Friday, 14 May 2010

Los Charly's Orchestra - Chicano Disco Funk - 2010 - Imagenes Records

I reviewed their excellent "Neuvo Disco" EP last year (2009) and celebrated the fact that the group had successfully recreated - NOT mimicked - the classier uptempo sounds of the 1970s. I know that the EP went down very well and caused a very nice stir indeed, with extra input from our old mate, Joey Negro added to the mix for good measure. One could easily believe this was an unreleased late '70s gem; one that would, could and should have sat next to Webster Lewis, Eddie Henderson or even Brick in the new releases vinyl rack. "Black Boy Lane" unashamedly urges you to drag out the flares and the 'come fly with me' collars but at the same time calmly restrains you from the dreadful, cheesier side of the era - the Euro Disco sound and the gold chain. On offer here are 13 tracks in all, and this includes the tasty gems from the aforementioned EP, "Funkanova" and "Make A Move". Having praised these in the past I shall swiftly move on to praise the new tunes! "Black Boy Lane" with the scratchy guitar line a la Rose Royce and funky bassline is a real dream - wait until the horns blast through and I defy you NOT to want to dance!!!

Fans of the previous Sunburst band sets (especially the latest) will have no qualms in making a strong association with those songs and "Swinging To The Bass (Disco Funk)" - a track that I should be remembering as an old track and NOT a brand new one!!!! The full-blown vocals of "Some Of The things" plays right into the Michael Cooper vocal style with Con Funk Shun, and I am reminded of Wood, Brass & Steel on "Tanto Soul" as well, which is not unwelcome. I distinctly detect a Quincy Jones / Rod Temperton vibe on "Disco Gamma" especially where the bassline is concerned, the beats superbly Salsoul in orientation complete with percussion. "Funk Flow" features vocals from Stuart Lisbie, and the funky 70s keys take us back to the days of Eddie Kendricks' "Boogie Down" or the Commodores' "Machine Gun". I hope you like the sound of this CD - the actual listening enjoyment will be accompanied by a BIG smile and an urge to get up and strut. Yes, folks, even if you can't dance - and I should know! The album ends on an epic note with "Hotel Caribe" - a true masterpiece of Disco Funk Soul flavours which brings back memories of Ronnie Laws, Ramsey Lewis, Pleasure and...oh...the list goes on. All i can say is that this is a great set and one not to be missed.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe