funk music


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: DNCE’s Perfect Debut Album

Posted by funkatop On November - 21 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Share

DNCE AlbumDNCE has just released the greatest pop record in years and earned the first 5 afro award that we’ve issued to an album in a long time.

For those not in the know, DNCE is a project by Joe Jonas who has put together a group of electro-pop masterful virtually unknowns who are brilliant and skillful in every sense of the word.

Among all of the pop garbage that falls on and off the airwaves, very few songs have staying power for any length of time. DNCE‘s debut single from their Swaay EP called Cake By The Ocean stayed on many charts and lived for well over a year on replay. Despite the fact that the Swaay EP featured some other amazing (and in our view, even better) tracks like Toothbrush and Pay My Rent which were just as catchy and airplay-worthy although the one remaining EP track Jinx did not make it onto the full album.

In typical record label fashion, they were given the green light for a full album after the undeniable success of the Swaay EP and people that may have expected the full album to be littered with filler to tie the strong elements together would be pleasantly surprised to find a wall to wall album packed with potential hits and over the top sick ear-worms.

The self titled album which found its way onto most of the music services last week is an end of the year blessing for pop music lovers. Joe Jonas‘ vocals are pitch perfect with the backing band of Jack Lawless on energetic drums, Cole Whittle on thick thumping bass, and the beautiful JinJoo Lee on frenetic guitar which is all impeccably put together in beautifully crafted electro-pop perfection.

There are so many highlights and strong songs, that if the singles were strategically released, this album could live for a few years on the radio and never feel old. Every song has longevity potential and a “this is going to be a hit” feel.

dnce

And while this seems like over the top praise for a top 40 style album, the last time we blathered on about a great pop album was Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox and we’re confident that we were just as right then as we are now.

Whether it’s the fantastic cuts like the flowy bounce of Toothbrush, the Smash Mouth feel of Blown, the earworm inducing Good Day, the kinetic energy of Naked, or even the breezy calm of the acoustically laden Truthfully, you can’t lose with this self titled album from DNCE.

It is without reservation that we grant DNCE‘s self titled debut album the illustrious 5 afro award. Just because it’s that damn good. Buy it now.

5 out of 5 afros

Review: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

Posted by funkatop On November - 18 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Share

Bruno Mars 24K Magic AlbumA couple of years ago, we were smitten with Bruno Mars release of Unorthodox Jukebox which we predicted would result in a wealth of hits. His new release of 24K Magic goes to the next level.

To start, Bruno Mars is not ashamed in the least about borrowing from the funk pioneers that led the way before him. Even though last year’s Uptown Funk was under the umbrella of Mark Ronson, it awoke a beast in Bruno Mars soul and 24K Magic is ultimately the continuance of that 80’s funk and 90’s ballad resurgence. Not mad.

The opening title track song (and first single) 24K Magic borrows heavily from Cameo keyboard funk right down to the chorus riff and he continues to borrow from his predecessors throughout the entirety of the album.

Even the collections’ two slower tracks called Versace On The Floor and the closing Too Good To Say Goodbye sound exactly like tracks that would have fallen off of a New Kids On The Block recording session.

The structure of the 24K Magic album has a very distinct fault line with the first 4 songs of the album being a decidedly obvious hat tip to late 80’s funk and the last 5 songs rehashing 90’s boy bands medium grooves and ballads.

While most online reviews we’ve seen have been harsh, we think it’s simply a few more funk songs short of perfect. If the previous releases of Uptown Funk, Locked Out Of heaven, and Treasure had been housed within this collection, the discussion would simply be how many awards he would scavenge for 2017.

For folks who love the nostalgia of the late 80 and early 90’s, this album is a great one. And even though it doesn’t feel filled up or complete, you can certainly expect to hear nearly all 9 of these songs on the radio waves over the next 6-9 months and you’ll almost certainly hear a few select cuts on FUNKEDUP and that’s no doubt.

So get ready for Bruno world again in 2017.

Review: Kendra Foster (2016)

Posted by funkatop On July - 25 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Share

Kendra Foster albumFor many, Kendra Foster may not be a household name to most, but if you’re a funk fan, you’ve seen her and you know her work. She has sat in the shadows singing background for some of the most prolific names in funk from George Clinton to Parliament Funkadelic to D’Angelo and many others.

Whenever she appeared on the projects of other musicians, her jazz inflections and amazing presence were always breathtaking.

From her prowess on songs like Mike Zabrin‘s The Other Side, Sub Swara‘s Nectar, The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown track Mantra or even just being in the background of Parliament’s Live at Montreux, her voice is undeniable.

And many don’t know that she was essentially a co-writer on D’Angelo‘s award winning Black Messiah for many of the songs and according to a recent interview with Complex, it won’t be the last we’ll hear from D’Angelo and the Vanguard in the near future.

So it was only a matter of time before she decided to do a full blown album of her own and it is one of the best albums we’ve heard this year.

Where 2011 gave us her first “official” album produced by George Clinton entitled Myriadmorphonicbiocorpomelodicrealityshapeshifter, it seemed like a great collection of tunes and was simply euphoric. It was a very good sign of things to come.

And came it did. This time around we have a brand new self titled album Kendra Foster and it is this side of magic. And by this side of magic, we mean that you get to the magic line and then cross over into bliss.

The new album is a collaboration with Kelvin Wooten who has already garnered a name for himself with production work with Raphael Saadiq, Jill Scott, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, and Anthony Hamilton. The two have collaborated for many years and the album has been brewing for nearly a decade.

The 12 song collection is filled with vibes that only Jill Scott and Erykah Badu had created in the past where you just sat back and soaked in the grooves. Kendra Foster’s new album was done with such focus and verve, tracks thick with fat bass riffs, intricate vocal melodies, booming audio, and enough vocal gymnastics to soothe the savage melody beast.

The opening poppy track Respect is reminiscent and spray painted with a Janelle Monae level of energy complete with satisfying horn lines. Then followed by Promise To Stay Here that gives you a taste of the funky soul bass licks that you can expect to thump with throughout the remainder of the album.

There is so much to enjoy from all of the tracks on the album along with a lot of surprises like stutter stepped songs like Potency, lustful jams, and even Kendra’s beautiful voice filtered through Autotune on the closing Take Our Time.

We can only suggest that you move very quickly to check out this album and pick up a copy for yourself. It’s one of the first fantastic funk soul albums we’ve heard in a long while that serves as a complete collection of super solid tunes.

You can guarantee that it will have a place on the Best of 2016 list at the end of the year. Get it now on Amazon or also on iTunes.

Exclusive Interview: Analog Son

Posted by funkatop On June - 30 - 2016 1 COMMENT
Share

Analog Son

Mr. Christopher sat down with Jordan Linit of Analog Son via Skype to talk about their upcoming tour that has them all over the Northwest including the upcoming Arise Festival.

Mr. Christopher picked up on Analog Son back more than two years ago in 2014 (see his original review here) and immediately began getting the word out to people who could flip the switch for them including John Heintz of the Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown and also reaching out to The New Mastersounds.

Here we are two years later and Analog Son is actively playing and touring with The New Mastersounds, Lettuce, Orgone, and others. Chris finally sits down and discusses their future, live recordings and much more only right here at Funkatopia. Nowhere else.

Review: Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution

Posted by funkatop On March - 22 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Share

Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution

Wow.

There are certain times when you see a spark of brilliance burn its way onto the world stage and then just as quickly flicker out and disappear. Not many can continue to follow an incredible debut album with a just as impressive sophomore album and then keep the booms coming album after album that they eclipse the previous efforts. Enter Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution.

The beautifully talented bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding dug deep into her jazz funk sensibilities bringing out a breathtaking collection of songs that will take you down memory lane. But not because these are standards from the past, but because you can hear bits and pieces of influence from Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Thundercat, and a whole lot of Wayne Shorter.

During an interview with NPR she expounded on the album title indicating that the D+ was essentially a barely passing grade and can be seen as either an evolution or a de-evolution, but that we’re barely pushing through to the next level.

Whether you want to see it as devolution and evolution, and the place where they co-exist without one diminishing the other, or could look at it like barely having the tools that you need, but having to move forward, and having to keep moving,” Spalding says. “What do you do when you don’t really have all the tools that you need, but you have to survive? And you need to grow and expand?

I think that the best answer to that question of ‘What do you do?’ is, you get creative with the tools that you’ve got. I’m excited by that skill and the fruits of that intention — of that decision.

Emily is her middle name and this musical journey is very heavy jazz leaning and her insanely talented bass licks really are front and center in this musical masterpiece. No, really. It’s a masterpiece. The project focuses on her alter-ego Emily who she sees as a person that is the beneficiary of her hindsight. She is everything that Esperanza could have been, the good decisions she could have made, and the lessons she never learned.

She tells NPR, “I can start by saying that my personal relationship to Emily is that this is a spirit, or a being, or an aspect who I met, or became aware of. I recognize that my job — and it’s ongoing — is to be her arms and ears and voice and body. To say what she came to say, you know?

That’s my relationship with Emily — I see her and am informed by her, and recognize her spirit and her perspective. I get to be the researcher, the implementer and executor of that vision. It feels like I’m a side-person to her — I’m her artistic development team.

Through that process, I’m getting to know her more. I ask to Emily, ‘So, what did you come here to say? What do you want to do? What do you want to do that I didn’t do? Who are you and why are you here?

Esperanza then takes us on a journey through Emily’s life complete with off-putting forays into the realm of Flying Lotus to the perfect balance of sways and grooves. Powerful layered vocals marinating in-between snare shuffles and Sting-esque bass pops, walks and stiff riffs. Yeah, that’s how hard it is to describe what you’re listening to here.

It’s the moments where you let your guard down only to have the music drop out in songs like Ebony and Ivy where all of a of a sudden a monotone speech drones in, “…fill our minds with double standard vision by degrees we banish slaving over someone else’s questions test our problems and abolish all en-slavery and good grammar and forbid shovels picking your hammers and the starching linen to become the educated ones wrapped in them...” (we’ll let you hear it in its entirety for yourself.)

Funk The Fear is obviously one of our favorites with the intricate runs and slick bass licks and stutter stab drums and tasty fills complete with “Funk The Fear, Live Your Life” call outs.

album-coverThis is one of those albums that goes all over the musical landscape but one where you can never be prepared for what’s next as it jumps from one extreme to the other with a lot of musical theatrics similar to her live show.

There are tons of unexpected moments which has pretty much been Esperanza’s specialty from the day where she quietly walked on the Grammy stage in 2011 and stole away Justin Bieber‘s Best New Artist award. It was the first year that people who knew of Esperanza Spalding thought that it was one the few years that the Grammy’s got it right and you can guarantee that it won’t be the last time you hear her name.

20 Best Funk Albums of 2015

Posted by funkatop On January - 12 - 2016 21 COMMENTS
Share

By popular demand, the 2015’s best funk albums!

It’s GREATLY IMPORTANT that you realize that your favorite album might not be here because a) we only pick 20 and b) we may not have even heard of the one you like. So if we missed yours, PLEASE share it with everyone in the comments area.
The 2014 post from last year had loads of great comments of bands we missed and we don’t expect this year to be any different.

Like last year, we purposely did NOT add numbers in order to make sure that all are created equal in their funkiness. Enjoy this list, complete with links to check the albums on Amazon, iTunes and in some cases even get and listen to the albums for free!

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!


 

lettuceLettuce – Crush (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

This live jam funk band has funked millions of faces for over 20 years and this follow up to 2012’s Fly album, this has been well worth the wait and a MUST to add to your funk collection. Not to mention a feature film focusing on the band is due out soon.

There aren’t many funk bands that have been together longer than Lettuce and when you hear the newest offering from this incredible band, you can hear it loud and clear.


 

Rock Candy Funk Party - Groove Is KingRock Candy Funk PartyGroove Is King (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Rock Candy Funk Party returns to the list for a 2nd year in a row with another funk masterpiece. This all star band features players like guitar Gods Joe Bonnamassa and Ron DeJesus, superstar drummer Tal Bergman, and bass thumpmaster Mike Merrit.

Outside of their solo work, they’ve also collectively shared the stage with everyone from Prince to Chaka Khan to Stevie Ray Vaughn to BB King. Full Funkatopia review.


Souljazz Orchestra - Resistance

Souljazz OrchestraResistance (Amazon | iTunes | Website)

We could explain it, but they do it best:
Resistance is a fierce, hard-hitting album, influenced in part by the dancefloor sounds of Francophone Africa and the French Caribbean – bringing in fresh elements of Coupé-Décalé, Zouk, and Ndombolo to the band’s heavy mix of Afro, Soul and Jazz styles – as well as powerful lyrics that deliver biting social commentary alongside messages of hope.”


 

Vulfpeck - Thrill of the ArtsVulfpeck – Thrill Of The Arts (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The always on the cutting edge four piece band had even released a silent album in 2014  called Sleepify. Thrill Of The Arts is far from silent with stabbing bass line riffs, haunting keyboards and bright production work.

Vulfpeck came onto our radar thanks to Funkatopia fans of our 204 list comment area and that got them a spot on our list this year!

 


Freekbass - CincinnatiFreekbassCincinnati (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Freekbass makes a return to the best of list for two years in a row now with his new album Cincinnati. The outspoken bass player has shared the stage with tons of funk legends like Bernie Worrel, Bootsy Collins and others.

Everytime they go into the studio they get better and better and now 6 albums into it, they churn out another funkafied biscuit.


 

Prince, HitnRun Phase 2Prince HITnRUN Part 1 & 2  (Amazon -Phase One only | iTunes – Phase 2 Only)

Prince went through many iterations over the past few years, but surprised everyone with not one but two albums within a years time. While not full of funk front to back, there was enough funky tunes between the two of them to easily qualify as one bad to the bone collection.

Some of his best stuff in years landed on these two full length gems, the second of which came in completely under the radar to even his most devoted fan sites. Full Phase One Funkatopia review. Phase Two review.


 

Turkuaz - DigitoniumTurkuaz – Digitonium (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream – some songs)

Turkuaz is huge and bright and loud. Teetering on the edge of disco, they are full of contrast and their music is vibrant and happy. An insane collection of 23 tracks that could have split into two albums, but lucky for you, it wasn’t.

If Cameo would have taken their Word Up days and continued the journey, this is what it would have sounded like. Be sure to check the full Funkatopia Review.


 

Analog Son - Stomp and ShoutAnalog SonStomp and Shout (Amazon | Website | Stream)

Another band that revisited the “Best Of” list for a second year in the row is the mighty Analog Son. Easily one of our favorite new funk bands that has tons of jazz influences, but your head won’t stop bouncing during this ten track masterpiece.

Stomp and Shout is a force to be reckoned with and could be one of the best funky releases in a very long time.  You can check our review on their first album here.


 

Polyrhythmics - OctagonPolyrhythmicsOctagon (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Last year saw Polyrhythmics getting onto the list with their live recording. This year they hit the ground running with a brand new full length album that continues the funk mastery of the first album Libra Stripes.

There aren’t a lot of bands that have this full sound that is filled wth heavy emotion and nuance. Th Seattle based band delivers a heaping helping of what they call afro-psycho-beat, but whatever you call it, it’s funky and delicious.


 

Caboose - CoupeCaboose – Coupe (Amazon | iTunes)

Caboose is a one off album that combines elements of Headhunters and The Meters with true grit. This collection of songs was put together as a memoriam to their keyboardist Jonathan Cooper in order to properly capture the magic that was Caboose.

The end result was a blast of insanely good music that literally puts itself into the category of true funk classic. Be sure to read the full Funkatopia review here.


 

Dam Funk - Invite The LightDam Funk Invite The Light (Amazon | iTunes | Website)

Dam Funk isn’t just a master of Twitter, but also a master of producing some of the funkiest licks on the planet.

While he may be used to being the sideman and working with lots of acts including 2013’s 7 Days of Funk with Snoop Dogg, he finally released his newest solo albums that was about 5 years in the making and it comes out swinging featuring 20 tracks of funky goodness.


 

Orgone - Beyond The SunOrgone – Beyond The Sun  (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream – one song)

Orgone has an amazing penchant from finding some of the most incredible vocalists to fill out their project and it always outperforms the one before it, but still manages to keep its integrity throughout and nearing 15 years since their debut release almost 15 years ago.

2015 was no different with Orgone releasing their new album Beyond The Sun and keeping the funk thick and palpable. It’s undeniably funky. Read the full review on Funkatopia here.


 

TuxedoTuxedo – Tuxedo (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One join forces to put out a funk classic in the true vain of the disco laden 70’s. While this super-duo team had amazing solo careers in full swing, they decided that there was a hole to be filled and they would be the ones to fill it.

In the spirit of Chic, Plush, Shalamar and Zapp, Tuxedo was a welcome surprise that landed in a perfect spot and was the gift that just kept giving.


 

Judith Hill - Back In TimeJudith HillBack in Time (iTunes | Website | Stream – snippets)

Judith Hill blasted onto the scene as part of the TV series The Voice and immediately grabbed the attention of Prince who quickly took her under his wing. The result was the release of her debut album Back In Time which contained some of the most blistering funk this side of Minneapolis.

Prince got sued by her producer when he launched her album for free to Live Nation subscribers for a brief period of time and took it down 24 hours later. While it’s not free anymore, it’s worth every single dime.


 

Main Squeeze - Mind Your HeadThe Main Squeeze – Mind Your Head (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The Main Squeeze is one of those bands that catches you by surprise and if the first time you see them is live, you certainly will never forget it.

The band was based out of Chicago, but has recently migrated west to California to capture more opportunities and grow beyond their Chi-town home. Fronted by huge powerful vocals, funky grooves with a dash of jam band influences, there’s just nothing like The Main Squeeze.


 

Ohio Players - More Funky Soul PartyOhio Players More Funky Soul Party (Amazon | Website | Stream)

No one saw this compilation coming that was put together by StarPointe as a double album filled with probably the maximum amount of music that you can fit on a collection.

24 tracks pack this wall to wall compilation of Ohio Players tunes from the beginning years, but not touching on their hits in order to show just how formidable this band was even in their early days and it sends a very powerful message.


 

Galactic - Into The DeepGalactic  – Into The Deep (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Galactic is the ultimate New Orleans style funk jam band that has been a force to be reckoned with for over 20 years. Every album brings new flavor to showcase a new musical boundary for them.

Into The Deep finds Galactic returning to their roots bringing deep heavy grooves with massive hooks and melody lines. It’s an album full of great tracks with some guest spots by Macy Gray, Mavis Staples and many more.


 

Monophonics - Sound Of SinningMonophonics – Sound Of Sinning (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The Monophonics have been stomping onto the scene with a sweat drenched funk with some fantastic deep soulful swings.

Recently featured last year on America’s Got Talent during a dancing segment gave them an unexpected boost into the national spectrum even though many had already been recognized for their intense brooding funky prowess. It’s deep, growly, funky soul.


 

Pimps of Joytime - Jukestone ParadisePimps of Joytime Jukestone Paradise (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Pimps of Joytime is the ultimate band that is full of diverse sounds and styles all rooted in funk.

Jukestone Paradise is packed full of dance beats, slick bits of EDM, all roasted and barbecued in a 70’s funk sauce. No two songs sound alike even though their style is haunting and at some times even a bit trippy. But that’s what makes Pimps all that more special.

 


 

The Internet - Ego DeathThe Internet Ego Death (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The furthest reaching funk flavoring in the list and a perfect ending to a perfect 2015 list. The Internet came to our attention from Funkatopia friend Janelle Monae, The Internet are moody, theatrical, funky and full of sexual charge right out of the gate.

The offshoots of the Odd Future family show no signs of slowing down while continually touring the country in various festivals. The Internet are starting to gain some serious traction and the positive vibes you’re hearing are completely worth it.


THE OVERSIGHT PICK

The oversight pick is an album that we somehow lost our minds and completely missed. Not because we didn’t know it existed, but we just forgot to include it in the list for final consideration and if it had been on the list, it , without a doubt, unquestionably, would have been in the top 20.  And while we could just “let it go”, it literally begins to eat away at our soul every passing day and we toss and turn at night kicking ourselves.

Last year, it was Funkadelic’s release because it came in late, late in December. This year, there was no excuse. We just made a very stupid mistake. Time to fix that oversight right here, right now….

newmastersoundsThe New Mastersounds  Made For Pleasure (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The New Mastersounds are one of our favorite funk bands of all time and their new album Made For Pleasure is a true funk masterpiece and they deserve to be on this list even over some others that are here. But we’re not kicking anyone off the list and are making good on our oversight.

ALL HAIL THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS!


 

 

Added Bonus!

Moonchild - Please RewindMoonchild Please Rewind (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Technically not funk and falling more under the dome of neo-soul or whatever you’re calling it nowadays, this act was so incredibly tough not to get on the list.

They are truly undeniable and shockingly, a relatively new band to the scene with only one other album release from 2012. Please take a listen to this album.

 

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!


 

Extra Bonuses from YOU!
Check the suggestions below from you, our readers. We know we missed a bunch, so help us out.

Did we miss some more? Add them to the comments below!  Hook us up and remember, the albums had to have been released in 2015 to qualify for the list.

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!

Review: Prince – HITnRUN Phase 2

Posted by funkatop On December - 12 - 2015 1 COMMENT
Share

Prince, HitnRun Phase 2

Hear the album here or purchase the two phases here.

Prince has done it again and by done it again, we mean caught everyone off guard.  Not even his valued informants were made aware that his new album HITnRUN Phase 2 would be hitting Tidal overnight.

The new album features 12 songs including some that were unveiled years previously such as Screwdriver, Xtralovable, Baltimore and more recently Stare.

Most folks (including us) had expected to see Screwdriver on the 3rd Eye Girl release, but he was apparently planning on releasing it within this package.

RocknRoll Love Affair made a debut previously but this album version is quite a bit different than what was offered before. Even Screwdriver is a bit more toned down.

When She Comes had only been heard one time before at a show in Los Angeles back in 2011 when many that heard it assumed that it would just be another one of those great songs that would be released on some future album that would be released long after we were dead and gone.

The tracklisting is as follows;

  • Baltimore
  • RocknRoll Love Affair
  • 2Y 2D 
  • Look At Me, Look At U
  • Stare
  • Xtralovable
  • Groovy Potential
  • When She Comes
  • Screwdriver
  • Black Muse
  • Revelation
  • Big City

The album still has the slow jams that the ladies love including Look At Me, Look At U, When She Comes and Revelation.  But one thing this album does not shy away from is the great infusion of funk like the aforementioned Stare and Xtralovable along with grown folks funk that blends sweet and tasty jazz riffs like Big City, 2Y 2D, and the building burn of Groovy Potential.

Again, Prince has layered a great funky album and it is well worth your time to check it out.

If you’re doing anything right now that doesn’t involve either listening to or buying this great new phase, YOUNT! You out your head.

Hear the album here or purchase the two phases here.

Review: Heavy Chevy

Posted by funkatop On October - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Share

Heavy Chevy

Atlanta based Heavy Chevy is coming down the tracks swinging with a new 8 track album called Black Light. The vinyl release hits the streets on October 24th.

Priding themselves on the deep, raw flavor of the sound reminiscent of The Gap Band‘s deep tracks, Heavy Chevy is full on brass horns and key stabs. While mostly instrumental, vocals do make an appearance a couple times during the run.

Get a Hold, Music and You Got Me premiere the vocals of keyboardist Michelle Marshall. The latter features sampling of Chic in style, delivery and power, Michelle’s voice is powerful and strong. You Got Me was also released on Soundcloud here to get a feel as to what you can expect from the full album vibe.

The band consists of Skape Zilla (keys, samples), Luke Zollinger (bass), Mike Applebaum (keys, trumpet), Radley Fricker (drums), Travis Cottle (trombone, guitar), Tony James (percussion), and Michelle Marshall (keys, vocals).

HC_Cover_FinalThe album also features work from producer Graham Marsh (Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars), engineer Ralph Cacciurri (Alicia Keys, Outkast), and mastering engineer John Horesco (Lecrae, B.O.B.) who all lent a hand in the finalized release that people will get to hear come the end of October.

The collection of songs is raw and thick with leanings toward the cosmic synth lines and samples that weave throughout the album.  Heavy Chevy borrows heavily from all of the funk decades and pulls the best elements out of each to create a new raw funk edge.

Follow the band at www.heavychevyband.com to check out where you can snag a copy of the Black Light album soon when it hits the streets. As of this writing, you can get a copy at their live shows, so visit their website above to find out when they play next in your town.

We’ll be paying close attention to how this band progresses as their new release begins to get some traction here in the ATL.

Review: Turkuaz – Digitonium

Posted by funkatop On October - 13 - 2015 1 COMMENT
Share

turkuazFunkatopia tries to pride ourselves on finding the next great funk band that will explode through the stratosphere and this month, there was a huge flurry of acts that landed on our doorstep. One of which is the super funky outfit Turkuaz and their new album Digitonium.

The new release is a massive 23 tracks with only a few segues in the mix. The concept of this new album appeared to be capturing that 80’s funk sound and unveiling new sways and riffs to fill in the decades while still maintaining tongue in cheek delivery.

This is a production. The whole showcase of performers from their outfits to the squeaky clean synth-focused production screams that funk specific era that blossomed in the decade of excess on the other side of the deep grungy funk of the 70’s.

The merging of sound derived from the 80’s Word Up version of Cameo and Roger‘s More Bounce To the Ounce and adding a dash of techno to boot, but short of stepping on the toes of The Floozies.

Spanning the watercolors of that era of funk to include the light jazz flavoring of Brand New Heavies, it’s a full fledged journey into a funkafied time machine. It’s a super polished production and with the immense amount of material, something they take very seriously.

turkuaz-digitoniumThe 9-piece band from Brooklyn, New York defines their sound as Powerfunk and along with their sense of funk laden melodies comes an unusual song naming convention.

With song titles like European Festivity Nightmare, Bijou Drains The Birddog, Percy Thrills The Moondog, and Murder Face, the titles alone will peak your curiosity.

The standout songs on the album are plentiful including my personal favorite Nightswimming with its dark meaty bump, and the Thomas Dolby new wave feel of the title track Digitonium which changes directions halfway through to slather on more funk layers.

The albums first single is The Generator which serves as the mile marker on the album where the songs take on a very distinct new wave funk slant to complete the journey for the last few songs. For those who couldn’t resist the new wave funk of Thomas Dolby, The Fixx and Peter Gabriel, Turkuaz has a little something for you as well.

The Digitonium album by Turkuaz is on sale right here on iTunes, so pick it up without delay and visit their website at http://www.turkuazband.com/ on their extensive tour that most likely has them coming through your town soon.

Review: Caboose – Coupe

Posted by funkatop On October - 12 - 2015 3 COMMENTS
Share
caboose
It’s very rare that a new band comes out swinging unless you see them coming from a mile away, but nowadays discovering new music has become easier with the advent of Spotify, Tidal, Pandora and the like.
But it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when that band is an act like Caboose that tracks you down with their new album entitled Coupe and it’s unmistakably super funky.
While the entire story is unknown, Caboose is based out of Ventura, California and consists of Eric Walters (Guitar), Mike Thomas (Drums), Brian Boom Carroll (Bass) and the late Jonathan Cooper (Keys).  It was  Jonathan’s final album before his passing that was recorded in 2014.
While the entire band is showcased by their immense talent and impressive chops, Jonathan Cooper is by far center stage on these recordings with every track spotlighting keys and organ stabs. All of which are impeccable and he can rest in peace knowing that this album firmly establishes his prominence as an undeniable master keyboardist.
Engineer Chris DeNogean spent some quiet time to properly capturing and polishing those recordings to construct a true funk-jazz masterpiece that would be an amazing addition to any funkateers collection.
Caboose - CoupeThe end result is a blend of The Meters and Headhunters with bursts of moody diversions like Zuma that take the Herbie Hancock references up to a second tier.
This album will live in infamy because all of these songs will be sampled from here into eternity. The arrangements are super strong and are all perfectly mixed and there isnt a weak song in the mix out of the collection.
With incredible standouts like The Drop which hearken back to Traffic‘s Glad, smooth barn burners like Top Down and Yap, and moody offshoots like Zuma, there isn’t wasted space to be found.
Whether Caboose will use this mountain of awesome to establish something moving forward or if it was simply designed to show homage to Jonathan Cooper, it’s yet to be seen.
But what we can see is a whopping 5 Afro award from Funkatopia for hand delivering one of the best funk albums of the year onto our doorstep.
5 out of 5 afros

 

css.php