Funkalicious

Heavy, heavy funk & sweet, sweet soul

Funkalicious: Friday 2nd May

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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

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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

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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

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Funkalicious: Friday 7th March

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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

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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

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Funkalicious: Friday 7th February

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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

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Funkalicious: Friday 3rd January

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Seasons greetings, funkateers!

We hope you had an amazing Christmas, here’s to a wonderful 2014. If you’re not all partied out by the first Friday of the year, come and join the Funkalicious party – we’re gonna be giving you more of what you’re funking for.

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

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

posted by Philster in Funkalicious,Next Event and have Comments (2)

Review: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want

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Daptone Records had been poised to release the 5th Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings album in August 2013 when they were suddenly confronted by their biggest challenge yet – singer Jones, 57, was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer that June. Fortunately, she was told her condition was 100% treatable and the label immediately shelved the album plans and cancelled the rest of the tour for the calendar year. It was the first time they had stopped in 12 years of constant work on tours, studio recording and promotion – a tough but necessary call for a group of full-time musicians that consider themselves like a family. Happily, the grand news is that Jones’ treatment has been successful and she is currently getting her strength back for a comeback, starting with the album release in January and a tour commencing in February.

And what a stunning album it really is. Many will agree their finest to date. It’s a wonderful blend of every dynamic at top level, from songwriting, arrangement, performance and production. At its core, a band who have been working together since the days of Desco Records – and who know how to get the best from each other musically. The masterful production work by bassist and label co-owner, Gabriel Roth, beautifully and harmoniously layers the 11 piece band, who put in a measured, mature performance. Everything sits well in its place and seems carefully considered with great depth and clarity, often breathtaking with a lush, orchestral feel. It sounds like nothing the band have ever done before, yet perhaps have always been striving to do.

Vocally it’s a real treat. Not only do we get stunning background vocals from “The Dapettes” Saundra and Starr, utilised to maximum effect but Jones’ vocals are arguably her best yet – confident, versatile, full of character and with superb timing. It perfectly reflects her strong character. Indeed the opening track “Retreat”, which warns off anyone who gets on Jones’ wrong side, has now brilliantly transformed in message to become her warning shot to cancer “So if you know what’s good for you, retreat. What a fool you’d be to take me on”, sings Jones defiantly. “My fans are what kept me fighting, and kept me focused on getting better”, Jones says. The entire set retains a soul influence but there is definitely more of a strong funk injection than some of their more recent work. Leading the funk charge, “Stranger To My Happiness” has a killer baritone sax at its centre. “People Don’t Get What They Deserve” is a frenetically funky workout about the unfairness of the rich / poor balance – classic Dap-Kings. “You’ll Be Lonely” and “Now I See” both strut a robust groove with elements leaning on ‘the one’. Of the set’s slower songs, “Get Up And Get Out” sounds like it has been maturing on the Ampex tape for half a century, “Making Up and Breaking Up (and Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again)” charges the air with an energy leaving much of the magic to happen in the sustain between the notes, whilst the outro “Slow Down Love” is a simply gorgeous, mesmeric finish to the set.

“The entire Daptone Family is overjoyed and inspired to see Sharon’s recovery,” says Roth. “Without doubt, this album is the greatest we’ve ever recorded and we’re anxious for the world to hear it. That moment when Sharon walks out to join us on stage again is going to be insane.” The Dap-Kings are on top form, forging a record from experience, passion, energy and a resoundingly robust spirit. They always deliver a class act, this time they also give the people what they want.

www.daptonerecords.com

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Funkalicious: Friday 6th December

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Get your dose of heavy, heavy funk & sweet, sweet soul in the newly refurbished White Horse!

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

www.whitehorsebrixton.com

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Podcast: Hotpie & Candy – The Funky Run Through

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One of our very favourite record labels ‘Hotpie & Candy’ was set up in 1992 by ‘The Poets of Rhythm’, a break-heavy funk band from Munich. Releasing 45s under various guises such as The Soul-Saints Orchestra, The Woo Woo’s, The Whitefield Brothers, The New Process (I could go on) – they managed to fool many collectors at the time into believing they’d struck lost funk gold.

Led by Bo Baral and JJ Whitefield, the group played and recorded in a raw and heavy style which captured the essence of vintage recordings, releasing 45s with equally vintage looking labels, minus any indication of the production or release dates – you could be easily forgiven for thinking the tracks were recorded circa 1970 in the southeastern United States, instead of 90′s Germany.

Who knows, without Hotpie & Candy, the revivalist funk and soul scene today, that aims to recapture the sound of the soul/funk heyday of the mid 1960’s to mid 1970’s, may never have happened at all. Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Desco Records, the forerunner of Daptone Records, acknowledges Hotpie & Candy’s influence on his desire to start a label of authentic revivalist music, describing the Poets as “The band that convinced me soul music wasn’t dead.”

Earlier this month, Daptone released the indispensable “The Poets of Rhythm Anthology: 1992-2003” which gathers many of the Poet’s essential tunes from the decade covering their inception, to their final album on Quannum Records.

For this mix, ‘The Funky Run Through’ we’ve gone back to their earlier Hotpie & Candy sessions to give an overview of that label’s heavy sound and impact.

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

Support independent music! If you enjoy this sound, please head over to the Daptone Super Soul Super Store, where you can find the Poets’ anthology, alongside some of today’s finest soul/funk music.

https://daptonerecords.com/shop/

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posted by Philster in Podcasts and have No Comments

News: Michael Kiwanuka launches UK independent record label

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British soul singer, 2013 Mercury Music Prize nominee and gold-selling artist Michael Kiwanuka and a team of musicians from London and New York, will launch the brand new independent label ‘Movement Records’ in Autumn / Winter 2013, with singles scheduled and a live record label showcase planned for the end of the year.

Kiwanuka will be on the board of directors, acting as A&R for the label and will collaborate with the label’s artists in 2014.

Movement Records’ focus will be to forge a strong identity, releasing music that has an organic ‘soul-rooted’ sound, that defines both the personality of the label itself and the artists therein. As Kiwanuka explains:

“Music from the heart goes straight to the heart. Music that can move you is good music and that’s what Movement Records are focused on doing.”

All initial releases will be recorded at the Movement Records studio in North London, with emphasis placed on traditional recording techniques: artists performing live, captured in one take using vintage instruments and analogue recording equipment.

The team behind Movement Records have spent over ten years accumulating classic rare instruments and recording gear. Their studio boasts an extensive collection of vintage Microphones, Synths, Guitars, Amps and vintage outboard gear. They have even built several pieces of high-end equipment themselves, all of which will be used on the label’s recordings.

The lengths at which the team at Movement go in order to create the best sound possible is testament to their passion and dedication to making their mark on the music industry. Watch this space for news of Movement Records’ first signing, launch event and further label developments.

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Review: The Boom Yeh – Reverberations To Constellations

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Encompassing elements of funk, jazz, afro beat and broken beat – The Boom Yeh are not only representing the good stuff for London, they also pull it all off with a confident strut. This band, led by guitarist and composer Jon Speedy with saxophonist and horn arranger Ian Bailey, like to get into the meat of their tunes, quickly getting down into a deep space where there is some strong interplay between the bass, drums and guitar – whilst the horns impress with tight blasts and, at times are arranged almost as if they were a string section. It’s colourful and varied as the band tackle a few styles head on.

There’s a clear 70′s fusion influence here in terms of the depth. There’s also a healthy influence of the 90′s London broken beat sound – especially on the two tracks featuring poet / singer Zena Edwards. “Caught Up” and “Higher Forces (Part 2)” both sounding as though they could have come from 4Hero’s classic “Two Pages” album, except here there is a very live feel to the recording. In fact this album in general sounds very much like it was cut live in the studio with little or minimal overdubs. Whether it was recorded like that, I don’t know but either way, the band have done well to pull off the energy of a live sound. Further vocals come from Aina Roxx who adds a spark to the bouncy “Give Me What I Want” and the slower “Believe”. Elsewhere, the groove is instrumental, energetic and full.

The Boom Yeh have a healthy sense of exploration that comes from a solid foundation. They play well together holding their groove down nice and tight and with some great guest vocal turns make “Reverberations To Constellations” a great listen.

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www.theboomyeh.com

posted by Philster in Recommendations and have No Comments

Mixtape: Hopestreet Recordings: The Tropical Brunswick Mixtape

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Check out some heavy releases, both forthcoming and current from Australia’s Hopestreet Recordings. There is some exciting stuff to look forward to from this label. With tracks by The Putbacks, The Bombay Royale, The Cactus Channel, The Afrobiotics and more – ranging from funk, to afro beat, to latin, to freakadelic Bollywood. All nicely mixed by DJ Jumps, cop your free download…

Download the mixtape here (50mb)

www.hopestreetrecordings.com

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Funkalicious: Friday 1st November

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What’s that, you say? You want your funk to be heavy? You also want your soul to be sweet? You got it…

Friday 1st November
The White Horse
94 Brixton Hill
Brixton SW2 1QN
9pm-3am
FREE
www.whitehorsebrixton.com

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Review: The Poets of Rhythm – Anthology: 1992-2003

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It must have been 1995/6 when I purchased an intriguing funk compilation called “Original Raw Soul” from a record store in L.A. I hadn’t heard of any any of the artists listed on the reverse, nor had I heard of the record label “Hotpie & Candy”, whose ‘vaults’ had apparently been mined for the collection – yet my nose was telling me this was going to be a good purchase. I was far from disappointed – the funk was thick, powerful, simple, devastating. How had I missed this label, these artists? I later bought the follow up, “More Original Raw Soul” and was again treated to another outstanding feast of heavy funk. These guys are great, I thought. Who are these guys?

The answer was in fact that I was listening to new material, presented in such a way that you could easily believe it was recorded in the early 1970s. The sound was warm, authentic, rough and heavy – a return to the magic found on vintage LPs – the magic, the grit that seemed missing from the smoothness of contemporary productions of the time. This was the funk – pure, simple, rough and direct.

The acts themselves, to name a few – The Poets of Rhythm, The Whitefield Brothers, The Woo Woos, The New Process, The Soul Saints Orchestra – were all in fact aliases of one band, The Poets of Rhythm. A further surprise came when I found out that, despite the authentic, American, vintage sound, the band were actually from Munich.

In his sleeve notes for this release, Daptone Records’ co-founder Gabriel Roth describes one fateful night in 1995, when he met funk collector Phillip Lehman, who played him the Poets’ debut album “Practice What You Preach”. Roth was amazed and inspired by the quality and feel of this contemporary recording. So inspired that the pair set out to do similar with a record label of their own. Desco Records was born and took a similar approach to Hotpie & Candy, recording with vintage equipment and releasing 45s that could easily pass as collectibles from the 1970s.

As Desco’s audience and stable of artists grew, they naturally wanted to work with The Poets of Rhythm. The Poets, however, were undergoing a change musically by this time and the album they turned in for release was turned down by Desco for being too experimental. When Roth & Lehman went separate ways, an album did indeed surface on Lehman’s new Soul Fire Records and credited to The Whitefield Brothers. Roth in turn, went on to set up Daptone Records, who proudly reissued the Poets’ debut album. A further album with a more modern feel was also produced for Quannum Records and is also worth tracking down, despite not quite hitting the magic of the Hotpie & Candy period. This collection nicely rounds-up some of the best cuts from all these labels – a period of roughly 10 years.

Despite the term ‘Anthology’, this collection is by no means the be-all and end-all of the Poets’ material – if you like this sound, you should certainly consider hearing all of the Hotpie & Candy releases – believe me, it’s all strong. What this collection does serve to do is provide a fantastic overview of one of the finest funk bands ever, in my opinion – not just of the last 20 years. With heavy, heavy tracks such as “More Mess On My Thing”, “50 Yards Of Soul”, “North Carolina” and the killer breakbeat stocking filler “Santa’s Got A Bag Of Soul”, today’s soul / funk revivalists clearly owe much to The Poets Of Rhythm. They may have been relatively unknown at the time but it’s certainly time to give them their dues and their rightful place in funk history.

www.daptonerecords.com

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posted by Philster in Recommendations and have No Comments