Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Fuminori Kagajo – Chase Down – Roots Underground Records

PERHAPS it is because I am hopelessly out of touch, tragically unhip or even subconsciously jealous that I am so uncool to carry it off with any conviction, but I have an inherent distrust of anyone who describes other folk as ‘cats’.

It seems to belong to another time and place, when roll-necks, wide lapels and wild Afros ruled the world. And I would undoubtedly be chased from my local Wetherspoon by burly men in cheap sportswear for talking such jive.

Yet cats is the term I keep returning to when pondering the dudes behind vinyl release number two from Italy’s beautifully burgeoning label Roots Underground. Because for the excellent four-track trip – and it is a trip – that is the Chase Down EP, Sapporo-based Fuminori Kagajo [King Street Sounds/Slip‘N’Slide/Fatsouls Records] has surrounded himself with a gaggle of accomplished musicians who sound like they may have served their apprenticeships with Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters.

The title track is a funky-ass journey back to the seventies; soulful, sassy and seriously groovy, it couldn’t be cooler if it were sporting a leather trench coat and mirrored shades. And that is in large part due to the outrageously sharp keyboard skills of the super-talented Takuto Kudo. His fingers are working overtime too on the stunning Aggregation, a wonderfully deep and driving number that irresistibly works both the head and feet to maximum effect.

Over on the flipside there is no sign of slowing down. Indeed, if anything the joyous The Tropics takes the pace up a notch or two, albeit this time with an Afro-Latin lilt. And despite more sterling keyboard gymnastics from Mr Kudo, it is in fact the brass section that takes centre stage with a twisted and frenetic contribution.

Closing track Depths Of The Forest is much more contemporary house territory. There’s still a delightful and uplifting keyboard solo on parade but this time married to a deep house sensibility and kick. It’s a heady brew.

Buy here.

Check out:
Roots Underground @ SoundCloud
Roots Underground @ Bandcamp

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