Ikebe Shakedown is the self-titled album is one to shakedown your boogie on the dancefloor for another impressive debut album on Ubiquity Records.
Based in Brooklyn and released on West Coast’s Ubiquity Records, their brand on “cinematic soul, funk, afrobeat, world and deep disco” is certainly right up the label’s street as it embraces Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra’smulti-national genre fusing World Of Funk and Orgone to name just two label mates.
If you’re wondering about the name Ikebe Shakedown (its pronounced “ee-kAY-bay”) but perhaps the most impressive side of this group, is that in the few years that they’ve been together, they have developed Fela’s 70’s Afrobeat template with innovative big horns, funky guitar and sexy basslines; we’re talking serious dance music that makes them stand alone.
With theBrooklynvillage getting hot over their original 7”, they were invited by Tom Brenneck at Dunham Studios (as with Sharon Jones & The Dapkings, Michael Leonhart & The Avramina, et al) and at Killion Sound in LA (you’ll spot the Killion connection with Orgone if you’ve got their last album; Killion Vaults).
You really get the feel for this band as the 14 tracks were recorded almost ‘”as live” direct to tape, so old skool!
And if you’ve not got the idea yet, the opener ‘Tujunga’ is a super slick upbeat Fela-style instrumental in a compact 7” length – super strong. ‘Kumasi Walk’ is a softer groove like a cross between the Serengeti and Birth Of The Cool themes – so cool.
‘No Name Bar’ keeps up the lazy groove al a Blaxploitation movie genre music with supa horn action with a funky percussion backing that leads superbly into another groover, ‘Tame The Beats’ with fantastic work on horns, guitar and the shaker (a shakedown special).
‘Don’t Contradict’ is ‘No Name Bar’ at double time; Curtis Mayfield on Afrobeat speed juice, ‘Sakonsa’ goes even faster – I’ll love these two tracks forever I think – and ‘Five Points’ fits nicely in the middle somewhere. And if you’re wondering about the “cinematic” tag, the title just ouzse the 60s/70s action movie with ‘The Hold Up’, ‘Refuge’ and ‘In Circles’ as prime examples.
Is the absence of vocals a let down? Not for me but I can imagine it would be for some; especially with such a Kuti sound, whether Fela, Femi or Seun. How does ‘The Viking’ sound so Nigerian when there’s so much Ricky Tick Records jazz horn about it?
They’ve been gigging regularly in and around NYC in May and June but it’d be good to see them on the European Festival circuit (for those of us going to Festivals in Europe this summer who haven’t been put off by Glastonbury mud).but either way, Ikebe Shakedown are going to be a dominant on the office sound system for a good while yet and are strongly recommended for your own set up.
Hectic Mix Nominations: lets face it, all of them are great!!
Reviewed: Ikebe Shakedown – Ikebe Shakedown (Ubiquity Records) Cat. No. URCD292 Release date: 6th July 2011
1. Tujunga (3:23)
2. KumasiWalk (4:43)
3. No Name Bar (3:33)
4. Tame The Beats (3:26)
5. Don’t Contradict (3:58)
6. The Hold Up (3:13)
7. Refuge (4:15)
8. In Circles (3:27)
9. The Viking (4:38)
10. Five Points (3:46)
11. Asa-Sa (5:06)
12. Pepper (2:56)
13. Sakonsa (2:37)
14. Green & Black (4:06)