After I finished last week’s music post, I vowed to be more prepared in the future, and not to leave three albums until the last day. I sat and pondered which direction this weeks music should go in. I thought well, I’ve now done some classic soul, followed by some hip-hop, how about I go to the middle and do some funk? I put on Bobby Womack’s brilliant Across 110th Street and thought yeah, this could be good! But was struck with an idea, how about a record label week! Therefore, I present to you this week, my favorite record label: Daptone Records
If you’ve ever watched the television show Suits, or been around to my place within the last two years, you will have invariably heard some of these artists. Home to two of my favourite bands: Antibalas & The Budos Band, I have never gotten sick of the energetic passion of Antibalas, and the slick grooves laid down by Budos. There were a few artists on the label I hadn’t explored as much as I should have like Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and I thought this week I could change that.
First up is Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the album I listened to was entitled, Naturally, the track I decided to go with was the first one off the album How Do I Let A Good Man Down which is a very cool, uptempo track which sets the pace well for the rest of the album
Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings – How Do I Let A Good Man Down
- Album: Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings – Naturally
- Rating: Thumbs up!
- Thoughts: I think of all the albums that have been featured so far in this revised feature, this may appeal to the largest audience, in saying that, I think I’ll be saying that about at least one other album today
Next up is Charles Bradley. Charles Bradley started off as a James Brown impersonator before he was signed to Daptone Records, his first single The World (Is Going Up In Flames) was extremely successful and went on to feature in the TV show Suits, amongst several other songs from the label. It’s a greats song which I’d really recommend checking out, however, I’m going to link my favourite track off the album, Stay Away.
Charles Bradley – Stay Away
- Album: Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming
- Rating: Thumbs up!
- Thoughts: A very cool album, from an extremely talented artist, with a great rhythm section, not sure what else I want in an album.
This next group, the Menahan Street Band, are the absolute kings of cool beats, their music should be playing in every coffee house, it’s perfect backing music. I’ve listened to it half a dozen times already whilst I’ve been coding, or reading. Just so groovy, so chilled out, perfect. One of the MANY great tracks on the album Make The Road By Walking is this one, Karina.
Menahan Street Band – Karina
- Album: Menahan Street Band – Make The Road By Walking
- Rating: Double thumbs up!!
- Thoughts: It’s all instrumental, which basically means you have no excuse not to listen to this album, just chuck it on in the background while you have something to do, or you’re eating a meal and browsing the web, you won’t regret it. Really classy jazz/funk, fantastic album.
The Sugarman 3 is a retro-funk trio, whose music really channels that Southern Soul feel, several of the tracks really feel like they could’ve come straight off a Booker T & The MGs vinyl, I enjoyed this album, and their music, but I don’t think I’ll be repeatedly listening to it down the line. Here’s one of those cool retro vibes, Witches Boogaloo.
The Sugarman 3 – Witches Boogaloo
- Album: The Sugarman 3 – What The World Needs Now
- Rating: Meh
- Thoughts: Nothing to complain about, a lot of good tracks, a few average ones. I just wasn’t moved in either direction by this album which I think is probably my biggest concern, it didn’t really elicit a response from me.
Next up is one of my favourite groups of recent years Antibalas with their latest self-titled album. It’s groovy as usual, high tempo, and powerful as ever, I just didn’t particular click with this album as much as Who Is This America or Security, that’s not to say it isn’t a good album, it most definitely it. Although, no tracks really shone out in front of the others, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but that generally does make me invest more time in an album. I’ll listen to it a lot more I’m sure, I love Afrobeat as a genre, and this album hasn’t made me think any less of Antibalas, they can’t all be winners.
Antibalas – Dirty Money
- Album: Antibalas – Antibalas
- Rating: Thumbs up
- Thoughts: If you like Afrobeat it’s worth a listen, otherwise I’d recommend checking out one of their other albums first.
Home stretch now! The final band this week is The Budos Band, I rarely feel at ease trying to label artist genres in the first place, and with The Budos Band I feel even worse, they’re kind of funky jazz, and if you were to hear them in a movie, it would almost certainly be some sort of Mexican themed action film. Regardless, this instrumental artist is great to have in the background just like Menahan Street Band, their sound is a bit grimier than that of the Menahan Street Band, but it’s most definitely just as slick.
The Budos Band - Hidden Hand
- Album: The Budos Band – The Budos Band EP
- Rating: Thumbs up!
- Thoughts: Very cool, very cool indeed. Pour yourself a coffee, fingers at the keyboard, and do whatever you need to do. Well worth a listen.
*Phew* There we have it, and 500 words shorter than last time, if you have any thoughts on this drastically reduced format let me know, if you preferred the semi in-depth album analysis I could be persuaded to go back, but I have to say I feel a lot less tired having written 33% less, anyway as usual my playlists containing all these albums can be found on Spotify. So until next time, see ya later!