Monday, September 6, 2010

Breakestra: Dusk Till Dawn

Breakestra (group; formed 1996)
Dusk Till Dawn (Strut)

In the vein of The New Mastersounds but with the addition of revolving lead vocalists, Breakestra have evolved into a hybrid of Detroit Motown funk, Southern Soul and California hip hop lovin'. This is serious funk y'all. Fans of The Dirtbombs, Sharon Jones, The Roots, Poets In Rthythm and Broun Fellinis should take note of Breakestra, they are definitely the real deal. The US version of The New Mastersounds, maybe, but I think there is room for both Meters/Jimmy Smith-influenced soul groups.

Breakestra started on the on San Francisco club circuit by multi-instrumentalist, Miles Tackett. The group began at a local club the Breaks. They combined that name with one of their other influences Sun Ra's Arkestra and hence the soul funk hip hop Breakestra was born. After a series of DJ and club acclaimed 12''s and EPs and MixTapes (or in these case CDs) the band finally gained some major underground attention with Hit The Floor (Ubiquity Records) in 2005. At set melding their influences with great effect and featuring some killer riffs and funky lyrics. Hit The Floor featured floor-fillers "Stand Up," "Gotta Let Me Know," and "Family Rap". A fun, funky and fierce outing that is guaranteed to light up your speakers.

Brekestra returned in 2009 with an even funkier, soul jazz opus Dusk Till Dawn (Strut) which has everything you would want in a soul jazz band. There are infectious raucous rhythms and deep rootsy lyrics and long journey for peace and love. Opening with aptly titled "Need A Little Love" sets the tone for this wonderful tour de funk disc. The group pulls into Sharon Jones territory with "Come On Over" featuring Afrodyete, a mid-tempo burner that sure to have you sliding your feet across the floor with your lover.

Dusk Till Dawn also the wonderful call to arms for all the soul jazz bands on the scene with "No Matter Where Go" on where you can find soul across the globe. Dusk Till Dawn is definitely a funky ball-buster of an album but it's the softer moments that will make this a diverse and highly enjoyable outing. "I Don't Wanna Wait" and its instrumental counterpart "Me & Michelle" are great examples of those moments--a beautiful ballads (so to speak) that again demonstrates the band and album journey for peace, love and understanding among our fellow man/woman.

Breakestra have been on scene for too long without getting the recognition they so greatly deserve. I hope that Dusk Till Dawn is the statement that helps catapult them to the next level. Highly Recommended.

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