Funkommunity slightly misled me, or at least the funk part of their name did. I was expecting something dripping with funk-ness, but instead found an album that was less funk and more soul.
Thatís not to say Isaac Aesili and Rachel Fraser donít deliver up the funk throughout their debut album Chequered Thoughts. The tracks Yeah and Pass It On both fall pretty squarely into the funk basket, but I thought it worth warning you right up front so your ears donít get a surprise.
What your ears will find is 11 tracks that sound like the future of soul music in New Zealand. Isaac and Rachel are no strangers to the world of soul, having worked with Hollie Smith, Ladi6, Opensouls, Solaa, Recloose and more.
Those experiences show in the quality of the songwriting and the strength of their collective performances, with the music sitting perfectly alongside Rachelís sultry vocals; Isaac knows when to hold back to allow the focus to fall on the vocals, and when to fill the spaces between Ė Iíll take a punt and say itís his extensive work as a session musician thatís led to that sort of musicianís intuition.
Despite not finding all the funk I was looking for on Chequered Thoughts I did find plenty to enjoy and I have a feeling itís an album Iíll be coming back to a lot as we move into summer, as well as an album you'll probably all be hearing a lot more as the word spreads.
"Funkommunity has a futuristically classic sound, with their distinctive blend of funky drum rhythms, soulful synthesizers and Fraser's sassy vocals." - Okayplayer
"My car runs on Funkommunity. Really digging it." - DJ Fitchie of Fat Freddy's Drop
"With two of my favorite musicians at the helm, Funkommunity have created a work of serious atmospheric funk, playing out the aurora australis" - Taay Ninh of Electric Wire Hustle