Shall we upload albums as bittorrents?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Homenage (Freestyle 2008)

Named one of Austin, Texas' 'Best Live Acts' by the Austin Chronicle, Brownout perform the nastiest Latin funk music around today. This band of "party rocking legends" was resurrected from the same tequila soaked border town explosion that originated the highly acclaimed Latin powerhouse Grupo Fantasma. Fresh from the worldwide release of their first 7" single on the UK's prestigious Freestyle Records, the band has made waves internationally amongst DJ's, tastemakers and good music fans alike. Brownout is an 8 piece ensemble complete with 2 guitars, bass, no nonsense Latin percussion and the "Best Horn Section" 2 years in a row at the Austin Music Awards. Throwback but not copycat retro, their music is timeless and honest, keeping the spirit of 70s afro-latin and funk music alive while honoring their South Texas roots. "Homenaje," Spanish for homage, is the debut album release from the Grupo Fantasma side-project (who recently supported none other than Prince on his recent UK tour) and gives more than a mere nod to late '70s Latin-funk acts like Joe Bataan and Santana. From the Fela Kuti style Afro-beat of "Con El Brownout" and "Chema's Contraband" to the smoldering neo-soul of "You Already Are" and the incendiary cover of Manu Dibango’s “African Battle”, the nearly all-instrumental album avoids stagnation by switching gears rapidly between tracks. "Homenaje" vacillates between the languid groove of songs such as "They Should Know," which sounds like a forgotten track from the Beastie Boys' "Check Your Head" and powerful crowd-movers like the CD's title track. Built upon a familiar piano montuno and the deft percussion of drummer Johnny Lopez and conga player Sweet Lou, "Homenaje" echoes the funkiest material of the output of the Fania label in the 70s and the gorgeous "You Already Are" channels Carlos Santana into a brooding funk masterpeice. Melding these influences into an original diasporic sound is the album's triumph.


01.) Brown Wind And Fire
02.) Homenage
03.) Laredo 77
04.) African Battle
05.) Con El Brownout No Se Juega
06.) Latin Asscape
07.) Barretta
08.) Chema's Contraband
09.) They Don't Know
10.) The Sexican
11.) El Narco
12.) You Already Are
13.) Chafa Khan


The Grits

The Grits (Freestyle 2008)

Hailing from Brighton, The Grits emerge with their own take on raw, rare and grimy instrumental funk. Their journey began in 2005 with guitarist Stuart “Countryboy” Carter and Nick “The Organiser” Harris. Bassist James and drummer Johnny were recruited soon after, marking the birth of one seriously slick funk four piece. Their self titled debut includes a superb cover of The Soul Drifters “Funky Soul Brother”, as well as “Boom Boom”, the sold out 45 released on Freestyle and its B side ‘Jan Jan’ - an instant raw funk classic championed by Radio 2’s Mark Lamarr and Radio 6 funkster Craig Charles. With their roots firmly steeped in classic funk, The Grits add their own slant with trashy guitars, crunchy drums and deep bass. Add to this super-modulated Moog, a bag of percussion and their trademark guttural vocal grunts and you have a live show that never fails to work their live audiences into a funk frenzy. On record, The Grits manage to keep the rawness alive, whilst upping the stakes sonically with modular analogue synths, piano, harmonica and even a huge metal cabinet played with a stick!

Pure funk gold! Enjoy!


01.) Ug Ug Aah
02.) Tramp
03.) Boom Boom
04.) Chickin Pi
05.) It Aint Easy Being Greasy
06.) Jan Jan
07.) Hamhock
08.) Crazy Legs
09.) Funky Soul Brother
10.) No Mans Land