Now playing:

Record Shuffle: New soul–funk Freestyle releases

D. Katsourinis presents new soul - funk (& not only) and releases and periodically driven by memories, some favorite recordings of the past ...
Read times


3. Two new soul - funk releases from Freestyle Records

Dimitris Katsourinis presents new soul - funk (and beyond) releases and periodically driven by memories, some favorite recordings of the past ...

It's amazing what happens in the past years ... good bands established in remote Australia, appear in waves and manage to invade the charming soul - funk microworld. Groups such as Bamboos and Optics from Melbourne, the Dojo Cuts from Sydney and Opensouls from (say) neighboring New Zealand, release great jobs, claiming to gain a place in our hearts. Basically their weapons ... the creative flair, passion and honest approach to their art.

In this elite list, recently come to be added from Adelaide  the Transatlantics. Their debut album, just released by the Freestyle Records and is among the best of its kind and loved by the column for 2010. Eight members are part of the Transatlantics. Two guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and horns (saxophone, trumpet, trombone) make their, if anything else, rich and addictive rhythmic sound. The vocals of Tara Lynch offer guidance, provide plentiful, beautiful melodic lines, overflowing with emotion. This interpretation is sweet and charming, giving a softer tone to the final result and creating an attractive combination, especially when contrasted with the mature, more often tough playing music.

The Transatlantics do anything but hide their influences. The soul - funk sound of Memphis, is the guest of honor- the songs draw attention and simultaneously recall the golden years of Stax and Hi Records, somewhere between 1965 - 1975. Apart from the references in the album there are many good compositions. That is where,  the Transatlantics win the game - would not suffice, moreover, only the beautiful sounds. "I've Been Bad" is my personal weakness, with a loose groove and of plain character. Simple, spontaneous inspiration, apart from noise boundary. The slow and atmospheric "That's When I Feel So Lonely" does not only have a n icredible chorus, and a blues' solo on guitar, which you do not want to end. The "Couldn't Be Him" is a real masterpiece, while "Talk Like That" the title song of electro (also) Australian Presets, becomes instrumental funk dynamite with cinematic potential, and dominant wind ... surf guitars!

While the Transatlantics take their first steps in discography at this time, the British Speedometer, return with an ambitious and enjoyable album. Title ... " The Shakedown " - one more sturdy paper in this year's rich list of Freestyle.

The ambition of the project focuses on participation of many artists involved, putting each, their own bit to create the desired, versatile style. The leader and guitarist of Speedometer, Leigh Gracie hopes to enrich the sound palette, with as many colors as possible. Let's start with the performers ... except Ria Currie, who is the firm voice of the band in recordings and live performances, sing: the legendary Martha High, for years a faithful partner of "soul - brother No1" James Brown, the female vocal shape of Stilhouettes and Myles Shanko, Natasha Watts. Beyond that, the renowned producer Snowboy plays percussion, leaving a latin - soul perfume floating in the atmosphere in orchestral themes such as "La Nueva Mañera" , "Orisha". The inaugural "Again & Again", based on an idea "born" in the "laboratory" of DJ Format , grew up and became a distant descendant of "Woman Of The Ghetto" of Marlena Shaw. Do not forget the 11 additional musicians who contribute, ultimately building a substantial, dance album, which stands with one foot in the past and the other in the present.

The first single that stands out, is a cover. The Lover & Friend of Eddie Bo (a great musician of New Orleans) has experienced an unexpectedly uplifting remix. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful moments of "Shakedown". But there are other ... the title track, it sounds to my ears like a blend of '70s Temptations and Brand New Heavies. The "Take Me On" is reminiscent of good and disco songs like "I Believe In Miracles" of Jackson Sisters, and The "Dragging Me Down" off the experienced interpretation of Martha High. There is no shortage of course, the trademark funky instrumentals of the group, the path carved out by the Meters and many others ("Rubberneck").

The Speedometer keep a decent course for almost ten years, achieving by their every step, to raise the bar and broaden their horizons. I think they rightly belong to the elite of today's soul - funk names, alongside names such as Dap - Kings and Bamboos ... the "Shakedown" simply confirms it with the most festive way!

Links :
The Transatlantics - "I've Been Bad "

o Speedometer - "Lover & A Fiend"