New and Notable Releases

THE WHITEFIELD BROTHERS In The Raw (Soul Fire) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN

What do you get when Germany’s ultimate nu-funk combo, Poets of Rhythm, hook up with New York’s Soul Fire label, run by Philip Lehman with a “shitty is pretty” philosophy? Something that sounds as raunchy-rough as the Whitefield Brothers’ aptly named In The Raw album. There’s the usual Meters-gone-bad vibe to the Whitefields’ nasty grooves, but besides dirtying up their noise, they’ve expanded the usual New Orleans shuffle-bump into Afro-funk and swampy territory, which is a welcome turn. Obsessive collectors of funk sevens should note that neither Rampage nor Chokin’, from Soul Fire’s recent Whitefield Brothers 7-inch, appears here.

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