Soul Center

Soul Center II

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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman

Extending the concept of the initial Soul Center installment from the previous year, Soul Center II is another hot clutch of minimal techno funk that fails to disappoint. The cryptic yet highly indicative thank-yous are again thrown out to Brinkmann's sampling sources and sources of inspiration with the track listing; this time around, the producer reveals himself to be a major Stax head. No big shock there. Carla Thomas, her father, Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, Eddie Floyd, and the Staple Singers are each immortalized, as opposed to the Motown-heavy list of the first installment. But it's not as if those acknowledgements are specific to each disc; after all, you can hear vocal snips from the Staples on the first Soul Center, and other funk greats like James Brown and (especially) George Clinton obviously loom large over both. Brinkmann again strips '70s soul and funk down to their bare essences, supplanting his own minimal productions with looped vocal fragments of the obvious ("Can I ask you something?"; "Are you ready?") and wordless varieties (which can't be spelled), in addition to mutating percussive elements in thrilling ways. All told, Soul Center II is another winner from Brinkmann; the only real difference between it and the first Soul Center is the use of more vocals. The quality unequivocally remains, so get down with your get down. [Note: The fact that this is the second Soul Center release isn't indicated on the sleeve work; you'll have to go by the cover photo, which depicts the left half of a woman.]

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