By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Breakestra’s Dusk Till Dawn (the title is a dedication to close friend and musical partner DJ Dusk, killed by a drunk driver in 2006) is Tackett’s most sophisticated work yet. The album is thick with the kinds of vigorous and frenetic funk tracks the group’s been known for, but there are also heavy injections of fuzzed-out psychedelia and dramatic string arrangements, reflecting Tackett’s expanding experimentations.
Myron and E. are still a work in progress; their debut album won’t come out until early 2010, though Timmion has promised at least one single this fall. Theirs will be an intriguing, transnational collaboration, with the Soul Investigators supplying a variety of tracks for consideration, while Myron and E. handle the rest of the songwriting, pulling everything together via both broadband Internet swaps and plane tickets to Helsinki.
While all three artists have found success in their respective careers, retro soul is not exactly the most lucrative niche; there must be more that is drawing so many people this deep in. Myron and E.’s theory is that soul music of the ’60s and ’70s attained a perfection that continues to inspire people. Says Cooke, “I think there’s a certain truth in the music that’s just undeniable; you can’t escape it.”
Glasper adds, “I’m willing to step out on a limb and say that was the greatest music that ever existed. ... There are hundreds of groups that were out back then that were never discovered, but they were phenomenal.”
One main challenge these groups have faced, almost from inception, is the accusation that they’re simply recycling the past. Such critiques tend to overlook how much pop music has always absorbed and played off its own history; “Pop Will Eat Itself” is a truism, not just a new-wave band. Regardless, for an artist like Mayer Hawthorne, it’s not about trying to remake the past; it’s about finding a path to attain the same kind of perfection. “You can’t replicate the sound of Motown without going back to 1965 and recording in the snake pit with a bunch of the best jazz musicians in Detroit, you know? But that’s part of the fun ... trying to analyze the sound, and I’m still figuring it out.”
Breakestra| Dusk Till Dawn | Strut Records U.K.
Mayer Hawthorne| A Strange Arrangement | Stones Throw Records
Myron and E.| “Cold Game” 7-inch | Differ-ant Records
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city