Posted on July 3rd, 2013 (8:05 am) by Ryan Kaplan

I recently reviewed the Bad Rabbits latest LP American Love and praised it as a return to the roots of funk music. Little did I know great funk has been around all along. While Basement Freaks are on the more electronic side of the spectrum, their deeply-grooving, exciting take on funk music is a must-hear. In a post-Random Access Memories world, this album will never be more relevant. Digital and analog sounds swirl together into an indecipherable mix; guitars solos flirt with synths, real human voices belt along with robot speak. Though this record has a very specific sound, it’s successful in all aspects and makes for the most danceable electronic record of the year so far.

Basement Freaks is the brainchild of German George Fotiadis, one of the premier DJ’s of the ghetto funk genre, known for crafting intense live sets and producing ridiculous amounts of music. Add in singer Georges Perin and the Freaks were born. They represent a stylistic change in electronic music towards fat, heavy backbeats and deep-set grooves. Funk From the Trunk is the group’s second album, following their 2011 debut LP Something Freaky. Improving upon the big bass sound of that record, the Freaks ramp up the wah-wah guitar work, interject some well-timed horns, and let Perin flow whatever vocal melodies he’d like over the head-bobbing breakbeats. It’s a fantastic formula and can really never go wrong. The Freaks commitment to their sound is essential to making the album great; there are no frills or forays into other genres. It’s straight body-rocking funk for 52 fantastic minutes.

“A Blues Thang” starts the record off with a truly attitudinal harmonica solo. A lazy backbeat and palm-muted guitar picking provide a nice layer for both the harmonica and Perin to wail over. The next song “Gimme More” features collaborator Mustafa Akbar on vocals. It opens with porn-style guitar wah-wah and a seductive horn line, and it progresses into a hypnotic, bass-heavy command to “get on the dance floor.” Akbar is featured on 3 tracks, and he completely shines every time. His deep, commanding, baritone voice is perfect for funk music. “Dancin’” is his best track; aggressive, slightly distorted bass completely bowls the listener over, and Akbar mixes George Clinton swagger with James Brown pipes. As if that wasn’t funky enough, the Freaks pay more homage to past pioneers of the genre; “The Calling” has a John Frusciante-esque guitar riff and some Maggot Brain soloing. The album closer “The Last Train” is more subdued; twinkling pianos, atmospheric strings, and a sweet pan flute solo highlight this mid-tempo head bobber. It’s the perfect ending to an aggressive, high-octane ride.

As I said before, this album is coming at an ideal time. Not only is the ghetto funk scene blowing up among electro-heads, but even stratospheric mainstream acts like Daft Punk have adopted the style. Their latest LP is full of funk influences and tricky guitar licks. Basement Freaks have pulled out all the stops for this record, and fans of P-Funk, RAM, and just great, grooving music had better pay attention. Pick up Funk From the Trunk today and dance your ass off.

Track List:
1. A Blues Thang
2. Gimme More (feat. Mustafa Akbar)
3. Funk For Freaks (feat. Charlie Funk)
4. Work It Out (feat. MC Rayna)
5. The Calling
6. Gotta Make Me A Gun
7. Disco Boy
8. Bedroom Stories (feat. Mustafa Akbar)
9. Red Light Streets
10. Dancin' (feat. Mustafa Akbar)
11. Soul Intoxication
12. That Little Thing You Do
13. Grey
14. The Last Train

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Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

75 / 100
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