Listen to this track from retro soul-jazzsters and Afrobeat enthused instrumentalists from Staten Island, NY The Budos Band. It’s their smokin’ Afrobeat-style jam “Up From the South” featured as the opening track on their eponymous 2005 Daptone Records release The Budos Band.
There are certain combinations of sounds that evoke certain musical and cultural associations, like the sound of horns, mixed with a B-3 organ, and congas. In some ways, it’s almost impossible to avoid mining the seam of a certain era of instrumental music when this combination of sounds is employed.
The Budos Band take their cues from classic 60s soul-jazz, to 70s funk, and to Afrobeat, particularly on this track where you expect Fela Kuti to start singing any second. Yet, despite the tried-and-true approach to making rhythmically interlocked music out of the elements that have come before, the music itself remains to be compelling, and viscerally so. This stuff is made for movement, good people; all kinds of movement. And with this track, does “Up From the South” refer to the progression of southern R&B to urban centers in northern cities, or does it mean something a bit more, shall we say, physical? I’m betting on the latter.