueros a few years ago, and didn't pay much attention on seeing it, not because of any lack of merit, but because when you get at least 30 CDs a week - as any A&R person knows - it means audition drudgery, fast forwarding, tedious work; for every good CD there are at least five turkeys.
But i was pleasantly surprised by Spellbound. Here was a really fun band, fronted by musicians who really knew music and knew how to play and produce. And, to my delight, there was plenty of clave, funk, and nice Latin grooves in the mix.
So, here's Spellbound's long-awaited new album Respete El Pasado (Respect The Past). There are guest performances by flutist Artie Webb and other fine musicians including Plas Johnson & Johnny Polanco, some great tunes, and lots of good dancing. I think they're a terrific outfit with a bright future. Put the new CD into your sound system and see if you don't agree.
LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE (May 2001 - Volume 11/Number 4)
"Respete El Pasado/Respect The Past" (Selfish Recordings)
The second outing from this LA-based band Spellbound profiles a new production of original compositions inspired mostly in part by musicial artists of the past who have influenced the members of the band throughout the years. The multi-ethinic blend of Spellbound's members bring to the table an essence of the music of Les Baxter, Mario Bauzá, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, John Lennon, Tito Puente, Professor Longhair, Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, La Lupe and Frank Zappa. Spellbound is led by Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon, producers and composers of all the selections with Moon handling most of the lead vocals, minor percussions and some synthesizers. Thomas is the musical boy wonder handling the main duties on keyboard, Hammond B-3, programming, guitar, talk box and background vocals. Completing the spell are Charo Salinas and Sonora on vocals, Bartel Diks on percussion and Manny Silvera on bass. "Funk Contigo" gets the party going with a funky Latin groove, setting the stage for an impressive musical journey. "Suave" comes through like a techno chachachá from a cult B movie soundtrack. Reminiscent of David Byrne's Rey Momo days is the selection "Wonderful Thing," which also features a cameo by singer Question Mark on a telephone voice. Special guest artists featured in this recording include Artie Webb, trombones courtesy of Johnny Polanco and Plas Johnson, and Linda & David LaFlamme. The music and style of Spellbound is the sound brewed daily throughout the urban streets of Los Angeles. There is some clave, funk, dance, Latin grooves, and plenty of soulful goodies in this production. "Respect the Past" is a refreshing alternative to post-mainstream urban music. - RM
CAMPUS CIRCLE REVIEW (Vol.11 / Issue 05) March 14-27, 2007
SPELLBOUND "Respete El Pasado (Respect The Past)" (Selfish Recordings)
It's not always easy combining Latin beats in English-speaking songs. Ricky Martin scored big with "Livin' La Vida Loca," as did Marc Anthony with "I Need To Know." But both singers are Puerto Rican, so the transition was easier because they started out singing in Spanish. Now, take two people who are not even close to being Puerto Rican, or Spanish, or Cuban, and you have a pretty unique situation. Spellbound accepts the challenge and produces a good album filled with catchy dance tracks and easy hooks.
Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon are as far away from being Latin as a Caucasian and an Asian can get, but you couldn't tell by their fusion of Latin rhythms and funkified beats. With a lot of talented people behind them, either with vocals or playing a mean conga or flute, their Spanglish sound will please people no matter what language they speak.
Soulful songs like "Funk Contigo," "Up and Down" and the party-time, infectious "Got It Bad, Bad, Bad" meshes well with the salsa influenced "Yo Puedo Vivir Asi (I Can Live Like That)" and the melodious mid-tempo "Suave (Smooth)" with Charo Salinas' buttery voice fitting the song perfectly. The slow jam "Afro-Reina" has a deep, sexy growl with less flash, like the other tracks, but with a sultry groove.
In songs like "Up and Down" and the duo's tribute to the beauty of Latin music in "Voy A Cantar (I'm Going To Sing)," the singing is mediocre, but the music makes up for it. Spellbound proves you don't have to be Latin to appreciate the music. These guys took the time to understand the sound, beats and rhythms, and made a worthy CD as a result. - Mary Emerita Montoro
VISTA USA (Marzo de 2001 - Vol.7 / No.66)
SPELLBOUND "Respete el Pasado"
Spellbound fue formado en 1990 por Paul Thomas y Bobby Moon, un par de compositors y amigos, con el fin de canalizar su amor por la música funk, psicodélica, electrónica y latina a través de un moderno y exuberatnte vehiculo musical. Así da a luz Spellbound, los primeros explorados de la música eléctronica bailable en Los Angeles que usaron secuenciadores, máquinas de percusión eléctrica e instrumentos de MIDI mucho antes de que su uso fuera comun. Su primer disco en 1996 fue el autotitulado "Spellbound," que incluye el corte "Good Company," el mismo que recientemente llegó al #3 en MP3.com Latin Pop Chart. En 1999, Thomas y Moon producen su primer disco con distribución nacional, "Funqueros," un encendido disco que hereda su nombre por combinacion de "funk" y "salseros."
Ahora, Selfish Recordings y Spellbound unen nuevamente su talento para presentamos "Respete el Pasado / Respect the Past," un homenaje original de los artistas que han influenciado a Spellbound en su pasado musical: Les Baxter, Mario Bauzá, Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Hendrix, Beny Moré, Tito Puente, Elvis Presley y John Lennon, por sólo mencionar a algunos. Los temas fueron grabados en cerca de 50 sesiones con muchos de los más importantes músicos de ambas costas, entre ellos Mattew Jensen, Artie Webb, Johnny Polanco, Bartel Diks y Sonora. De los 10 cortes, no se pierdan las pegajosas "Suave" y "Yo Puedo Vivir Así," ambas con Charo Salinas en vocales y "Up and Down," un sexapiloso "funk" recomendado para hacer bailar hasta a los que no tienen ritmo. - Reseňas Por Pepe Márquez
“Respete El Pasado (Respect The Past) is an album of original songs dedicated to those musical artists of the past who have influenced us the most. Especially…those no longer with us, but whose music shines on: Les Baxter, Mario Bauza, Rick Danko, Jerry Garcia, Eddie Hazel, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, John Lennon, Professor Longhair, La Lupe, Richard Manuel, Harold Melvin, Benny More, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Tito Puente, Arsenio Rodriguez, Merceditas Valdes,Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Frank Zappa, and more.”
Paul Thomas & Bobby Moon
Nota De Los Productores:
“Respete El Pasado” es un album nuevo de las canciones originales dedicades a esos artistas musicales del pasado que mas nos han influenciado. Aunque hay muchos entre nosotros, quisieramos especialmente mencionar esos que ya no estan con nosotros, pero que su musica brilla encendida: Les Baxter, Mario Bauza, Rick Danko, Jerry Garcia, Eddie Hazel, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, John Lennon, Professor Longhair, La Lupe, Richard Manuel, Harold Melvin, Benny More, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Tito Puente, Arsenio Rodriguez, Merceditas Valdes,Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Frank Zappa, y mas.”
Paul Thomas & Bobby Moon