Monday, December 31, 2012
Jungle Fire on Colemine Records
For the final day of 2012 I grabbed a Colemine single off the stack, not just because it was the next one up in my shuffled deck next to the turntable but because I knew this would be a funky slap awake soundtrack to kick off the new years preparations. You have to mix egg nog and make snacks and get down before tomorrows inevitable downfall. Shoot I might have put this on preemptively, it might be more important in 24 hours or even worse this could be the push to get things started a little too soon this morning.
Jungle Fire out of LA fits the bill perfectly, this eleven piece funk act coming out strong with a nod to the lengthy funk history before them on the A-Side and then sliding right up alongside that legacy with one of their own upon flipping.
"A-Side's "Comencemos' (Let's Start) count's off - uno dos tres right to a strong conga percussion section and a warm, warped electric groove, low and deep with an almost synth porn effect. But this heavily layered funk wouldn't be nearly the complete jam without those crazy bursts from the horn section. The bass breaks off to take on a completely new path after backing up and punctuating that electric rhythm section and it becomes a horn/bass off for a few measures, the blasting against the holy groove. The guitar comes back in a real soft surf jazz melody, bending notes and psyching out with massive delay. So the percussion feels left out and picks up the mantle to slap bang out it's own double time movement. That kind of jazz tradeoff thing happening, each voice stepping up to take a turn at exploring this main groove, to inevitably come back together, each time, rising a little higher, that surprise always there. Another beat you can't help but move to, almost veering into exploitation film soundtrack, the holy grail of funk. Did I mention this is a Fela Kuti cover? Completely changes this.
The B-Side "Tokuta" is an original composition heavy on that layered percussion section and a deep horn low end melody. It breaks for the rigid electric structure to take over movement duties. The bass begins it's understated groove path and the horns go back to the incredible punches to this sort of sci-fi sounding structure. In both pieces there's just an unbelievable amount of rhythm changes and precision in working out what is essentially this celibration dance groove music. Those things shouldn't necessarily go together, this kind of talent and preparation should be harder to add up to having a good time, the point of all this after all. But I think that's what makes this such an accomplishment... I have great respect for musicians who can so completely master a sound like this, like the lowly seven inch itself, it's done out of the pure love for this style and that makes this all the better.
Check out a sweet sample from a sesame street record player:
Pick it up from Colemine Records.