Tuesday 26 January 2021

'Shake Your Leg' by The Hot Damn Horns & The Soul Machine

We've long mused over our affection for the boundless funk music that seems to emanate out of Germany's clearly thriving music scene.  Names like The Mighty Mocambos, Pitch & Scratch, David Nesselhauf, Diazpora and so many more have all helped to solidify Germany as a leading hub of creativity when it comes to the artform of blazing horns, dirty bass and irrefutable grooves.

While the list of immeasurably talented German acts continues to rise, we would absolutely have to include the latest efforts of The Hot Damn Horns & The Soul Machine as flag wavers for their own brand of gloriously soulful, funk-filled music.

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, the collective's debut album, 'Shake Your Leg', is an excellent introduction to the septet's interpretation of contemporary funk and over the album's eleven tracks, their intention to have you not sitting still is boldly declared at the outset.  Littered with high-energy numbers that strike hard from the album's outset with 'At the Laundromat' and 'Yalla Banana' as well as through other notable highlights like 'Trapping' and the album's bonus track, 'Bumblebee Jack'.  The album's title track certainly warrants special mention as over the song's 6+ minutes, it playfully deconstructs itself from a fiery, horn-heavy celebration, opting instead to shut down in the middle and build itself all the way up again slowly reintroducing all those elements until they are all masterfully united once again.  

'Shake Your Leg' is an incredibly versatile and accomplished funk record from nothing less than an incredibly versatile and accomplished band.  I use the term "band" but, again, this album is actually the make up of two different factions coming together and comprising something more akin to a super group.  With players representing The Hot Damn Horns including Christian Mück (trumpet), Christoph Beck (saxophone) and Florian Seeger (trombone), paired alongside the musicians from The Soul Machine in Christoph Neuhaus (guitar), Lukas Großmann (hammond organ), Alex Uhl (bass), and Eckhard Stromer and Andy Schoy (drums), the combination is inspired and will hopefully lead to many more projects together.

To give due credit to each of these assembled musicians would take more time than this article would allow - each boasts genuinely awe-inspiring résumés which sees them performing amidst a wide variety of funk and jazz bands firmly embedding them within Germany's current musical landscape.  For now though, the focus is 'Shake Your Leg' and hopefully it won't be too long before they ask us to shake the other leg too.

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