Soul / Funk lovers will probably recognise the name Fanny Franklin as the lead voice of L.A.’s Orgone, with two superb albums on Ubiquity, their marvellous cover of “Funky Nassau” with Franklin on vox has been lighting up dance floors since its appearance in 2007. A big fan of both albums, my only gripe was that we were perhaps not hearing enough of Franklin’s talents (on record they are as much about instrumentals as vocal cuts). And so it seemed almost inevitable then, that after 7 years on the road with Orgone that she would depart their ranks to embark on a solo career – and after 11 months of writing and recording with like-minded musicians, her first solo offering “:GETWET:” is here – and it is a marvellous, positive, soulful record that showcases Franklin’s vocal uniqueness and talent for songwriting rather well. It’s that songwriting that really sits in the foreground here; a nice balance has been struck between an artist spreading her wings and accessibility, with songs taking hold on first listen and seeping deeper into your psyche with further listens. Soulfully Backed by original members of Orgone, Rebirth and Maintain, there is plenty of pleasing playing to enjoy here, benefitted by a group who seem to understand how to get the best from each other. Jason Gutierrez’s 8 track production at Enfield Studio also hits the mark too with considerable warmth, the group recording live to tape.
Worthy of high praise too is that Franklin and friends have created this record themselves, rather than take it to a label that might have given it an unwanted gloss veneer, it is instead proof that the result is not only achievable (given a lot of hard work), the result is often better and leaves the artist in full control of their output.
:GETWET: is an authentic, upliftingly, warm, soul-funk experience from an artist with a truly unique and versatile voice, bolstered with some great song-writing that will stick with you, it will not only please fans of her previous work, it should also hopefully gain her some much deserved new attention as one of the great soul / funk talents today.