Every so often there is an album that comes along that just blows you away and this album has done that to me. Coming across like a soundtrack to a Blacksploitation movie, this is Gil Scot Heron meets Miles Davis with a bit of Stereo MC's via the Chemical Brothers. Oh yes.... this is seriously good. The music featured here spans 15 years of recording from legendary Poets of Rhythm brothers Jan and Max Whitefield, but it could have been recorded 30 years ago or last week. It just doesn't matter as the music is timeless.
The soul funk sound of this record is no accident. The siblings did their homework and used a wide array of musicians and instruments to get the sound they were after, and boy did it work. Joyful Exaltation open the album with some blistering bass and drum action that is almost euphoric. There is no letting up as Safari Strut and Reverse lay down some African roots into the soul mix, the later featuring some excellent rapping from Percee P and MED.
With Pamukkale the guys create what sounds like some bastardised remix of the Mission Impossible theme with Middle Eastern and Oriental influences fighting it out with the underlying soul sound. Mad maybe, but it works. Breakin' Through could have been lifted straight from the soundtrack of Shaft. It's edgy and full of discord. Its menace is palpable. The icing on the cake however is the irresistible Lullaby for Lagos. Like a long lost James Brown treasure that has resurfaced and been given a remix by John Coltraine. Amazing.
I seriously love this album. I know some people will just not get it, but that makes me love it all the more. It has been a long while since a record has made me feel this way.