Beat Funktion | Mandy's Secret

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Mandy's Secret

by Beat Funktion

Beat Funktion's 4th album packs another funky punch with 10 fresh dance-floor killer tracks, brimming with bass grooves, space moogs, greasy wah-wah riffs and jazzy horns. 10 tracks.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz-Funk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. I Am the Summer
6:49 album only
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2. Port Arthur
5:48 album only
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3. Snap To It
5:07 album only
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4. Budo
6:39 album only
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5. Are We Done?
4:05 album only
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6. On the Tiles
4:56 album only
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7. Thunderlips
4:50 album only
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8. Mandy's Secret
5:34 album only
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9. Kandahari Airport
7:55 album only
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10. Rundfunk
6:50 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
We all know by now that Swedish funksters Beat Funktion are here to stay! Not only have their music begun to fetch fans across genres, their fan-base has also begun to encompass the entire globe, and what impresses me most is their unusually high production rate; their third album Voodooland has recently hit the US charts with extremely notable success, their second album Moon Town did the same last year, and before this year is over they already announce the release of a fourth album, intriguingly titled Mandy’s Secret. Who Mandy is and what her secret really is or symbolizes remains to be seen (or heard), but the band’s pianist and artistic director Daniel Lantz has announced that the preparations for this album actually started a longer time ago than one might think. Having just finished Voodooland for the Japanese label P-Vine in the early part of 2013, Daniel Lantz began to look for ways to move Beat Funktion in a slightly different musical direction, above all a step away from jazz, and one step closer to genres such as progressive rock, pop, disco and r&b. Lantz turned to his friend Mats Björke, who is a famous musician and producer in pop and rock from his years touring internationally with rock band Mando Diao, to be aided in finding new directions for the next album. Björke's influence on Lantz' music first of all surfaced on the recording procedure, in rather than recording the whole band live, as is commonly the case with conventional mainstream jazz acts, the choice was made to record the rhythm section first, and then the horns, and finally percussion and effects, which is the way most commercial pop and rock albums are produced these days. Secondly, the inclusion of synthesizers, effects and psychedelic sounds was something that Björke insisted on to give the album a special vibe. Lantz delivered ten songs, encapsulated under the enticing title Mandy's Secret, all containing the trademark strong melody and harmony from Beat Funktion’s earlier albums, but not only showcasing Beat Funktion as a relentless groove machine, but also as an expressive sound machine. For the first time, horn players Thunström and Olandersson used special effects on their instruments, Lantz played Moogs and organs more than before, and percussion was synthesized and processed for more ethereal soundscapes. While the album as a whole is not outspokenly conceptual, Lantz claims that the songs are all parts of the jigsaw puzzle that is the title character Mandy. Now to the songs:

The opener I Am The Summer is a sweet yet punchy piece of dancefloor funk, conjuring up the summery breezes of a green Sweden, which later switches key and puts the listener inside a tropical discotheque with percussion galore, making room for Thunström’s happy sax. Port Arthur is a slow groover that boasts one of Lantz' funkiest rhodes solos, propelled by triplet-based tambourines. The psychedelic Snap To It is bursting with energy, having the great Olandersson spurt out trumpet blasts that echo into eternity on top of a pounding pulse; otherworldly sci-fi effects keep floating around the organ riffs and persistent sub-bass. Budo could allude to Oriental martial arts, as Asian-sounding pentatonic riffs and action-packed tom patterns grace the proceedings in between Öijen's juicy guitar chops. Lantz’ Moog gives the powerful melody some spark. The album’s one ballad Are We Done? poses a question that can mean a dozen things; it’s beautiful, reflective and truly haunting both in terms of melody as well as underlying symbolism, and Olandersson’s muted trumpet gives us that special Miles vibe. On The Tiles is not by Led Zeppelin but rather a re-take of an old tune of Lantz’ that I first heard on his trio album of the same name from 2007. It is a party tune of the highest calibre, and in the hands of Beat Funktion those hip drums and Lantz’ hot Moog solo make it a feast for the ears. Thunderlips is typically what one would hear in a 70s blaxploitation flick, bluesy garage riffs, phat bass and cool drums and refreshing sounds from Olandersson’s growl trumpet and Thunström’s wah-wah sax! The title track Mandy’s Secret is the odd track on the album, presenting the first vocals with lyrics ever on a Beat Funktion song; a sensual voice narrates in French, as a rap, the story of Mandy on top of the coolest groove ever, as seductive strings add to the mystery tour and Öijen’s guitar art helps to build a crescendo. Kandahari Airport hints at tonalities from the Middle East with its arsenal of exotic percussion, and Lantz’ jabbing rhodes flirts with keyboard pop riffs reminiscent of Toto or Supertramp. Pal Johnson’s stalwart bass prevails till the end while an inferno of psychedelic drums, keys, wah-wah guitar and saxophone inundates the soundscape. Rounding off the album is Rundfunk, meaning ‘broadcast’ in German, possibly written for the band’s charting success in the US. It’s an instantly infectious groove with a catchy melody that highlights Olandersson’s remarkable trumpet tricks as well as Lantz having fun with the rhodes. As is commonly the case with Beat Funktion’s output, Mandy’s Secret has that attractive requisite vintage flavour in terms of sound as well as instrumentation. The musicians in Beat Funktion are all jazz pros which is evidenced by their remarkable musicianship on the album, and the CD is nicely packaged with beautiful original flower-power art. Yes, I believe this is about the best stuff from them yet! My highest recommendation!

Terri Seabrook, August 2014

Karl Olandersson, trumpet
Olle Thunström, tenor sax
Johan Öijen, electric guitar
Daniel Lantz, keyboards
Pal Johnson, electric bass
Jon Eriksson, drums

Guest performers:
Ola Bothzén, percussion
Mats Björke, synthesizers / effects
Lucie Gattepaille, narration
Folke Lantz, percussion

Recorded by Mats Björke. Mixed by Daniel Lantz. Mastered by Christoffer Stannow. Produced by Mats Björke & Daniel Lantz.

Official release date: September 29 2014 (Europe).

Tracks:
1. I Am The Summer
2. Port Arthur
3. Snap To It
4. Budo
5. Are We Done?
6. On The Tiles
7. Thunderlips
8. Mandy's Secret
9. Kandahari Airport
10. Rundfunk

Total time: 60 mins approx.

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