Reviewed by Andrew Hickey on 15 October 2012
Rated 7 out of 10
Key Track: Afraid Of Heights
Listen to music now on MOG
In this ever changing musical climate there’s nothing quite as reassuring as hearing and witnessing a finely tuned live band.
The celebrity grandstanding and overreliance on studio trickery of today’s RnB and hip hop in particular makes any organic elements such as live instrumentation a breath of fresh air.
Hailing from New York, The Ill Funk Ensemble clearly has that chemistry and each member of this five piece has a musical pulse running through their bodies. Together since 2006, second album The Duality is the culmination of countless road trips, live shows, and recording sessions.
Their approach of combining traditional elements with modern sounds is typified by opening track ‘She’s Fearless’, which finds vocalist Jermaine Wells crooning over heavy drums and somewhat ominous synthesiser.
The social commentary of ‘Different Day’ is complimented by a sound normally associated with southern rap, which is reworked here with live instrumentation. Guest vocalist Michael Gaydusek drives the subject matter home with his forceful rapping.
The tempo picks up on ‘Find A Way’, which despite some heavy handed sentiments about society benefits from the thumping percussion, orchestral strains and vocals from guest Steven Atkinson.
There are times where The Duality can linger into dry mundane territory, while there are also more than enough thrilling moments from The Ill Funk Ensemble that ultimately delivers something familiar yet fresh that rocks the mind and body.
Recent Record Reviews
Released through Vagrant Records, 2013
Rouge Wave’s records seem to always be overshadowed by a crisis or tragic event including job losses, the death of their bassist, and a desperate search...
1 day ago
Released through Virgin, 2013
“When we were in love, if we were, I was an eagle and you were a dove” sings the 23 year old on what is effectively...
5 days ago
Released through Independent, 2013
Buchanan’s debut album Human Spring, is somewhat of a concept album, based on the “incredibly loose” story of a young soldier, conflicted by the torrent of...
1 week ago
Released through RCA Records, 2013
Fresh off the back of their recent stint in Australia, Walk The Moon have released the deluxe version of their 2012 self titled debut album, an...
1 week ago