As part of his bid to be the busiest man in funk-related music this year, Shawn Lee teams up with Bei Bei for Year Of The Funky – the title track and first single off the forthcoming LP of the same name. Lee has rhythm all covered by laying down a crisp break on live drums and electric bass while Bei Bei delivers melody on the guzheng. Come again? You know – one of those Chinese instruments that looks a bit like a harp laid flat. The result is the sort of thing that positively invites comparison with martial arts movie soundtracks. Not the mental speed wah-wah and b-boy breaks of a Shaw Bros. kung-fu job though – more the meditative vibe of something by Zhang Yimou – temple courtyard combat in the rain or a game of cat and mouse through a bamboo forest or something. Talking of combat, Bei Bei looks like she could cause some damage with those plucking thingies on her fingers.
(Out now on Legere Recordings)