Give Me Some Dap 'Cause I Got Soul

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Daptone Records is like the butter on the KFC biscuit. Ok, that might be extra, but I'm hungry and I like food analogies so we'll try to roll with it. Cool? Cool :) In music and in meals it's good to have certain seasonings (ie. artists) brought in that transform the flavor of an otherwise bland (ie. uninspired) experience. To reiterate...Daptone Records is like butter, baby!

Put on the map in large part by Sharon Jones and The (phenomenal!) Dap Kings, Daptone Records creates a unique niche for itself by featuring music and artists that channel another familiar era without sounding like replicating gimmicks. Living in a post-soul nation as we are it's easy to tag anything doo wopping in dark-rimmed glasses, a pressed white shirt and a skinny tie as "retro", but Daptone artists make it clear that the craft and the way you record, package, and present your music is what makes it "soul", a lifestyle and not a trend. The record label is heavily invested in instrumentation, which if you'll recall, was the cornerstone of much soul music that was being created from the mid-1960s to roughly 1979. There is very few--if any--sampling going on within each Daptone artist's music, which is far from being a bad thing. Many classic hip hop songs of today and the early 90s used samples from early soul artists and it's become, in part, an homage to the way a lot of great music was made.


Enter Daptone Records' fantastic Afro-soul beat band from Staten Island, The Budos Band. This group--a ten piece ensemble of trumpets, horns, drums, keyboards, baritone and tenor sax, guitar, etc--channels the indelible sound of Afro-soul that Fela Kuti epitomized, and then they slather it down with grooves reminiscent of Vanilla Fudge's "You Keep Me Hanging On", and then jump on the Isaac Hayes bandwagon and keep it velvety smooth like Shaft. The Budos Band make their home in Bushwick, Brooklyn (where Daptone Records is headquartered) and become a part of the undeniably delicious music scene that is pulsating all across Brooklyn, from indie rock groups to Afro-punk bands to soul music makers. So give it up for the kids. They got soul.






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