From the soul, for the soul, Funkalicious brings you dance floor grooves from the late 60s to today’s hottest soul and funk releases. Heavy, heavy funk and sweet, sweet soul, set in the friendly atmosphere of Brixton’s White Horse, its south London’s hippest happening.
Friday 3rd May
The White Horse
94, Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
UPDATE: Unfortunately the Excitements have been forced to cancel this show due to last minute problems. Having just recorded their second album, I’m reliably told that a rescheduled show will happen at some point, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Funkalicious’ own DJ Philster is very glad to be providing DJ Support for Barcelona’s The Excitements. Put simply, if you miss this show you are passing up a very rare chance to witness a smokingly dynamic show of hot, hot, hot rhythm and soul, influenced by Etta James, Ike and Tina Turner, early James Brown or Sugar Pie De Santo. The band brings an energetic show comprising the most furious and authentic R&B floor fillers and one or two spine-chilling ballads, wrapped in a show delivered without mercy, which invites the crowd to one of the best parties you can find.
I’ve been waiting a long, long time for this, their first London show and I just don’t know when this is going to happen again, so don’t miss out. After the show I’ll be playing some heavy dance floor soul, R&B, funk and latin all the way until 3am
Brooklyn Afrobeat/funk juggernaught, Ikebe Shakedown return ahead of their new album with this heavy 45 recorded at Dunham Studios. Flip side, “Road Song” sounds to me like a reworking of The Budos Band’s “Reppirt Yad”, itself a reworking of the Beatle’s “Day Tripper” – this time the groove is paired with some marvellous honky tonk piano. I certainly look forward to hearing the full album.
Charles Bradley’s follow-up to his 2010 debut “No Time For Dreaming” would be an accomplished second album for any artist, yet at age 64, Charles Bradley is in the unusual position of having both the enthusiasm of a breakthrough artist finally reaching a deserved audience – and the weight of life experience trying to make ends meet.
On first listen, I guess I thought I knew what to expect from this material – considerably well performed, pleading soul, set to an easy groove. All good. Yet around track 5 this album suddenly takes a turn into fuzzier, thicker territory – its a great turn and really lifts the experience. “Love Bug Blues” sounds somewhat Norman Whitfield-ish and Charles Bradley suddenly steps out of Otis Redding mode and into Temptations / Curtis Mayfield territory. The preceding instrumental, “Dusty Blue” will please fans of the recent album by the Menahan Street Band who again provide sterling backing here. Then the excellent stand-out “Confusion” strides confidently into psychedelic soul and continues into the equally ‘out-there’ “Where Do We Go From Here”. “Crying In The Chapel” briefly returns us to traditional, pleading soul – beautifully handled with brass and acoustic backing, before “Hurricane” breaks into a fine strut – its ecological message riding a snapping groove and hand claps carried by a funky guitar line.
This album displays the best of two styles – the pleading soul is top level, close to the lofty equivalent of Otis Redding – but it is really the new psychedelic / rock tinged edge that I find most exciting. Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band have raised the stakes in their own game and left me wanting more of this direction. While a return to the heavy funk of his early Daptone singles seems unlikely, the new slant is nonetheless very welcome indeed and whether Charles & the band are teasing out a ballad, or stoking up a groove, the quality all round, is high throughout.
In April, DJs Philster & Popcorn will be joined by special guest and Freestyle Records A&R man Greg Boraman. No doubt Greg will be spinning some current and forthcoming Freestyle releases as well as dipping into his collection of all things fine and groovy from the late 60′s to today. Expect to hear funk, soul, latin, dancefloor jazz and breakbeat too.
Friday 5th April
The White Horse
94, Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
Having previously appeared on Freestyle Records collaborations for Lack Of Afro and Frootful, Angeline Morrison now brings her atmospheric vocal presence to her solo debut for the label. The third track in, “The Feeling Sublime” nicely captures the essence of the album – a cool, underwater lounge groove with strings circling around a gentle bossa groove, whilst the dreamy vocals of Morrison meander around the notes beautifully. The album evokes a mellow, groovy mid 60s sound, blending jazz, folk, R&B and bossa nova styles seamlessly.
Morrison’s vocals are cool, ethereal and sophisticated – she layers her own background vocals to great effect on “The Music Of The Spheres”, scats wonderfully on “A Tear In The Seam” and seduces the listener on “Slowtime”, conjuring up images of a siren, commanding captivated silence from a smoke filled basement club audience. Then there are the upbeat hip grooves of the bluesy R&B “Fools Gold” and toe-tapping “Are You Ready Cat?” that add a real swing to the party.
In the wrong hands this set could have easily come off as tongue-in-cheek. As it is, the material is handled skilfully, with the right amount of sophistication, belonging as much to today as the mid 60s. A seductively spellbinding debut, “Are You Ready Cat?” is a hip, mellow set of dreamy music that oozes style, class and cool.
Very groovy garage soul from Melbourne soul / funksters Saskwatch for their new 45 – and a brilliantly fun video, seemingly set in a parallel ‘future’ of the 1970′s, where the multi-extraterrestrial party goers look rather like 1970s terrestrial catalogue models. When Saskwatch rip into “I Get Lonely” everyone seems to be digging it!
Back in 2005, “Keep Reachin’ Up” was the debut album for the collaboration of Brooklyn-born singer Nicole Willis and Helsinki’s The Soul Investigators. It was a fine, full rounded collection of retro soul meets deep funk, opening arrestingly with the huge, blasting, Curtom influenced “Feeling Free”.
Fast forward a huge gap of 8 years and their long awaited return to the scene, “Tortured Soul” opens with another, striking Curtom influenced burner, “Light Years Ahead” – a big slice of cinematic funk with streetwise lyrics and lush, sweeping strings over a fuzzy groove, it has many of the winning ingredients of a Curtis Mayfield production. Next up, “Break Free (Shake A Tail Feather)” is a liberatingly loose, energetic workout, showcasing both the simple, gritty approach by the band and Didier Selin’s suitably raw production techniques. Then, the beautifully pared down “On The East Side” which breaks down into a particularly effective, slow burning instrumental in its second movement, with considered space enough for each instrument to come to the fore, especially in some nice audible analogue variance from the very alive Hammond.
Other winners include the bright northern soul style mover “Time To Get Business Straight”, the moody single “Tell Me When (We Can Start Our Love Thing Once Again)” and the upbeat “Now I Can Fly” with some very punchy horns. The best is saved to last though, with the stunning closing track “You Got Me Moon Walking”, instantly grabbing with its uplifting chorus hook, gorgeous string arrangements and extended instrumental outplay. Very nice indeed.
At times moody, raw and deep – then light, considered and uplifting – It’s great to see Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators return strongly with another collection of authentic retro soul/funk.
As a tribute to the recently departed Professor Donald Byrd, Blue Note have uploaded an unreleased performance of the trumpet leader live at Montreaux, July 5th 1973, following a request from Gilles Peterson. The set is gritty, funky and features some of Prof. Byrd’s music students in the lineup and notably both of the Mizell brothers whose renowned productions with Prof. Byrd were the biggest selling on the label during the 1970′s.
Donald Byrd’s prolific output, as both a sideman and band leader on the labels Blue Note, Verve, Prestige and Columbia amongst others, date back to 1955. In the 1970′s, spurred on by his students at Howard University, he had a resurgence in his career with a more funk-led fusion sound, also leading to the spin-off soul / funk band The Blackbyrds, formed by some of his students.
For March’s Funkalicious party, We are glad to be joined by special guest DJ Roger C. Based in Barcelona, Roger’s long running stint at the Sunday Joint amongst other parties has seen many a packed Spanish dance floor. Covering the entire groove spectrum including hip-hop, latin boogaloo, dance floor jazz and rhythm and blues, Roger’s sound perfectly compliments resident DJs Philster & Popcorn’s fiery brand of heavyweight funk & soul. It promises to be another great dance session at the White Horse.
Friday 1st March
The White Horse
94, Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
To celebrate the release of James Brown’s catalogue on iTunes in 2012, a competition partnered by Saatchi & Saatchi and Genero.tv was set up asking filmmakers to submit full-length videos to one of Brown’s iconic tracks. The beautifully animated winning entry by Xavier Fauthoux sets “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” against a powerful backdrop of social issues of the time including the civil rights movement and the the Vietnam war.
A fitting tribute to the man whose trailblazing career radically redefined rhythm and changed the course of musical history.
Four songs were chosen in total, including “Try Me”, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and “Sex Machine”. Universal Music have adopted the four best videos as the official video for each song. You can view the other videos here: http://genero.tv/jamesbrown/
Funkalicious is all about heavy, heavy funk & sweet, sweet, soul. We have been spreading the funky word since about 1995 (we're not even exactly sure ourselves just when we started doing this). We currently DJ at our residency at the White Horse in Brixton, where we play a mix between classics from the 1960's and 1970's, along with the very latest releases from today's thriving modern funk & soul scene.