Friday, December 14, 2012
Roy Roberts on Cultures of Soul Records
Got a bunch of selections from the Cultures of Soul catalog, a label I'm just finding out about based in Boston, MA specializing in unreleased and rare funk, jazz and soul. I happened to grab one this morning from Roy Roberts who actually was inspired to step up to the mic after Otis Redding passed away with his first original, a track dedicated to the legend. Not long after he must have released this single which seems to have taken him along that tough smooth soul '70s path, sounding an awful lot like Issac Hayes to me on both sides of this overlooked gem.
A-Side's "So Much in Love" kicks right off with a big blaring brass horns section, catching you off guard immediately with this shiny spectacle and ultra funk bass line that's on another planet entirely. A sliding organ slips up next to this expanding groove and Roy has this honey soul vocal and throws in a lot of those 'oh baby's because he can't even help himself ...and it sounds so damn good. A mixed combo of spazzy bursts of funk while being about this soulful mellow groove at the same time, the band kicking legs in unison, you'd have to have choreography for this.
I'm so grateful for labels like CoS and Colemine repressing this soul and funk stuff... if they're going to this kind of trouble, you can rest assured these are the ones you should be going back to listen to and it helps they're on this format. Beyond just for nostalgia's sake, to be able to just put the needle back on the beginning of this... It's hot in the city, and this is before my time mind you, but that Love Goes to Buildings on Fire is probably the right time period for this. The Issac Haybes shaft era, or across 110th St... I don't know much about any of this except I know unearthered gold when I hear it, take it from someone with next to no knowledge about this era and genre. This is a great track.
The B-side awesomely starts with a slow talking intro from Roy abut how his ladyfriend should sit back and listen because this song should be able to say what he's talking about. When music would move you so much that you would just make a mix tape or, god forbid, sit there while someone listens to a song and you dumbly think, "oh man this is it, I couldn't say everything but Roy is". Like that scene in Almost Famous when his sister is leaving to be a stewardess and plays Simon & Garfunkel to his mom. A quick conga beat in the background, with an O'jays style stuttery guitar and Roy is all over this, screaming and whoooooo-ing, going for that heavy emotional soul where you lose your mind. I'm no damn robot, this stuff has to move you, I could see any funk or soul DJ's with any sense would have to pick this thing up. It's not a real fast burner, but more like that end of the night, smokey dark groove. A funk slower tempo track with some nice jittery guitar stuff that doesn't seem normal for the Parliment tract this was headed down. It's warmer, slower maybe, Roy's really giving it to this mic, yelling and crooning his way through this multiple layers of whoops and yeeeaaahhs. This chugging away guitar is almost new wave, turning into a real inorganic sound at points. This shouldn't make you feel this much, but strip away the era and this thing has still got it.
Pick this up on their bigcartel page.
Head over to Culture of Soul's site to stream both of these tracks...