Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Breakestra: Comin' to Break You Off

Why haven't I heard of these guys before? Why hasn't this band appeared at any festivals that I've read about? Someone is dropping the ball by not getting the word out ... so I'm just going to have to do it myself.

They're called Breakestra and they're a ten-piece funk "orchestra" from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1996. If you're a fan of Houseman-era Galactic, The Meters, Maceo Parker, Jurassic 5, and the Roots, you should absolutely give them a listen. They lay down some hard funk and smooth soul that would make the JBs get up and dance. I was pleasantly surprised to read, after discovering them through Pandora, that this band is still together and touring. They just wrapped up a European run of shows that took them from Dublin to Naples. I bought their 2005 album Hit The Floor today on iTunes and it's as good as I hoped it would be.

Jambase wrote a review of one of their shows back in January 2006, which included the following:
Their sound and style has been aptly described as the fusion of the essence of the breakbeat, the apex of a funk song that when looped together by pioneering DJ's in the South Bronx in the 70's became the foundation upon which all hip-hop was constructed, and Sun Ra's Arkestra, which injected funk and musical exploration into the traditional concept of a strait-laced orchestra. His vision was to assemble a band that could seamlessly rock the essential breakbeats to the supreme satisfaction of every rap aficionado, vinyl archeologist, and b-boy and b-girl who was listening.
Take a listen to my favorite song from Hit The Floor entitled Hidin'.

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