Beat Funktion are Swedish in origin, but their music sounds like they were raised elsewhere, be it in the United States, England, or in the case of the opening track “Kareem”, perhaps Nigeria with its nice Afrobeat feel. The group have been around for a few years and have released their second album, called Moon Town (Do Music), and yet the band have already released an album in Japan called Voodooland. Will we in North America get a chance to hear it? I do not know but for now, we concentrate on Moon Town.
These guys know how to play their jazz, funk, soul, disco, and Afrobeat well, creating the kind of luscious music and productions that were the standard throughout the mid to late 1970’s. It’s soothing, laid back, and packed with the kind of grooves and rhythms that will make you want to move, either on the dance floor or perhaps somewhere more sensual (a couch in a basement, perhaps?) I loved Daniel Lantz’ keyboard work, it sounds like a Fender Rhodes but regardless, the man can play and he is brilliant throughout this album. Also brilliant is bassist Pal Johnson and drummer Jon Eriksson, a rhythm section that sound like they could be a threat to pretty much anyone who would dare to battle them. The string section is a beautiful addition to the band’s already-developed sound. Covering Oliver Nelson’s “125th Street And 7th Avenue” puts you in the place where the song’s concept and feel originated, while John Coltrane’s “The Great Escape” manages to find a new home in the hands of Beat Funktion, a hard thing to do whenever Coltrane’s works are involved. First rate music played by a first rate band, who could easy do more albums on their own or accompany someone who would be able to take each other to a new sense of musical being. I like it, I have nothing more to say.