Idiot Mambo – Flamingo In Limbo (SM029)
Strange Mono is announcing the release of Philly duo Idiot Mambo’s debut album “Flamingo In Limbo”. Married couple Benji Davis and Leah G. have been creating music together for the last few years usually resulting in one or two songs every few months. “All of the material was written and recorded during a manic episode in December” Benji explained about the burst of creative energy. “I’ve usually got musical ideas bouncing around in my head, but I’m inconsistent when it comes to doing anything with these ideas“. Benji says “I decided to push myself to grind out a bunch of tracks in a timebox, and Flamingo in Limbo is what I ended up with.”
All proceeds from this album are being donated to The South Philadelphia Community Fridge. A community-centered and 100% volunteer organization dedicated to giving all Philadelphians access to fresh and healthy food.
Flamingo In Limbo showcases Idiot Mambo’s songwriting range from Indie pop earworm “b tru 2 ur st8” to the subtle Nilsson-eque “Love Thyself” and “Omnibus” which does a 180 into 90’s style club beats. Throughout Flamingo In Limbo Benji and Leah make it abundantly clear just how skilled they are at crafting catchy inspired tunes. Benji describes his production process.”On occasion I’ll write out a song fully on a guitar and then build around it. More often, I’ll start with a snippet of a melody or something and get that germ into my computer. Then I’ll flesh out rhythm, instrumentation, vocals, and evolve it into something I can call ‘done’. I must’ve been feeling nostalgic about the keyboards I messed around with as a kid because I constructed most of the beats for this tape using Casio ‘Super Drums’. It’s janky, but it feels like home. The whole project is sort of like a demo tape that I got to make with my 7 year old self.”
“Some keen listeners will read between the lines and appreciate this song as a pondering on the nature of statism, or maybe a musing on social identity theory, but I’m actually just reading off the wikipedia entry for Pennsylvania. We needed an anthem”- Benji on the inspiration behind “b tru 2 ur st8”.
A textile designer by day Leah worked meticulously on the design for the album. The J-cards for the tape are printed using risograph “[I] wanted to create a riso printed zine a few years ago, but never did. This album art seemed like the perfect time to finally try riso!”. Risograph printing can be described as ‘digital screen printing’ which forces designers to take a different approach than what they are used to. “Our vision for the art always included neon pink flamingos. One cool thing about riso printing is it allows you to print fluorescent pink. We used pink, blue, and yellow ink which created some other shades when colors overlapped. We think the crunchy look of the art and printing technique echoes the sound of the album perfectly.”
Why did you pick south philly community fridge as your benefit? “No one should go hungry while others have more than they need. The South Philly Community Fridge has established six ‘free fridges’ around my neighborhood over the past few years. They’re founded on a model of take what you need, leave what you can, but they also work with local restaurants and grocers to redistribute food before it goes to waste. I appreciate that there’s no office to stand in line at, no forms to fill out, and no questions asked—just fresh food made available to people that need it. I’m also optimistic that the fridges, being visible in public spaces, will force some complacent or oblivious folks to confront the issues they address. Inequity is a seemingly intrinsic part of our culture because we’ve accepted it as such. We can cultivate the will and the means to abolish gross disparity.”