27 January 2018 (released)
27 January 2018
Love funk? This probably hits the funk places that no other outfit on the planet can reach.
I make no secret of the fact that I loved ‘Volume 1’ with a real passion when it was released a couple of years back but this take the funk a few steps further – oh hell, a dozen steps further!
The recipe is similar – bring the best musicians and singers from all sorts of different outfits together to play songs that epitomise the term ‘funk’.
We are talking about the likes of Speech (Arrested Development), Larry Dunn (Earth Wind & Fire), Ryan Martinie (Mudvayne), Greg Thomas (Parliament-Funkadelic), Fred Wesley (James Brown Band) and that is only on track 1! All this curated and produced by John Heintz and Frank Mapstone..
Every track has its coteries of stellar names but the amazing thing is that it is the songs that are actually the stars here. It doesn’t matter if you have great players and fabulous singers, if the songs don’t cut it then you might as well give up and go home.
The album has so many different styles and feels that it almost turns into a funk odyssey but it stays coherent and every track is a wonder all of its own.
Right from the off with ‘Rock It’ it grooves along merrily with a heavy and dirty bassline building alongside the funky keyboards until the horns come in and Speech’s rap and vocals come to the fore. It’s dirty, nasty and completely captivating. One track and you’re hooked.
I love ‘Groovy Nasty’ featuring RonKat Spearman (Katdelic & Parliament-Funkadelic), all punchy keys, staccato horns and outrageous drums from Dumstaphunk’s Alvin Ford Jr – just sends you dancing around the room for a perfect 3 and a half minute workout.
The pace slows for ‘Words’ which features Laura Reed’s beautiful vocals. A gorgeous and sexy piece that just holds you warm. The flute piece from Karl Denson (Rolling Stones & Tiny Universe) is ethereal and so light, lifting the song up and really making the number flow sweetly.
The first number I heard from the album was ‘Mantra’ with Kendra Foster’s vocals at the front and it still holds as one of the best soul songs I’ve heard recently. Speech gives the song a strong rap but it is just a supremely funky piece – as someone commented, they don’t make soul like this anymore.
It wouldn’t be difficult to write a piece about every track on the album but you probably owe it to yourself to investigate it and find your own favourites. From first to last, this is an awesome album.