umber session tribe
The 'street funk phenomena' live up to their name and much more
Playing a funk-dominated brand of jazz, the deep grooviness of the songs is matched by the instrumental prowess of the band, from smooth saxophone to soft purr of keyboard to humming bass. The first songs starts with a tight funk beat with licks of guitar flicking at it before the saxophones and trumpet reply in kind with a peak of brass. A wailing guitar solo from Isoken gets hurried back to the groove by the busy bass and drums. The rest of the instruments fight back with passion and the song gets faster and faster before the drums solo off. Their second song is a more sunny sound, the burp and pop of bass with racing bongos on the side providing the brass something to bounce off.
The keyboard gets a solo with fingers flying and chords chopping as the notes run. The set then changes dramatically with MC KTwigz entering the front of stage. His impact is immediate, revving up the crowd before making the sax players Hiharu and Amon duel. KTwigz then unleashes his wordplay, his flow, speed and delivery impressive as he hops and stalks across the stage with energy. With flawless English and faster rapping then I can manage as a native speaker, it’s a stunning entry. Somebody really ought to check his birth certificate and check it doesn’t say Brooklyn, New York on it.
The other highlight of the set was the bass solo from Aanrii, his slapping style displaying impressive power and technicality. The next song has a squelchy funk background that slows down for a blaring trumpet solo. All too soon their set finishes, leaving the crowd still hopping and bopping around. Labeling themselves as a ‘street funk phenomena’, they’ve more than lived up to the name. If you hear some funk filtering through the streets of Shibuya or Shinjuku, there’s more than a chance it’s these guys. Be sure to stop and check them out.
Text by Matthew Evans, Photo by KentaKUMEI
Posted on 2015.7.28 21:08
Posted on 2015.7.24 17:06