It seems to more of a rarity in the field these days that fellow DJ’s hip me to releases that are in my immediate interest or tastes especially in the funk & soul spectrum where my both my ears and eye’s stay wide open. But recently the home girl and good music lover, DJ Calamity Jade who runs the Willwork4funk promo agency dropped a gem on me from The Mandatory Eight with a nice 7″ of “Soul Fanfare #3” b/w “Turn It Out” that totally caught me attention.
The Mandatory Eight first raised their horns on ATA’s funk soul and afro rarities compilation with a banger of an R&B cut “Suckerpunch”, a follow up to which has been long awaited and heavily called for. ATA have dug deep in the archives to unearth two dance-tempo 45 killers to placate the calls until studio time is allotted to the band for a debut album.
The band’s sound and ideology definitely lies in the passionate end of the less refined eclectic soul. Feel over precision, passion over execution, soul-on-a-budget hits that leave you feeling that with a little bit of dedication and determination we could all cut a 45.
From the opening drum pick up of “Soul Fanfare #3” it is clear that The Mandatory 8 are here to make you move. With proud horn lines reminiscent of something that you might find in the Stax vaults, Soul Fanfare definitely takes it’s lead from backing bands such as the Barkays and the funkier side of Booker T and the MGs. One can imagine that this was definitely a set opener for the group, guaranteed to put foot to floor. Guitar and bass have a care free movement and feel, conjuring up tones of late 60’s summer soul hits.
The B-side “Turn It Out” has a darker, moodier feel to the previous side. Still a dance floor filling groove, the band take a direction more similar to below the radar funk outfits such as Amnesty or LA carnival. Biting minor horn lines set the tone backed by a bubbling bed of congas, rhythm guitar, unruly bass and drums which don’t dip below boiling for the duration. Turn it out features a manzarek-esque farfisa organ solo which sets the sonic tone of a band without funds but with plenty of soul in the bank.