Saâda Bonaire is the fantastic disco/world music project duo out of Bremen, Germany that was never meant to be.
Formed by Bremen DJ Ralf Behrendt in 1982, Saâda Bonaire was a unique concept band centered around two sultry female vocalists (Stefanie Lange and Claudia Hossfeld) who would be joined by dozens of local musicians culled from the local immigration center.
Originally signed to EMI in 1982, their first and only single, “You Could Be More As You Are” was produced in Kraftwerk’s studio by legendary Matumbi, Slits and Pop Group producer Dennis Bovell. There they were joined by jazz icon Charlie Mariano (previous collaborations include Gong, Stan Kenton and Charles Mingus) who lent his talents on saxophone. The resulting sound was a unique fusion of husky female vocals, Eastern instruments, dub and African music aesthetics, drum computers and synthesizers.
Label and Rights
1984. Just as the “would-be” hit single was due for release, a scandal struck at the EMI office. Saâda Bonaire’s A&R man, notoriously famous for exceeding his budget, was in a constant tug of war with the EMI finance department. He had previously exceeded his budget 5 times over on Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” and was more than 3 times over budget for Saâda Bonaire; this was the last straw. Fed up, EMI released “You Could Be More As You Are”, but pulled the plug on all further promotional support for Saâda Bonaire. The group disappeared from public eye soon after.
For this release Saâda Bonaire have compiled the two songs from the original EMI single plus eleven previously unreleased songs that were recorded between 1982 and 1985. And though these tracks were recorded nearly 30 years ago, they feel wholly modern. Melding striking female vocals similar to those of Chairlift’s Caroline Polacheck with rhythmic disco beats ala Glass Candy or Chromatics, Saâda Bonaire feel at home in the current musical environment.
Saâda Bonaire will be available on CD and Gatefold Deluxe Double LP. Also included with this release are previously unpublished photos and in-depth interviews with the band members.