GMF – Grand Mother’s Funck: At The Funckyard
GMF – Grand Mother's Funck have been reinvented. This Swiss band has been spreading cheer and packing concert halls for over a decade. Now, you can let the party roar into your own living room with "At The Funckyard", the latest release of this eight-piece groove machine. "At The Funckyard" is a multi-faceted masterpiece that highlights each member of the band.
From the very beginning it’s clear that a lot of work has gone into in this new GMF production. The first track "GMF Intro" is a clever sound collage of the album’s songs and gives a taste of what’s to come.
And then the sound takes off! "Ecstasy" is an impressive showcase for guest singer Tatiana Ferraro. With its heavy bass, pumping beats, crisp horns, and three and a half minutes of full vocals, it’s not just the length of the track that screams pop - but hey, it's funky, so what!
“Blame It" is more relaxed, but also very groovy and very danceable. The song is a hilarious conversation between the hopeless music junky Rich Fonje, GMF's lead singer, and his musically-challenged girlfriend. Music aficionados will enjoy the intentional references to well-known soul classics.
The next track, "Sympathy", is more down to earth. Here Rich plays a priest lamenting the lack of compassion in the world, with Bean on saxophone and the GMF horn section preaching right along with him.
"Why Not!" seems pleasant and polished enough at first, but on closer inspection reveals an edge. Bernie’s energetic guitar licks are in constant dialogue with Chnufi on keyboards. And when Rich lasciviously groans "Why Not!" into the mike, well, she’s just got to go with it!
Things slow down with the moving ballad “Stay with Me”, composed by trombonist René Mosele. Here, the artistic choir arrangements serve to further showcase Tatiana Ferraro’s voice.
The cool sound paves the way for the next part of the album, which is more experimental and opens with "Waterford". This track’s groove was already presented in the intro, but is now set off by a trombone solo in unison with Marc Stucki's great-sounding bass clarinet. The piece is a small foray into the world of jazz and the result of a collaboration between band members René Mosele and Daniel "Booxy” Aebi.
In "YeahYeahYeah - featuring NILSA”, the Mozambican rapper NILSA couldn’t have found a better platform for her harsh, reproachful lyrics about the poverty and injustice in her homeland. GMF fight a merciless beat with uncharacteristic rocking guitar riffs that reference the old Beastie Boys’ “fight for your right”. "I Can’t Take It" continues in the same style. How could it be any other way on a day when everything goes wrong?
Next is the short ballad "Can’t Get Anything Done“. The trombone chorus and saxophone solo come together to create a mood that is both calm yet strangely oppressive. It suits the lyrics "I’m crazy about you, but can’t get anything done when you are here... "
In "What U Say?" GMF's singer Rich Fonje shows an unexpected comic talent alongside his characteristic cool nonchalance. This Saturday evening odyssey is sure to make every hapless partygoer forget his suffering for a moment! What U say? It’s no wonder that no one understands when baritone saxophonist and long-time band member Dave Feusi keeps interrupting!
"Danceology - featuring Dr. O. Gagneux" is an exhilarating dance track; a scientific lecture on the basics of dancing in glorious contrast to the simpleminded, mercilessly pumping 80’s disco beats. Professor Fonje’s Co-Speaker is none other than OhlÍ, percussionist and total GMF expert.
The album rounds off with the serious tones of gospel sermon "The Holy Grail". Old wounds will only heal when we forswear hate and become more open. Only so can we find love and salvation as musically symbolized by the ecstatic yoruba loop at the end
... And finally, the bonus track „Radio“ tells the story of the travails of a “working band". Rich and Tatiana sing Andreas "Chnufi" Michel's old-school R & B song as relaxed and authentically, as if they were called "Rich Charles and the Tatilettes"!
After the global excursions of their previous album "Beat Mondial", GMF - Grandmother's Funck’s go back to their core: loud funk! Mix engineer HM Buff, whose talents were highly valued by Prince at his Paisley Park studios, uses crisp beats and fat basses to stage GMF’s modern and powerful new sound.
"the hardest working Swiss band in show biz” have taken a big leap forward with a record contract at the German soul label BHM –who put out funk master Maceo Parker’s latest CD. With “At The Funckyard”, GMF - Grandmother's Funck are in the best company!