Breakstra 

Hit the Floor

Transitioning from breakbeat covers to an original funk sound isn't easy. It's one thing to master other people's licks, riffs, and jams, but quite another to come up with your own. Hit the Floor's challenge is to incorporate all the retro influences that made Breakestra's 2001 debut The Live Mix Part 2 such a revelation, but make it sound contemporary, a tough task considering funk is regarded more as a seminal influence on hip-hop and R&B than a currently active genre. Indeed, most of the songs here sound like lost gems from 1978; "Family Rap," featuring Jurassic 5's Chali 2na and Soup along with People Under the Stairs' Double K, brings to mind a SoCal version of the Treacherous Three backed by the Sugarhill Records house band, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Bandleader Miles Tackett and his Breakestra crew clearly understand the cosmic slop paradigm, and Hit the Floor's best song -- "How Do You Really Feel?," an epic excursion into a dimension of deeply soulful instrumental groove -- proves that true funk (sweaty, sticky, and thoroughly rewarding) is timeless.

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