Thursday, January 29, 2009


"Does the world really need another funk band?

In this modern age of bluetooth-enabled blenders and ginseng toothpaste, the idea of a group of young men dedicating themselves to pursuit of the funk seems quaint, if not quixotic. Is fame and fortune their motivation? Unlikely. For funksters, Fate’s a fickle mistress, and history is littered with her rejected suitors. The foothills of Funk Olympus can be treacherous terrain, with shelter (both economic and critical) scarce.

But all is not soured wine and wilted roses. Witnesses to the quartet’s combustible performances report a rather elevated level of joy in the air, a certain carnival quality involving spontaneous finger-popping, palm-slapping and sole-stomping. Could this intoxicating fragrance of fun be the addictive additive that drives their devilishly dedicated desires?

Imagine, if you will, a random Ratskeller, canteen or speakeasy bouncing to a syncopated, stuttering sound. Fatback drums shake sweat from the walls, dancers jerk with disregard. Booker-esque organ tangles with sinister guitar, bass dislodges drinks from cabinets. This, reports indicate, is the world of Lefties Soul Connection. Who can blame the boys for choosing to ignore the enticements of investment banking, long-distance trucking and civil servitude when they hold the keys to this Dionysian playground?

And so they persist.

And so even a tweedbound muso-journalist such as myself, immersed in the button-down world of retro-future soulsonic scribery, has been forced to straighten my slouch, gaze up from my coffee-stained keyboard and take notice. What hip hop junkie could find fault with Lefties' raw Funk 45 feel, filtered through their hip-to-the-game beatwise sensibilities? What aspiring producer could ignore the mind-boggling array of open drumbreaks and MPC-enticing snippets that surface with alarming consistency throughout their music? What connoisseur of garage funk would deny the greasy grooves these fresh fellows finesse?

The collection you hold contains eleven LSC originals (and one Funky Chick from Texas), indicators all that these Amsterdammers are serious in their courtship of the funk muse. “Skimming the Skum”? One gets the impression it’s the scummier the better for Lefties. That rumbling you hear emerging from a dust-encrusted basement just may be the sound of these sonic excavators getting filthy in their pursuit of hard and heavy nuggets of nastiness. Another funk band? Sure. Make room for Lefties."

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