After a long, long weekend, which included Friday night’s Asbury Park 45 Sessions with Conn Shawnery from Afro Kats Records and the AP 45 Crew, and 6 hours record sorting and organization, I bring you a short post on some modern Afro Funk. The stable at Afro Kats is pretty impressive, and with a Bernard Purdie record coming out in the near future plus the vinyl pressing of unreleased New Jersey artist Floyd Lawson & the Hearts of Stone, it’s getting bigger by the moment. I originally was gonna do a feature on the label in the future (which I am sure of), but I couldn’t let this excellent record slide by without some recognition. Get into this groove FMF family, with Kutiman and “Chaser” on Afro Kats Records.
Ophir “Kutiman” Kutiel was born in Zichron, Israel. A talented musician in his own right, he plays multiple instruments: guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. He started his musical career playing piano at age six and then switched to drums and guitar at age 14. When he turned 18 years old he moved to Tel Aviv, to study music at the Rimon College. It was there he was exposed to the wild world of college radio, and the eventual transformation into the psychelic Afro Beat/ Funk phenom he has become. Dubbed the “Psychedelic space funk architect” by Straight No Chaser magazine, Kutiman has gotten a lot of shine as of late, releasing records on Melting Pot Music, the German label that broke through so to speak with artist Breakout, among others. Embraced by the Afro Beat community as well as a variety of hipster monthlies, it’s easy to see how it could happen. His music is simple and keeps your head and body moving from start to finish.
This particular track was recorded in 2004 in Jamaica, where Kutiman was living and recording, logging session time with notables such as Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, and Turbulence. From the sound of this record, the elbow rubbing with these Jamaican stars was just an addition to his great talent, as the record really speaks for itself. Kutiman had some help from his Israeli band bretheren: Shlomi Alon, a flutist from the brass section of Hadag Nahash, and Elran Dekel, lead singer of Funkenstien and trumpeter Sefy Tsizling.
Come take a ride to the East side, where the wah-wah guitar is king, and the JB’s are obviously an influence. Add in a great organ, some flute (yes I said flute), and let the Afro Funk begin. This side grooves at a nice pace and is highly recommended. Actually, I’m gonna require it. Go out and get this 7″. You’d be slighting yourself if you didn’t. I’m excited as this is the second Israeli artist I have featured on FMF, and from the look at the growing Afro Funk and Soul scene in Israel, it won’t be the last. See you midweek. Keep Diggin’!