Sweden’s Beat Funktion transports listens to the funk-based traction of ’70s dance pop on their new CD Moon Town from Do Music Records. Moored by the funky grooves of drummer Jon Eriksson and the bopping propulsion of bassist Pal Johnson, the tracks feature the cruising riffs of guitarist Johan Oijen and the psychedelic motifs of keyboardist/organist David Lantz molding the melodic movements in a vice of soaring phrases sketched by trumpeter/saxophonist Olle Thunstrom, all working in unison to create party-riddled tunes. Moon Town dips into ’70s funk and refurbishes it with modern embellishments.
“Kareem” is a tribute to the American basketball player by that name cast in trotting beats and flailing horns while “125th Street and 7th Avenue” pays homage to the famous intersection in Harlem fashioned with a party tempo and mirth-filled horns. The breezy atmospherics of “Women in Neon” is trussed in soft soliloquies from the strings stamping silky silhouettes along the melodic progressions, which then flow into a romantic piano melody in “City Lights” laden in floating strings.
The band shows influences of theme songs used in ’70s crime dramas and spy flix in “Mastermind” producing an ambience that puts the listener on the edge with sidling horns and sprinting keys. “The Great Escape” has a Latin flare in the vibrating beats shifting into sailing riffs lubricating the title track and streaked in squiggling synth effects. The coasting ripples of “Impressions” penned by John Coltrane has a funky-bent in the swells then ramps up the tempo in “Driver’s Seat” to a pumping rhythmic pattern indented with trickling guitar chords.
Beat Funktion’s Moon Town explores the sounds of ’70s dance pop tapping into the creative energy and sense of melodic phrasing that made theme songs from films in the ’70s imprint a strong image on the mass psyche. Moon Town is the band’s sophomore release following their debut album The Plunge and probes the nocturnal and psychedelic textures of ’70s dance pop. Hailing from Sweden, the home of ’70s pop icon Abba, Beat Funktion creates of mixture of American funk and Euro pop that is as contagious as it was over forty years ago attracting a new generation of fans to the entertainment facet of funk-based tracks.
Karl Olandersson – trumpet, Olle Thunstrom – tenor saxophone, Johan Oijen – guitar, Daniel Lantz – piano, Rhodes, Moog, and organ, Pal Johnson – bass, Jon Eriksson – drums
Kareem, Women in Neon, 125th Street and 7th Avenue, City Lights, Mastermind, The Great Escape, Moon Town, Impressions, Driver’s Seat