Saturday, March 17, 2012

MONOPHONICS : Total Groove Merchants

Tonight at Harvelle's Santa Monica MONOPHONICS are taking over [official website]. From the Bay Area, they are just signed to UBIQUITY (one of the coolest labels ever!)

from the press release:
Monophonics were formed in '05; originally a instrumental ensemble comprised of guitarist Ian McDonald, bassist Myles O’Mahony, saxophonist Alex Baky, trumpeter Ryan Scott, and drummer Austin Bohlman, the band has recently added the dynamic soul vocals of keyboardist Kelly Finnigan. The result is a psychedelic soul & heavy funk sound, which harks back to the stylings of the late '60s and early '70s, all while keeping its feet planted in the present.

Their Ubiquity debut, In Your Brain is now available for Pre-Order. Also be on the look out for a special 7'' to be released on Record Store Day.

San Francisco and it's out laying townships and suburbs have a long history of soul funk, psychedelic soul, acid jazz, rare groove, and other unclassifiable yet deeply funky stuff. Not just the known stuff from the 60s and 70s, like Tower Of Power and Sly & The Family Stone, but obscure artists like The Propositions, The Mighty Ryeders, and Spanky Wilson, continuing through to modern bastardizers from the 90s like Limbomaniacs, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, new traditionalists like Charlie Hunter and Mo'fessionals and revivalists like Mike James Kirkland, Orgone (LA based actually) and Monophonics, going strong today.

I spent much of the late eighties and early nineties making regular trips to San Francisco specifically to The Groove Merchant* to collect rare vinyl and everything on the Luv N Haight label which was primarily vintage tracks no one ever heard, available for the true groove connoisseur, the crate digger looking for the ultimate head-bobbing track. In the Beastie Boys song Professor Booty, they pay tribute: "This one goes out to my man the Groove Merchant/ Coming through with beats for which I been searching". Brilliant. Many Luv N Haight titles are available [here].

Of course, with YouTube and mp3s and funk blogs and many compilations from all over the planet excavating through every nook and cranny, funk and it's many niche genres, it's all well documented and readily available. But there's nothing like hearing it live.

MONOPHONICS are blasting off tonight at Harvelle's 1432 4th St. in Santa Monica (between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd). Come down, it'll do your soul some good.

*note: the URL doesn't seem to work any longer.

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