STR4TA / The Invicta Mixtape / Brownswood Recordings – By Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

An all star line-up is assembled to rework highlights from Gilles Peterson and Bluey’s Britfunk-inspired STR4TA project – the result unsurprisingly being twelve superior slices of dancefloor heat. Steve Conry and Takashi Nakazato fire up Dance Desire and Rhythm In Your Mind, by paradoxically taming some of the brio of the original cuts: dropping cleverly down into percussive grooves that hark back to golden-era Joe Clausell at Body & Soul vibes. As deep as you like and musical as hell – expertly re-tooled for sure. Dave Lee has a couple of cracks at After The Rain, both of which are steeped in classic Atmosfear-type feels: drums phased to phuck and sounding awesomely crispy, guitars throwing down a clipped funk, synths set to ‘space age,’ bass slapped until it can be slapped no more. Quality all round.

Greg Wilson stretches Aspects out into an extended party-hearty groove: lots going on rhythmically, bassline locking everything down, shimmered keys thrown into the pot – peak time business for underground blues and beanos.

It’s all irresistible stuff really, designed by dancers, for dancers, music to make you forget your woes even if its just for a couple of hours on a Saturday night. The twelve and a half minute long Nuovi Fratelli mix of Rhythm In Your Mind is a journey all of its own: twisting, turning, lush and yearning, keeping the afterhours dancers going until exhaustion kicks in. The Britfunk scaffolding added to and built upon to create a towering inferno of 2021 lowdown knowledge. Demus’ rock-solid dub of Aspects still sounds like your hundred favourite club nights rolled up into a giant ball of delight – beats sharper than a switchblade, surgically enhanced and made over for maximum devastation.

It`s difficult to pick a favourite when the quality control is this high: although you’d expect no less from Brownswood Recordings and the Peterson posse. Personally I’ve been returning to the Conry / Nakazato mixes for spiritual nourishment, but the package as a whole is guaranteed to deliver for the soulful music lover in your life. The Britfunk revival shows no sign of hitting the buffers: and with tunes this strong there’s every chance it’ll keep on keeping on until we’re in our dotage. Come spring / summer next year and this set will be wafting around the parties that know. More brilliant Brownswood bubblers for sure.

STR4TA`s The Invicta Mixtape is released this Friday, December 3rd, by Brownswood Recordings. 

Str4ta Invicta

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