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Speedometer | Our Kind of Movement

The U.K. funketeers don't break any new ground, but they get points for variety.

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THE PRESS RELEASE:Speedometer, the UK’s premier funk band, started out in 1999 playing classic funk tunes by artists such as The Meters and The JB’s in small clubs across the Southeast of England. Over the years, Speedometer have worked with a host of US funk legends including Joe Quarterman, Eddie Bo, Marva Whitney, Martha High, Sharon Jones, James Bell (Highlighters), Lee Fields, Billy Wooten and Robert Moore. All were blown away by Speedometer’s authenticity and dedication to faithfully creating that original soul-funk sound. Our Kind of Movement is Speedometer’s fifth album release (excluding two compilations of archive releases) and sees Vanessa Jamie and Najwa Ezzaher join James Junior on vocal duties. On this album, the band re-explore their own diverse influences combining the heritage of Latin Funk, Afro-Beat, Indian Psychedelic and Northern Soul — plus, of course, a hefty dose of new heavy weight funk and soul tunes, as you would expect. After 20 years of making funky music, this LP brings their experiences all together on one record whilst keeping the funk groove at its heart. This is Speedometer’s kind of movement.”

MY TWO CENTS: I doubt you could pitch a dart in an English pub without sticking a vintage funk outfit. So there’s no getting around the fact that these Londoners aren’t really doing anything that umpteen other outfits aren’t duplicating. But they get points for stylistic variety, sonic authenticity, tastefully restrained musicianship and for having the stones to emphasize instrumentals over vocal tracks, which makes this album seem more like the LP soundtrack to a ’60s B-movie than a bunch of digitized tracks destined for a streaming playlist.