Please install a newer Version of Adobe™ Flash™-Player to listen to soundclips


Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Recent posts

Movements Vol.9
Jan 22, 2018
Jan 15, 2018
Jan 08, 2018
PA Sports & Kianush
Jan 02, 2018
Dec 11, 2017
See all entries

Search the magazine

Subscribe to our feed

Groove Attack magazine (RSS)
Wednesday, Jan 27 2010 | 15:36 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

“Earthology” is the latest album from The Whitefield Brothers, a loose line-up of musicians centred on the siblings Jan ‘JJ’ and Max ‘Muggy’ Whitefield, formerly known as the founders of Munich’s legendary Poets Of Rhythm. Last heard from with their cult 2001 debut “In The Raw” (re-issued this year on Now-Again Records), “Earthology” finds the brothers blending the rough funk of “In The Raw” – “raw soul”, in their terminology – with a broader eye on music from around the globe, sending them in a rich new direction with infinite possibilities.

Though most of the music was recorded in the last few years, some of it was even made up to 15 years ago, representing an incredibly long-ranging musical project. “The idea behind “Earthology” is multiplicity, a patchwork of sounds and ideas”, say the brothers.

That ‘patchwork’ involves a multitude of different guests from far and wide, including vocalists Edan, Mr. Lif, Bajka, Percee P and MED, and musicians from the Antibalas, El Michels Affair, Quantic, Express Brass Band and the Dap-Kings. They joined the duo’s group in experimental sessions taking place in New York, Munich and Berlin.

To achieve the album’s unique sound, the brothers employed an incredible array of instruments and put in a huge amount of research. The whole album is rooted in soul music, but they combined common instruments with unusual ones, such as gongs and flutes from Asia (“Alin”), xylophones and string instruments from Africa (“Safari Strut”, “Sem Yelesh”), as well as central American percussion instruments (“Ntu”) to add new colours to their music. The use of African polyrhythms (“Ntu”) and Arabic rhythmical structures (“Chich”), African pentatonic scales (“Sad Nile”) and oriental modes (“Pamukkale”) set those instruments in the right context. They learned a lot about the serious integration of diverse musical traditions from the world music pioneers Embryo, who are also based in their hometown of Munich, and listened intensely to countless numbers of field recordings from all over the world to understand the different languages in their musical structures and inner meanings. Max went even to Burma to study the traditional Saing Waing music and joined, back in Berlin, the Gamelan group of Gutama Soegijo to deepen his skills in south-east Asian music.

“In The Raw” pre-dated today’s soul revival by nearly a decade, although it never saw great sales: the record quickly went out of print and the Soul Fire label folded. Until the recent reissue The Whitefield Brothers’ debut album, regarded as a masterpiece by those lucky enough to have heard it, was a highly-desired collectors’ item which provided an inspiring spark for today’s funk scene. The incredible and ambitious “Earthology” looks certain to set that record straight.


01. Joyful Exaltation feat. Bajka
02. Safari Strut
03. Reverse Pt.2 feat. Percee P & MED
04. Tiasho
05. Sad Nile
06. The Gift feat. Edan & Mr.Lif
07. NTU
08. Pamukkale
09. Alin
10. Breakin Through feat. El Michels Affair
11. Sem Yelesh
12. Lullaby For Lagos feat. Quantic
13. Chich

The album Whitefield BrothersEarthology” (Now-Again Records) is going to be released January 29, 2010.

Need assistance?

+49 (0) 221 99075 0 phone
+49 (0) 221 99075 990 fax
Contact form

Aerzte ohne Grenzen 2018
Office hours
Mon–Thu 10h–18h GMT+1
Fri 10h–17h GMT+1

Copyright © 2018 Groove Attack GmbH, Mathias-Brüggen-Str. 85, D-50829 Cologne, Germany
Imprint / Impressum / Disclaimer · Privacy Policy / Datenschutzerklärung