March 10, 2010

V4YS Ep/Album Review - Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos (Mocambo Records)

The funk scene has really been busy these last few years with lots of releases from all over the world by bands revisiting an "old-school" 60's-70's sound that had been disappearing somewhat during the 80's/90's.
The Bamboos, Breakestra, The New Mastersounds, The Daptones, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Speedometer, to name just a few, are the tip of a rather deep iceberg.

That being said, if there have been many really good productions to dig within this rich space, I often find that the average quality of LPs is quite inconsistent. One area where most of these artists almost never disappoint is of course on stage therefore the conclusion is often to say that many of these "nu-funk" groups are first and foremost to be seen live.
Judging by the quality of their first album, Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos do not fall in that "live-only" category.

The Mighty Mocambos are a Hamburg-based funk collective that also set-up their own label "Mocambo Records" on which they released a great funk compilation in 2007 that drew some interest around. At the same time they were joined by uk-based soul/funk singer Gizelle Smith. The collaboration immediately worked great on their regular live acts so they quickly decided to work on a project on their own and after a few 45's releases, here comes their first album simply titled "This Is Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos". Following a rather confidential first release at the end of November09 they are doing an official launch now and are currently touring to promote the album.

This record carries a deep and rough funk sound supported by the powerful classic soul voice of Gizelle Smith. Contemporary singers like Sharon Jones or Alice Russel come to mind when listening to her. She perfectly energizes The Mighty Mocambos' sweaty beats.
The album is well balanced, alternating between solid funky dancing tracks such as the single "Working Woman", "Love Alarm" or my favorite piece "The Time Is Right For Love" (check deezer streaming below) with more mid-tempo groovy songs like "Everything Holds Blame" or "Out Of Fashion".

So all in all, here is a refreshing well produced funk album that I highly recommend for anyone fancying classic funk sounds.

They'll be in Paris next week, I'll try to go and give some feedback. All tour dates on their site.
Below a deezer streaming of "The Time Is Right For Love" and "Out Of Fashion".

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