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Friday, May 18, 2007
LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS
Lefties Soul Connection "Skimming the Skum"
File it under funk, but the sophomore release from Lefties Soul Connection is not your average revival. It's the sound of European B-Boys with the confidence to mix the punkish attitude of the early hip-hop with the exuberant New Orleans funk of The Meters.
The Dutch four-piece made their name with a series of hard-as-nails 45s, the first of which is already a collector's item. In crafting a long player they've resisted the urge to churn out a string of dance floor heavies, instead offering a coherent album of thundering ups and thoughtful downs. It doesn't take long to reach the ups. The opening track is the first single, "Fais Do Do," which takes just four seconds to reach the revved-up fatback drums with toppings of Hammond organ and guitar. It's a raucous stampede of sound that's popped up on world-famous DJ/producer Gilles Peterson's recent playlists.
But having grabbed your attention, the Lefties head off in directions that might startle their deep-funk fan base, including an almost beat-free "Get Back (Drum and Clap)" and a slow-burning jazz-funk title track. Binding it all together is a trademark production that's so raw the Lefties might have recorded it on a Dictaphone in their garage. It's an exciting, organic sound that loudly declares: Funk's not dead.