The Strike Boys

Grapefruit Flavoured Green Tea Time

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Somewhat surprisingly considering the warm reception of their 1999 debut full-length, Selected Funks, Bavarian bass scientists Tommy Yamaha and Martin Kaiser were quick to cut loose from the hallowed halls of the Wall of Sound label -- leaving behind their Brighton brethren in order to concentrate on an entirely new recipe, steeped with house and funk flavor. With the bolshy breakbeat scene having since imploded by one sweaty sample too many and Wall of Sound having moved on to mine the rich seam of European chill via Royksopp, in hindsight the Strike Boys' decision seems to have been the right one. Indeed, this belated follow-up to Funks is more than worthy to sit on the throne of its predecessor. While the breaks are an effervescent component of their sophomore album, this time they play second fiddle to lively instrumentation, with the resultant lubricious blend armed with more than enough staying power to overcome its contemporaries. Whether it's the South American spirit which rises from "Vida la Revolution" like a heat haze, the pleasantly gentle chill of "Go Back Home," or Eddie Greene's vocal contributions, which inject the essence of Robert Owens into soulful house floor-fillers "Without Soul" and "Run," the Boys' ability to hewn a cohesive LP despite a flagrant disregard for pigeonholes and their agile circumambulation of differing tempo and meter is a joy to behold, and makes for a lively, enjoyable listen.

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