Funk

(The Red Hot Chili Pe, James Brown, Galactic)

Monarchs: ft. Celeste – a Monarchs Mixtape

Monarchs is a surprising band that people who enjoy hip hop, alternative and soul should take note of. The group is led by the sultry and sexy Southern belle, Celeste Griffin. Currently based in Austin, Texas; the singer has several backing musicians that help complete her crew. Together, they combine to create a powerful and soulful sound complete with catchy beats and samples. Ft. Celeste is their latest record. They've released previous ones too, particularly The Rise and Fall; Those Words, Those Frames and The Oak EP. All of which are up for purchase over at BandCamp.

Wolfwolf: Happy Heart Breaks LP

Eighties sounding synths and a hypnotic little persona help complete Wolfwolf's musical enigma. Combining 80s music with laid back R&B and a slight dance beat, Happy Heart Breaks LP is an interesting little compilation that's worth your time. Gathering together 8 tracks, the album doesn't only include catchy tunes but also ooze a subtle sexiness at the same time. Designed to make you want to take yourself to the dancefloor and enjoy the night away; each track is a beautiful cacophony of groovy beats and vocals.

The Revelations feat. Tre Williams: An Introduction To…

An Introduction To... is a collection of several blues and R&B tracks sung by soulful group The Revelations featuring Tre Williams. If you have a special place in your heart for lovely blues music; then this album will be a terrific find. It has all the right elements of the genre and exudes awesome talent as well as fine musicianship. This 9-track album served as a sampler for fans prior to The Revelations releasing their full length record, Concrete Blues. Filled with great instruments, catchy hooks and some fine, fine singing; it's hard to deny the beauty and allure of this album.

WolF J McFarlane: UpSideDownDay (Tapemix)

This mixtape from WolF J McFarlane might be a few years old, but the sound is as current as ever. Blasting your ears with a great mix of samples, catchy beats and uptempo tracks; the album is a great audio experience from beginning to end. UpSideDownDay was released back in December 2009 and combines a flurry of tracks that's best described as "neo hip hop." Mixing traditional beats and samples with unexpected rhymes and sounds; the album is a refreshing take on the usual hip hop sound.

Everybody Left: Everybody Left

If you miss the good old days of the 90s when you put on the radio and hear 311 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers creating some funky tracks; you'll probably enjoy listening to Everybody Left. Describing their sound as post ska, reluctant reggae and Funk-Hop; the band sure knows how to throw down catchy beats that don't require much thought. This British Columbia group is composed of Stephen Chatterton, Eric "The Red" Wickman, Steve "Shaggy" Fissel, "Ad-Mac" Adam McIntyre, Steve "Saxman" Cowie and Martin Milbo Schoeps.

Captain Stu: Free Music EP

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Captian Stu has been performing throughout the region ever since 2003. The five piece band brings us some of the most upbeat sounds I heard in a while and with the unique and highly addicting blend of ska, funk, punk, and just a touch of a fresh African flavor, their music will surely bring back all the wonderful days of summer that are slowly getting away. So go ahead and get yourself a little bit of sunshine infused beats of the released in August of 2010 Free Music EP. And yes, just as the title suggests it is yours to enjoy entirely free of charge.

Sunclef: The TesserAct

The TesserAct might just be one of the best collections of the hip-hop drenched, head banding and finger tapping electronic beats, spicy synths, and some mind blowing electro sounds with just a touch of crunchy jazz and funk influence in all the right places, I have seen in a long while. The album is a solo debut from a talented Toronto based musician Sunclef who, with his minimal yet surprisingly powerful tunes, brings us what is extremely hard to find amidst the many thousands of electronic releases out there - quality production.

ne:o direkt (live)

Ne:o is a German band that mixes a whole lot of genres to create an essentially artistic piece of work. The group recently released a live performance compilation to cap off their German tour last 2009. It wasn't meant to be the last group performance but until today it remains to be seen whether the guys will be getting back together or not. The album is available at Aaahh Records as well as on Internet Archive. Ne:o played songs from previous albums, ne:omuzic, musikkritik and the critically acclaimed, illoj. Listening to this band is like taking a wonderful, psychedelic music trip where you encounter layers and layers of sound as well as instruments that beautifully harmonize or mingle with each other. Take a listen.

Eskaei: Bits Is All There Is

Eskaei is actually the one-man crew of Stefanos Kourtis. This talented artist has been making his own mix of eclectic electronic hip hop; skilfully creating a lush soundscape filled and inspired by hip hop music. Stefanos is also the brainchild for netlabel, Memory Format. He started it around 2006. He has also released several songs as well as compilations using different monikers in various netlabels. As Eskaei, he focuses more on his love for "electronically generated sounds;" creating a wonderful hodgepodge of elements that are both pleasant, complex yet easy to relax to.