Funkalicious

Heavy, heavy funk & sweet, sweet soul

Funkalicious: Friday 4th August

funkalicious116510

Heavy funk & sweet soul for the mind, body and soul!

DJs Philster & Mr Parker.

Friday 1st August
The White Horse
94, Brixton Hill
Brixton,
London SW2 1QN
9pm-3am
FREE!

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Review: Sonny Knight & The Lakers – I’m Still Here

sonnyknightimstillhere

Minneapolis label Secret Stash Records was originally set up in 2009 as a vinyl reissue label, covering funk, soul, afro beat, etc. Following the release of a compilation of rare sides from the local scene on a compilation entitled “Twin Cities Funk & Soul”, label owner Eric Foss saw the opportunity to put on a revue style show featuring artists from the compilation who were still on the scene. The show was a big success and created further demand. One of the artists on the revue, Sonny Knight, released his first 45 in 1965 and later joined local band “Haze” after a 3 year call of duty in Vietnam. After six months on the road with the revue, Foss discussed his intention to put a new band together and record some brand new material with Knight’s grit and enthusiasm right up front. Before Foss could fully finish, Knight had already accepted and Sonny Knight & The Lakers were born.

The Lakers back Knight in a pleasing, heavy funk style for the most part – and they certainly go for it with gusto, matching Knight’s infectious enthusiasm and a tangible sense of fun working together as they tell simple stories and reach a feel-good groove. There are a couple of terrific dance step numbers – “Sonny’s Boogaloo” and the frantic funk throw-down “Caveman”, offering up a dance Jimmy Castor would be proud of, its break featuring caveman grunts and musings. Also on the heavy side, the pounding “Hey Girl” drops a funk bomb, launching into a furious break half way through as Knight calls up band members for a spotlight. Along with the fun, there are thoughtful moments too, as on the two-part title track which nicely segues back to back. The first part documenting the fear and harder times Knight experienced returning from Vietnam to a world that had rapidly changed, backed by the band ‘King Heroin’ style. Part two, then launches into the bright antidote as Knight proclaims “I’m still here, you can’t keep me down”, while the atmosphere in the track builds terrifically. And long may he stay.

From the opening funk of “Juicy Lucy” to Knight’s closing urge that “Everyone get up and dance – that’s what you came here for”, this album ticks a whole lot of boxes with great writing, playing, arrangements and production that benefits from a band recording live in the studio with a mix of vintage and new equipment and techniques – a fantastic first studio album from Secret Stash, who already have some impressive reissues for sale. And with the promise of more good stuff to come, The Lakers essentially in place as the house band are already working on the next album project – definitely one to watch out for.

http://sonnyknight.com
http://secretstashrecords.com

sonnyknightandthelakers

posted by Philster in Recommendations and have No Comments

Review: Lee Fields & The Expressions – Emma Jean

leefieldsemmajean

Truth & Soul have consistently delivered high quality music since their inception, the albums they produce make great listening because of the depth and quality of the music, paired with the soulfulness of the artists – of whom Lee Fields is up there with the very best with his, truly unique, warm, gritty, full and very hip rasp. Its just a joy to listen to him sing, whether on record or in person, he is an outstanding performer.

Born in North Carolina, Fields started recording and performing in the late sixties. His debut album, released a decade later, bucked the disco trend, featuring a slew of hot and heavy funk tracks. After years in the wilderness, his triumphant late nineties return to funk on Desco Records with The Soul Providers was right on the money. A few years later, another fine album of raw funk surfaced on the short lived Soul Fire label and when the owner left the business, he left the recording studio in the capable hands of Jeff Silverman and longtime Desco and Daptone musician, Leon Michels, who together formed a production team that has forged a new direction for soul. This is somehow not revivalist, there is of course a firm nod to the heyday sound of the sixties and seventies but the production is very progressive and now. This gives T&S a real edge and their best artist, is of course the magnificent Lee Fields. Now on the one hand, T&S have led Fields somewhat away from raw funk, however, the sheer class and depth of the soulful sound they are forging with him has taken his career to new heights. Indeed, in my opinion, the album they released in 2009, “My World” is a contender for Fields’ career best and certainly one of the best soul albums of the last 10 years.

For this, the third T&S Lee Fields album, Michels has solely produced the album, having moved the studio from Brooklyn to Queens. There are outstanding contributions from long term T&S musicians and an interesting collaboration with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who previously worked with Michels and bassist Nick Movshon on the fantastic Dr John album “Locked Down”. Two tracks, JJ Cale cover “Magnolia” and “Paralyzed”, recorded with Auerbach, are in a kind of country-soul style. They are a slightly darker tone to the uplifting, sunny sound we are used to hearing from the team but they work well and take Fields in another new direction in which he also proves his worth. Elsewhere the material is handled with a kind of vibe that could compete with the Mizell Brothers – in that songs are deep and real, yet handled with a lightness of touch that lifts them into the stratosphere. For example “Eye To Eye” starts off with a big fanfare before dropping the instruments out, leaving Fields’ stark voice to sit atop a bare piano and soft drumming. As the song builds, so do the layers of instrumentation – horns blaze and the organ swells as the song rises cinematically. On the funkier side, “Just Can’t Win” is a gorgeously layered slice of funk, matched by the upbeat “Standing By Your Side”. An interesting Leon Russell cover “In The Woods” again adds a string to Fields’ bow. “Talk To Somebody” imposes a heavy tango; and the cry baby on “Stone Angel” shows how effective The Expressions’ backing is at adding tremendous value to Fields’ tone. One track continues to refuse to play all the way through, demanding repeat restarts – the amazing “All I Need”, instrumental save for an impassioned blast from Fields at the end – it’s a terrific groove that gains in intensity, crashes into a thrilling breakdown, before building up again to an exciting peak as layers of percussion add to the groove.

It takes a few listens to get under the skin of this album but not long to realise it’s another Lee Fields classic that deserves to be listened to again and again. True art. He is still very much the main man.

https://truthandsoulrecords.com

leefieldssnow

posted by Philster in Recommendations and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 4th July

funkalicious115510

Funkalicious is the soul happening party where people go to get their groove on. Get down with some seriously funky business, from the past to the present as DJs Philster & Popcorn unleash a dance floor bombshell of heavy, heavy funk & sweet, sweet soul.

Friday 4th July
White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Review: The Dustaphonics – Big Smoke London Town

dustaphonicsbigsmoke

For a few years now, The Dustaphonics have been shaking up the London scene with an excitingly energetic party groove sound that distills such wide-ranging influences as 50’s R&B sleaze, 60’s garage rock, vintage soul, blues, surf, punk, you name it. It’s a distinctly vintage sound presented with a modern twist and production sense that carefully preserves the passionate rawness of the music.

Headed up by the co-founder of the “Raison D’être Collective” – DJ, musician, producer and promoter Yvan Serrano-Fontova, who has long been presenting exciting revue style shows around London. The remainder of the lineup has completely changed since the release of their first album, 2011’s excellent “Party Girl”. The dynamic rhythm section compliments Serrano’s up-front, reverb-drenched guitar as Eric Frajria alternates with Bruce Brand on the drums and solid backbone bass from Dan Whaley. New vocalist, Hayley Red puts in a charismatic, fun and energetic performance on this, her impressive debut album appearance. All the material here is fresh too, with the exception of “When You Gonna Learn”, which survives the back catalogue repertoire to get a vital redux with an energising call and response on top of blazing guitar; whilst the album’s one cover, bluesman Louisiana Red’s “Ride On Louisiana Red”, gets an epic road trip rock ‘n’ roll makeover. Beyond the anthemic title track, which deserves to be one of those tracks you play as you get ready to go out on the town, each track is as fresh as the last. A motor revs up the start of “Grand Prix”, a thrilling rockabilly-surf instrumental. “Rockin’ Boogaloo” does what it says on the tin, whilst delivering cool guitar breaks and terrific, rolling surf drums before jumping back into Hayley’s spirited vocal. “Don’t Let The Devil Drive Your Car” is more foot-stomping road trip cool, while the vibrant go-go of “Back To Mono” bounces along in a kinetic groove. The broodingly moody surf instrumental “Fire Dance” paints a cinematic soundscape of a beach party, a reminder that while there is a whole load of London energy in this album, the musical influence is also very much American. The closing “Flesh & Blood” is a tender, sultry serenade that exposes the beauty of of Hayley Red’s breathy vocals against a simple acoustic guitar, nicely contrasting the album’s overall guttural delivery and pace.

With a fantastic sound and attitude, nostalgic Americana clashes head-on with a heady London attitude and vintage style, to create one of this year’s most energetic and vital releases. Party with The Dustaphonics until your feet hurt and you lose your voice.

www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk
www.reverbnation.com/dustaphonics

dustaphonics1

posted by Philster in Recommendations and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 6th June

funkalicious114510

Flap your wings, stomp your feet, now move your head and shake that ass. Now you’re doing the funky thing.

Raw funk & heavy soul? Yes, that’s the ingredients of a foot-stomping, butt-shaking, wing-flapping, head-nodding super soul party at Funkalicious!

Friday 6th June
White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Video: Lee Fields & The Expressions – Just Can’t Win

leefieldsjustcantwin

Lee Fields & The Expressions are poised to release their new album “Emma Jean” on June 3rd and their new single and music video for “Just Can’t Win” is here, right now. The video features Fields as a boxing coach guiding Boardwalk Empire’s Margot Bingham to victory. It was shot throughout New York City including the Coney Island Boardwalk, Fight Factory in Brooklyn and Jimmy’s Corner in Times Square.

www.truthandsoulrecords.com

posted by Philster in Videos and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 23rd May

funkalicious113510

Dear movers and shakers

We are pleased to be bringing you an extra helping of funk this month, with all natural ingredients of course – from delectable soul sounds to the thickest slabs of corn-fed funk and latin groove on the side, all spun by DJs Philster & Popcorn for your dance floor pleasure.

Friday 23rd May
White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Review: Ikebe Shakedown – Stone By Stone

ikebestonebystone

The first thing worthy of note about Ikebe Shakedown’s second full length album for Ubiquity Records, is the cover art – simple, striking, 70s influenced, and very effective. It’s a suitably adequate metaphor for the music within the packaging, as Ikebe (pronouced ee-kay-bay) take a very focused approach to playing that is firmly in the groove.

The seven-piece instrumental afro funk band from Brooklyn had previously recorded at Dunham studios and now have the honour of having recorded this latest album at the renowned “House Of Soul” synonymous with Brooklyn’s Daptone Records – lending its analog warmth and clarity of sound to the record’s production. It is also a heavier affair than their first album with plenty of hard driving, dance floor cuts that display both the band’s musical prowess and the tasteful restraint they employ in delivering their sound. Heavy numbers from the powerful strut of “The Offering”, the catchy hook laden “By Hook Or By Crook” and the deft changes of “Last Stand”, pack a thrilling groove for the movers and shakers out there.

Take this with some rather thoughtful tracks, like “Rio Grande” which nicely adds some light vibes and flute amongst the percolating percussion and neat bass; or darker tones, such as the horn-lead “The Illusion” – The emotional high-points often supplied by the killer horn section on this whole set. There’s a great balance to the mix of African sounds and American funk in equal measures. Only on “Chosen Path” do we hear a straight-up afrobeat sound, complete with playful organ, Fela style. Brooklyn’s ‘afro funk juggernaught’ is back, more vital than ever. Get on board or get the hell out of the way.

http://www.ubiquityrecords.com

ikebe14

posted by Philster in Recommendations and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 2nd May

funkalicious112510

Soulful voices, thick bass, pounding drums, syncopated polyrhythms, guitar chanks and funky, funky horns – this is the sound of soul and funk music… and Funkalicious is the funk & soul party where you can here the best soul and funk music made from the 1960′s to right about now. So come on and get your feet on the dance floor.

Friday 2nd May
The White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am
FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Podcast: New Orleans Funky Gumbo

funky gumbo

New Orleans – there’s no place else like it on earth. The melting pot of cultures mixing in the Louisiana heat has also produced a unique flavour of music. Famously the bedrock of jazz and blues, New Orleans is also well-know for having a strong funk streak running through the city. In retrospect, some seriously classic funk and deep funk came out of the ‘Big Easy’, yet few of the recording artists involved would go beyond the city limits to become either nationally or internationally known. Amongst the more successful: the Meters, Eddie Bo, Lee Dorsey, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John are perhaps the best known but there were plenty of acts who were well-known locally at the time – however as there were neither any major record labels, nor major distributors in New Orleans, few would have a hit outside of the area.

The sound of the ‘Crescent City’ is as unique as its cultural make-up. Distinctive ‘Nawlins’ piano has the feel of early 20th century saloon bars, whilst the drum kits played were simple and sparse set-ups, with heavier emphasis on snapping snare and bass drum. The rhythm sections played with a skeletal yet highly pronounced chank and horns patiently waited for their correct place before erupting sharply. Its a stripped-down, heavy sound exemplified by the Meters who are featured prominently on this celebration of the funk sound from New Orleans.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE!!

(click to listen or right click to download. From a Mac, ctrl + click and select “Download linked file as…”)

funky gumbo back

posted by Philster in Podcasts and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 4th April

funkalicious111510

Brixton has long been the home of Funkalicious, a monthly funk & soul party where people like to get down and funky on the dance floor to the great sounds of all things groovy from the past to the very latest funk and soul releases from today’s scene. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re missing all the good stuff. Come on and shake a tail feather.

Friday 4th April
The White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am
FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 7th March

funkalicious110

There’s a riot goin’ on in Brixton. A funk & soul riot that is. Do your duty to your booty and pledge your allegiance to the funk…

Friday 7th March
The White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am
FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments

Video: Ben L’Oncle Soul – Hallelujah !!! (J’Ai Tant Besoin De Toi)

Just loving this track from French soul man Ben L’Oncle Soul, backed by Monophonics, whose nucleus are from San Francisco – and with a cool video shot in New York, it all makes for a very cosmopolitan groove. As Ben and Monophonics have been touring together last year, I’m assuming this is the just the first single of a forthcoming album collaboration. In case you can’t wait for that, I’d recommend checking out Ben’s eponymous first album, as well as Monophonics’ excellent psychedelic soul album “In Your Brain”.

www.benlonclesoul.com
monophonics.com

posted by Philster in Buzz,Videos and have No Comments

Funkalicious: Friday 7th February

funkalicious109

Calling all beat heads, soul girls and soul boys, movers and groovers. The Funkalicious funk & soul party is the place to shake off the week and get down to some serious dance floor business. Only 100% natural grooves. Real music made by real bands for real people. Join DJs Philster and Popcorn as we open another bag of exploding, dance floor dynamite!

Friday 7th February
The White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am
FREE

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have No Comments