The New Mastersounds Keb Darge presents... Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

The New Mastersounds are easily the best of the recent crop of bands for whom samplers...

Greg Boraman 2002

The current resurging interest in the sweat drenched, grunt 'n' holler genre of early funk means that clubs from San Francisco to Tokyo now throb to the ultra-obscure sounds of Mickey & The Soul Generation, Little Grady Lewis & Soul Smokers, and other wonderful but less than legendary acts.

As with any genuinely underground scene, a contemporary live presence is required to provide focus for such obscure tastes, and The NMS are easily the best of the recent crop of bands for whom samplers are moribund, but valve amps provide the meaning of life.

Hailing from Leeds, the NMS may produce some confusion how can a collection of (mostly) pasty-faced northerners produce with such authority, the dusty funk grooves of the early 70s? It doesn't matter; they just do.

Kicking off with "Nervous",a blistering mix of brass, spitting Hammond and scratching guitar, not heard since the days when Michael Jackson sported platform shoes and his own nose. The musical template may not vary greatly, but the stand out moments are many, where the rhythmic interplay between the instruments produces an unstoppable urge to head nod, foot tap and shimmy which real funk surely should do.

Vocals are supplied by Reverend Chunky who hollers impressively "JB" style, especially on "Stay on the Groove". Sulene Fleming contributes beautifully to a Marva Whitney style number, "Turn this thing around". To be ground breaking is not the aim of this music; more to satisfy the current unquenchable thirst for heavy funk, in these days of ultra conformist pop and faceless dance music.

The New Mastersounds have done a fantastic job of getting the frenetic fire of their live shows onto a small silver disc enabling you to frug your heart out in the comfort of your living room. I heartily recommend you do exactly that.

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