One new, one funky and old. Both sweeeeeeeeet. Both essential.
JORDAN RAKEI “Groove Curse” (soul has no tempo) 12″ EP $25
– The Brisbane based artist (musician, producer, singer, songwriter), who only began performing for audiences nationwide with his experimental blend of lo-fi soul at the end of 2013, is a raw and rare commodity. Rakei has been making waves internationally with his inventive and refreshing blend of soulful tones, turning everything he touches (from Hip Hop to Dub, Deep House to Reggae) to gold. After starting piano at a young age his love for music intensified, allowing him to translate his ideas and influences into his own music.”His modern take on Soul music (with a dash of Reggae) makes this multi-instrumentalist one of kind. Simply put, that Groove Curse EP sounds super refreshing. I mean who doesn’t love that raw, warm sounding Fender-infused vibe? The first single “Street Light” was off the hook, but ‘She told me add the bassline’…are you kidding me? Man what a freakin’ tune right there! And “A Tribe Called Government” with those drums? Let it be know that this fellow from Brisbane has made it to the top Soul artists in our lil’ book. Right up there with D’Angelo, Bilal and Musiq.”
LEE FIELDS “Emma Jean” (truth & soul records) LP + download $28
– Soul legend Lee Fields has re-teamed with The Expressions for new album Emma Jean. Coming at a time when many new artists are trying to emulate the soul and swagger of the 1960s, Mr. Fields showers us with authenticity on the 11-track set, highlighted by first single “Magnolia.” Hear the refreshed cover of the JJ Cale track that embodies the late, great American singer-songwriter and the Tulsa Sound he helped create. Since releasing his first album in 1969, Fields has continued to make music for the last 45 years. Lee Fields & The Expressions have forged a distinct soulful sound and a grown style with this album. They’ve pushed their sound in new directions, moving from being content as contemporary soul music royalty and instead delving into and exploring its next steps. Mixing some of it with Dan Auerbach and having Emma Jean mixed and partially recorded at his Nashville studio, country soul and bluesy rock are immediately noticeable. It brings a different kind of strut to the album, but Fields–born and raised in North Carolina–is right at home with the Southern soul sound. In fact, it feels like a natural progression: an organic, refreshingly pure next step.
They are falling from the skies!!!!
DAP DROPs DAILY!
DAPTONE RECORDS new releases.
NAOMI SHELTON AND THE GOSPEL QUEENS “Cold World” LP (+ download) $25
– With Gabriel (Bosco Mann) Roth at the helm, Naomi and company went into the studio Summer 2013, and cut onto tape what can only be described as bonafide Soul Excitement of the highest order! At the heart of it, Cold World is a Soul record but the cross section of sub-genres the album weaves through makes it difficult to label it plainly as such. There are tracks like ‘Sinner’, ‘Heaven Is Mine’, and ‘Humble Me’ that capture the group’s penchant for Soul grooves, seasoned with Naomi’s tough vocal delivery, and the Queens melodic interplay, which captures perhaps better than any of the other tracks, NSGQ’s live show. Then there’s some hard funk by way of ‘Bound for the Promised Land’, ‘Cold World’, and ‘Thank You Lord’ – the percolating church rave-up of ‘Get Up, Child’, the country heavy ‘One Day’, and ‘I Earned Mine’, and the bouncing rumba of ‘Everybody Knows.’ This album is a menagerie of Soul music at its finest, untied by the strong message-laden lyrics. Trust us, the wait was worth it.
ANTIBALAS “Tattletale” (daptone) 7″ $10
-Composed by the prolific keyboardist/producer Victor Axelrod aka Ticklah, “Tattletale” has been a sinister, funky flute-driven live staple for Antibalas for many years, drawing from musical inspirations of Ethiopian funk and jazz masters Mulatu Astatqe, Wallias Band and Mahmoud Ahmed of the the mid-1970s. After years of performing it to audiences across the globe, the band recorded “Tattletale” at the Daptone House of Soul during the album sessions for their self-titled 2012 LP. Since then, like a trove of military secrets, the song has sat marinating in the Daptone archives, waiting for just the right time to expose the dark, sinister side of Antibalas.”
THE COMO MAMAS “Out Of The Wilderness / Well, Well Don’t Worry ’bout Me” (daptone) 7″ $10
– Led by Ester Mae Smith’s unmistakeable voice, the Como Mama’s have found their place at the gospel end of the Daptone table alongside a legendary stable of soulful musicians. However, as stirring as their music is, up to now, all of their recordings have been a capella. With this record they join forces with the boys of the Menahan Street Band (billed pseudonymously here as The Radiant Rhythm Band) to lay bare the funkier side of gospel music. “The rhythms we all play were already right there in their vocals,” explains drummer Homer Steinweiss, “so it felt natural to lay down the grooves behind them.” Thomas “T-N-T” Brenneck, the up-and-coming producer who brought us both Menahan Street Band and Charles Bradley, presided over the collaboration, which took place in the old Dunham Studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Its great when there is a real language between local bands. Animaux got The Cactus Channel to remix one of their songs. “Alaska” gets the re-rub and Cactus do it SpoooOOOoooky styles…
Come down for the gig on Friday. It will be a funkadelic experience. Its pretty much 2 10 piece bands which will probably end up being a 20 piece funk extravaganza. Don’t quote me though…
Sometimes billed as the Malaysian Elvis, Leong Lau looked more like Jimi Hendrix.
Leong Lau arrived in Adelaide at the end if the 60’s to study engineering and ended up cutting three great jazz/funk albums in the mid 1970’s.
His final LP “That Rongeng Sound has now been reissued by a new local re-issue label called Left Ear Records. There are not many / any Malaysian Australian groove records that I know of and this is a great project to bring to the light. It holds some sounds that hark back to the Malay jungles but is based in a steep groove that has spacey keys and tight drums holding it down. Leong’s vocals are great, half sung half spoken that leave everybody feeling relaxed!
Below is some amazing documentary footage of the man that has been unearthed. Check it out!
DEBUT LP RELEASE
Hear Me Ror.
AT NORTHSIDE RECORDS this SATURDAY from 4:30pm, DJ support from MOTLEY (uk)
Next week two MONSTERS of soul music unleash new LPs at The Corner Hotel.
The funky SASKWATCH have just released “Nose Dive” and then you have COOKIN’ ON 3 BURNERS who releasing “Blind Bet”. Both albums will reach their funky tentacles out to the world. Go to both, or at least go to one. But do not go to nada or you will answer to me…..
The Cookin Show has a massive line up, from BBoys to DJ’s and many surprise vocalists. Get Down to get down.