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Monday, May 07 2007 | 11:43 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Amsterdam may not be known for gritty funk and soul, but the diversity, drive and spirit of this great city is in many ways reflected in the music of Lefties Soul Connection. Even though the Lefties’ sound is rooted in the classic funk of bands like the Meters, they are by no way trapped in the past. Lefties Soul Connection are a band of today creating songs for the year 2007 and beyond.

Their second album is titled “Skimming The Skum”. In many ways, that’s what they have done since day one. The Lefties’ DIY approach is taking the funk back to basics. Organ, guitar, bass and drums – recorded on 8 tracks at an old factory hall in the outskirts of Amsterdam. One-takes only with no additives or overdubs added.

It is this undiluted rawness that makes their music so intense and soulful. At the same time “Skimming The Skum” is exploring new territories. The album has more to offer than the taking-no-prisoners funk bangers the band is known for. They are still there of course with songs like “Fais Do-Do” or “Paul Newman”, but now they are sitting next to soul clappers like “Get Back (Drum & Clap)” (featuring guitarist Onno on vocals), the steamy swamp funk of the title track, or the heavy slow-motion groove of “Chop It!”.

The Lefties’ music has developed big time over the past 12 months. And 2006 was a great year for the band anyway. Things kicked off with their now classic version of DJ Shadow’s “Organ Donor”. The 7″ single did not only sell very well, it also introduced the band to a whole new audience. “Organ Donor” was followed by their first album “Hutspot” which was also very successful, while Alviz, Onno, Bram, Cody and Paul were on the road for the best part of the year. And it is the relentless touring that has spread the word and sharpened the sound of the band more than anything else. From clubs in Germany, England, France, Switzerland and Hungary to the big summer festivals in the Netherlands, the Lefties never failed to set the roof on fire.

In 2007 Lefties Soul Connection are no longer a best kept secret on the funk scene, getting their praise on message boards and MySpace. The Lefties are a real life band ready to take world.

ALBUM LINERNOTES BY MONK ONE (Wax Poetics):

Does the world really need another funk band?

In this modern age of bluetooth-enabled blenders and ginseng toothpaste, the idea of a group of young men dedicating themselves to the pursuit of the funk seems quaint, if not quixotic. Is fame and fortune their motivation? Unlikely. For funksters, Fate’s a fickle mistress, and history is littered with her rejected suitors. Certainly the Lefties lads are suitably studious and have noted the fate of their predecessors. The Sharks, the Seven Souls, Baby George, Bad Medicine, Wee Willie and the Winners are just a few of those who’ve come, J.B.-, Meters- and Purdie-fueled dreams in hand, issued a scorching side or two and then disappeared into the dank depths of forgotten cellars in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Perhaps, well-meaning friends and relatives may suggest to Onno, Alviz, Bram and Vogel, it’s not too late to use your considerable musical skills to manufacture Melodic Techno or essay an entrant in Eurovision ’08? The foothills of Funk Olympus can be treacherous terrain, with shelter (both economic and critical) scarce.

But all is not soured wine and wilted roses. Witnesses to the quartet’s combustible performances report a rather elevated level of joy in the air, a certain carnival quality involving spontaneous finger-popping, palm-slapping and sole-stomping. Could this intoxicating fragrance of fun be the addictive additive that drives their devilishly dedicated desires?

Imagine, if you will, a random ratskeller, canteen or speakeasy bouncing to a syncopated, stuttering sound. Fatback drums shake sweat from the walls, dancers jerk with disregard. Booker-esque organ tangles with sinister guitar, bass dislodges drinks from cabinets. This, reports indicate, is the world of Lefties Soul Connection. Who can blame the boys for choosing to ignore the enticements of investment banking, long-distance trucking and civil servitude when they hold the keys to this Dionysian playground?

And so they persist.

And so even a tweedbound muso-journalist such as myself, immersed in the button-down world of retro-future soulsonic scribery, has been forced to straighten his slouch, gaze up from his coffee-stained keyboard and take notice.

The collection you hold contains eleven LSC originals (and one Funky Chick from Texas), indicators all that these Amsterdammers are serious in their courtship of the funk muse. “Skimming the Skum”? One gets the impression it’s the scummier the better for Lefties. That rumbling you hear emerging from a dust-encrusted basement just may be the sound of these sonic excavators getting filthy in their pursuit of hard and heavy nuggets of nastiness. Another funk band? Sure. Make room for Lefties.

Andrew “Monk-One” Mason

March 18, 2007, Brooklyn

QUOTES:

“This group receives the stamp of approval, from me, Leo Nocentelli, guitarist of the Meters, and also, I think they should receive the stamp of approval from the world. Get ready to listen and meet Lefties Soul Connection.” Leo Nocentelli (The Meters, New Orleans)

“Superb funk that looks forward, grooves hard, and won’t be clearing any floors – any time in the near future!” Egon (Stones Throw, Los Angeles)

“Lefties comes with the hot heat.” Turntable Lab (USA)

“Some of the grittiest funk to come out of the European scene in many many years – and a totally mindblowing full length set.” Dusty Groove (USA)

The album Lefties Soul ConnectionSkimming The Skum” (Melting Pot Music) has been released May 11, 2007.

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