LATIN STYLE MAGAZINE (December 2002 / Issue Number 46)
Spellbound (Selfish Recordings)
Spellbound was formed in the early 1990's by two Los Angeles musicians sharing a common love of funk, Latin, psychedelic, and electronic music. Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon wee early purveyors of electronic dance music in L.A., performing with various line-ups since their formative years. The two began producing CDs for their Selfish Recordings label starting with a self-titled CD, "Spellbound" in 1996 which contained the Latin-tinged favorite "Good Company." In 1999 they issued their first nationally distributed CD aptly titled "Funqueros." The critics were enthusiastic in their praise of the very Latin influenced disc. This CD received a great deal of airplay on Latin and Tropical stations from different parts of the world. OF special note on "Funquero" are "El Tropico" and "Ay, Que Rico Es." Two years later the duo released "Respete El Pasado / Respect The Past." It is said this CD will make you dance, even for those who don't have rhythm and are unable to move. Now, 2002 brings the release of their current CD "Tropicalifornia" (ain't that the truth), which follows their successful formula but has been refined and mastered for our benefit. - ©2002 Latin Style Magazine
YOLK MAGAZINE (September/October 2002 - Volume 9/Number 5)
Spellbound's latest is aptly titled, as it showcases the rich and diverse culture that can only be found in California. The Latin/funk album owns a feel-good attitude and leaves you tapping right along with the rhythm. As a testament to the band's uniqueness, songs are sung in both English and Spanish, sung by one Bobby Moon - a Korean American. Not bad, huh? - Kham Lam
VISTA USA (Febrero de 2003 - Vol. 9 / No. 87)
Spellbound "Tropicalifornia" (Selfish Recordings)
"El título de este álbum, aunque en inglés, lo dice todo (y la carátula también), porqueen "Tropicalifornia", el grupo Spellbound captura adecuadamente parte de la diversidad musical que caracteriza al llamado estado dorado. Con quatro álbumes en su haber, el grupo, formado a principio de los 90s por el percusionista Bobby Moon y el guitarrista Paul Thomas, tiene la experiencia necesaria para cristalizar exitosamente el sonido de esta producción. Entre los trece temas incluidos hay latin funk ("Funk Survivin'") y funk ("You Can Funk Here"); sin embargo, son los números con sabor 'a salsa' los que le dan la identidad a "Tropicalifornia". Así, tenemos "¿QUIEN LLAMÓ PÁ RUMBA?," un flamante guaguancó; "La Playa" y "La Hora," dos sabrosos sones montunos; "Where You Are," en forma de cha-cha-chá; la guaracha "La Puesta Del Sol" y "Love Sweet Love," una guajira con el tipo de sonido que popularizara Carlos Santana. Parte del sabor afrocubano en esta grabación se debe a la presencia de artistas invitados como Artie Webb (flauta), Manny Silvera (bajo), Robertito Meléndez (congas), y Johnny Polanco (tres), los que, debido a su talento y experiencia, ayudan a darla vida a muchas de las piezas. Tropicalifonia" no pretende ser un disco de "salsa" o una joya de la música afrocubana. Es solamente un disco divertido y diferente que logra representar muy bien la diversidad cultural y musical de este estado. Y eso, para mí, es suficiente." - Reseñas by: Eric Gonzáles
LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE (November 2002 - Volume 12/Number 9)
SPELLBOUND "Tropicalifornia" (Selfish Recordings)
The third outing by the Los Angeles-based group Spellbound features 13 tracks of diversified sounds, all written and arranged by Paul K. Thomas and Bobby Moon (the Spellbound twins). Tropicalifornia emerges from the vast ethnicity matrix that is the metropolis of Los Angeles. Like a tropical paradise, L.A. has tall palm trees, miles of beaches, warm and sunny weather, and lots of great music, as reflected in this recording which blends funky, urban elements, with swinging Latin rhythms, resulting in excellent party music. Paul Thomas handles all the sequencing, guitars, keyboards and background vocals, while Bobby Moon mans the frontline of the group on lead vocals and percussion. Rounding out the crew is Sonora on vocals, Robertito Meléndez on conga, Mike Daigeau on trombone, Robert Anthony Gil Jr. on saxaphone and Bartel Diks on percussion. Special guests on this recording include David LaFlamme on violin, Johnny Polanco on tres guitar, Manny Silvera on bass and Artie Webb on flute. Favorite tracks include ¿Quién Llamó Pá Rumba?, La Playa, Our Love Remains, and Love Sweet Love. (GR)
Producers' Notes :
Welcome to Tropicalifornia. With this CD we wanted to emphasize the Tropical influence mixed with Spellbound's own "Sound of Los Angeles." Imagine the climate here as warm and sunny and the atmosphere is a fun and soulful party. Like la playa at la puesta del sol...Para los bailadores both young and old...Where the old school soul spins with the Rumba...and oh, for you funk survivors, "you can funk here!" Tropicalifornia is the place you head to at the end of the day when la hora arrives. When you are and where you wanna stay because it's where your love sweet love remains. Let me hear you sing, "Too much of a good thing is never enough!" and dance like you just don't care anymore!
Well, we tried to make both the recording process and the arrangements as "organic" as we could make it. Opting for chemistry instead of computers. Keeping one to two take performances instead of overdubbing. Relying on the strength of the songs and the performers instaed of studio manipulations. There is plenty of modern technology to ensure that the quality of the sound is what's to be expected in today's world music market. So, enjoy your visit in Tropicalifornia. Dance to the music, visualize the atmosphere, sip your drink, let your imagination run wild and stay a while. Until the next time...
Bobby Moon & Paul Thomas