Sunday, April 10, 2011

British Postmodern Funk, Vol. 1: The New Mastersounds


The New Mastersounds - Langerado (2008)

Three minutes into my first glimpse of The New Mastersounds, I scribbled down in my notebook: "Sounds like Galactic circa 1997."

For the four British chaps onstage, that was one of the best compliments I could give them. No offense to my British friends, but I didn't think anyone from the British Isles could get down, dirty, and outright funky. For a moment, I got the flavorful taste of old school NOLA funk but with the gritty sounds reminiscent of a crowded, smokey, sweaty pub. Little did I know that I was stumbling onto a small, unique, yet soulful music scene.

BTreotch turned me onto The New Mastersounds through one of his infamous quarterly mixes. I'm a sucker for funk; my ears perked up, my foot tapped along, and my ass started shaking. I couldn't believe those guys were Brits. I quickly acquired their album This Is What We Do, which had a personal bit of irony to it because it's a phrase that my buddy Otis says regarding our somewhat peculiar job as poker reporters.

Here's a cut (interesting art-filmish video) from that album titled The Minx...


The New Mastersounds were my new favorite band of 2008 and they toured heavily in the States, becoming a fixture on the jamband festival circuit. I caught them that year at different festivals including Langerado and Mile High. They did not disappoint me at all and I thought they were one of my personal highlights of Mile High. I had officially gotten hooked on The New Mastersounds.

Here's their performance for a Spanish radio station in 2010...


Here's Karl Denson sitting in with the boys during Jam Cruise 2011...


The New Mastersounds started out as a pub band. The revealed the origins of their band name during this interview with a Spanish documentary film crew...


The New Mastersounds became my gateway drug into the burgeoning British postmodern funk scene. I discovered that my buddy Homer, a British writer and colleague, was very familiar with the band because they were from Leeds, the same university town where he lived. Homer turned me onto to a few other local bands and he became my guide into the postmodern British funk scene. Some of the music he shared with me inspired this post. Hopefully, this will be an ongoing series as I continue to explore the small clubs of Leeds in search of fresh funkified acts.

Stay tuned next week for a new installment. In the meantime, follow The New Mastersounds on Twitter. Check out their website for tour dates and other info.

4 comments:

BTreotch said...

I'm 97% certain that Joker first introduced me to the New Mastersounds via some live show..

ibm123str said...
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WhistlingPeanut said...

I think TNM was my favorite band of 2008 as well, first time seeing them at Langerado was killer then got to see them again that same weekend, i cant remember who it was (robert randolf?) but some band canceled and the mastersounds were givin the extra slot for some extra funk!

Do you have any recomendations for some other BritFunk?

Homer said...

Lack of Afro, The Haggis Horns, The Heavy (if you want something a bit rockier), Quantic aka The Quantic Soul Orchestra (if you want something a bit more Latin based).

Craig Charles' Funk and Soul show on 6 music is a great mash up of the old and new. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0072ky7