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EURO CINEMA: Funkstamatic (2014)

Funkstamatic EurocinemaIf their Blue Note-centric debut album Ten-4 was a single screen movie house, Euro Cinema‘s hammond funk-rock/ New Orleans funk/ lounge/ neo-soul/ jazz-funk follow up Funkstamatic is more of your multiplex type affair. Mind you if you caught any of the procession of singles and leaked tracks in the two year run-up to this drop – you could tell it wasn’t going to all be west coast jazz funk again. First there was Der Alte – the cover of the theme of the still-running 70s Hun cop show that was more retro than the original for example. Admittedly – that was a bit jazz-funky but what about the fiery blues guitar and squalling hammond bomb Koekwaus (that’ll be ‘cuckoo’, for non-Dutch speakers) with the stomping Ramjam/ Black Betty style bridge in the middle? Or its hippy, skippy cousin, Thank You, on the flip. Or the Eddie Harris/ JBs fusion of Ducktape collaboration with tenor saxophonist Ephraim Trujillo? It’s not really on a Byrd/ Donaldson/ McGriff/ tip is it?

They’ve also found time to squeeze in the neo-northern soul of Going Up complete with acid jazzy female vocal, the sort of garagey and vaguely Meters-ish funk instro favoured by Deep Street Soul (1 Kind Of Coffee), pumping hammond soul (the title track) and vocal neo-soul (Lay It Out), among others. Oh – and there is one straight west coast jazzy affair in the form of Brighton Barry. Generic diversification is the name of the game on this one then – though if there is a defining stylistic feature that holds most of these together, it’s the battling garage-blues guitar and hammond double act over fat funky beats – something which appears to be emerging as Euro Cinema’s signature sound. Funkstamatic then – on general release from next week and fairing well with the critics…
(Out now on Painted Dog Records)

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