Monday, February 2, 2009
Ghosts of the Barbary Coast
... After finishing up some school work and attending to the minuscule social life I have, I thought I would indulge a little. To my surprise I had stumbled upon a few tracks from a 2005 album called “Hit the Floor” by a group called Breakestra and whole heartedly fell in love. I went on the hunt for the full album in torrent form and with little effort had found it along with some other compilations I am excited about but sadly haven’t finished downloading yet and don’t seem to be moving very fast. Anyways, this album is just one big break, and maintains a level of funk unheard of in this day in age. Although the vocals on the track are not particularly special and do not hold par to Billy Preston, Womack or Gil Scot Heron, they definitely do not take away from the tonal experience. I am thoroughly impressed by this L.A. based band and a reaffirmation of my love for Funk of all kinds has been had. I love finding a new band which rekindles my interest and love for bands which have been put on the back burner as a result of new found music.
Miles Tackett, who leads the band, is a bassist and DJ from the L.A. area who had at one point in time put on a series of DJ sets just filled with funk, soul, and breaks to which the atmosphere of the club is said to be off the wall, so I hear. Apparently, he thought it was time to start this project, and thus the formation of Breakestra. Regardless of the origins, Breakestra is unreal and hold a certain presence to which I am thoroughly enjoying as we speak. The breaks, the soul, and the funk that spew out of this music are just unreal. You simply don’t hear this type of music made anymore, with real instruments anyways. The music sounds like it should be from the early 70s … but with a sort of contemporary feel to it. Being unsure if my point is getting across here or not but just have a listen maybe you’ll get where I am coming from. To be honest I am not sure if it is in the way it has been recorded or mastered I don’t know, but there seems to be less grit and a more leveled recording. The album maintains a more “clean” sounds rather than having the grit and grim (which many of us love) of an earlier record.
I would also like to introduce a group from the Ottawa area called the Souljazz Orchestra … just a bunch of guys playing some really funky stuff in a similar fashion to that of the Breakestra. It is nice to hear a modern take on a really fresh style of music where a different approach to the genre is so adaptable and embraced so freely. Taking on influence from Latin American and West Africa (more specifically Fela Kuti) The Souljazz Orchestra groove hard, and had put on an incredible show. I had seen them before the Christmas break at a club called Barrymores to which they opened for a group from Chicago called The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. I have uploaded a track from them as well in hopes to spread the love. The Brass Ensemble is an interesting band constructed of brothers aside from the drummer. No guitar, no bass, this band rides on brass alone and proves themselves track after track. Although the drumming acts as an adhesive to the tone, the movement of the brass coupled with a vibrant and eccentric live show is really all this music group needs.
You dont need a dance - Breakestra
Mista President - Souljazz Orchestra
Hidden 3 - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
I thought I would develop a new element to this blog (god I hate that term) that would profile and expose some of my favorite and newly discovered artists. While embracing a minimal job of exposure with relatively zero profile, I guess the first installment I would like to share is a man by the name of Jeremy Fish. I am not an art critic nor am i a music critic for that matter, rather my aim in both aspects is to simply share and exposure interesting and quality artists that I feel have something special to share. Anyways here is the video which introduces Fish’s philosophy and plugs his new show in San Francisco called Ghosts of the Barbary Coast. Just watch for yourselves and hopefully it will spark some interest in his work. I want to mention that the picture which opens this post is from a Japanese artist by the name of Adam Isaac Jackson aka GUST. Jackson rocks an interesting graffiti/tattoo style of art which I have found to add a simplistic new flavor to that genre. The search for his Photobucket account has been painfully slow but I must not digress and maintain some efforts into finding it before I lose too much interest. Please enjoy this video of Fish I have found and maybe suggest something you think I should take a look at.