The future space funk is in good hands if Totem, the new album by The Motet, is any indication. The band has made some personnel changes of late, and fans have been waiting eagerly to hear what The Motet had in store for them. Noted proponents of funk with world and dance elements liberally mixed together, The Motet has built a loyal following that was hopeful their heroes would keep it real and keep it real funky. With guitarist Eric Krasno of Lettuce and Soulive producing and writing a pair of tunes for the disc, certain expectations were held, and happily exceeded. The most prominent change came at vocalist, going from Jans Ingber to Lyle Divinsky, a move that has the band sounding even more like a forgotten fountain of the funk hey-day of the late seventies than ever.Stream the album via Spotify below, and follow along with our written review of the new release!Founder Dave Watts fittingly kicks off this new era of The Motet with a twisty percussion intro to “The Truth” that sets the stage to let Divinsky show what he brings to the proceedings. Divinsky’s weapon of choice is a voice that sounds so authentic and perfect for the mood, you almost have to wonder if he was made in a laboratory. The space boogie flows on with the bouncy “Fool No More,” with a snappy bass line from Garrett Sayers that sounds an inexorable call to the dance floor for party people. Organist Joey Porter gets a chance to shine on “Know It Too Well,” as the music opens up and he has a chance to lend squeals and peals to lyric heavy sections before drenching the proceedings with lush chords. The percolating pulse of “Rippin’ Herb” shows how tight The Motet can be, as they play an intricate musical game of “follow the leader” through a winding funk maze, passing off the lead almost imperceptibly. Divinsky shows great comfort for such a short stint in the organization, as his leads on “Damn!” show. Showy use of echo laden vocals and doubling techniques that thicken his already impressive tone to a smooth pervasive presence that make the instrumental breaks a trip to an alternate dimension, sonically, within each original tune’s framework. Nothing has changed about The Motet’s love of instrumentals, and the wordless “Solar Plexus” keeps the overall cosmic groove feeling of Totem going with a touch of reggae thrown in for good measure in the forms of the majestic horn fills. Guitarist Ryan Jalbert continues to show impressive growth in his playing, with his ability to shift from slinky rhythm to full on rock star wail in an instant. The horn section of Gabe Mervine and Drew Sayers use their brass to take every song higher, adding layers of depth and reinforcing the beats and melodies with equal dexterity. Whether hanging back in a thick groove on tunes like “Danger” or getting jazz-y and expressive on songs like “Cloak And Dagger,” The Motet sounds like a finely tuned machine, ready to run perfectly in whatever gear is needed to get where they want to go.For the closing song, the instrumental “Contraband,” the choice is made to slowly take the foot off the accelerator, and to give listeners a cool down as they are slowly dispelled from the Utopian funk spell. Any worries about the future of The Motet should be instantly dispelled from the first notes of Totem. With the release of this united work and tour dates on the horizon to hone the new lineup into a true unit, it certainly looks like the best is yet to come from The Motet. But for now, Totem is a showcase for a funk band that is at the top of their game.
The Dutch financial markets supervisor still considers that the largest potential risk posed by the completion of Brexit is “unpredictable and significant volatility on the financial markets”, it has said.In its annual report for 2019, Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) singled out the valuation of sterling and the euro as main risk factors.It added that the derivatives markets could also experience unexpected shocks.However, the regulator said that its impression was that the local financial sector was sufficiently prepared for Brexit. The UK government and the EU are due to resume post-Brexit talks via videoconference this week. The current transitional period is due to last until the end of the year, and the UK government has been saying it did not intend to seek an extension.AFM’s report also revealed that Brexit and the introduction of the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) had increased the number of monthly transaction data received from Dutch companies more than sixfold to 50 million.AFM said that MiFID II had provided a much better picture of individual investors’ behaviour, and that it had improved the supervisor’s ability to trace market manipulation and insider trading.It said the number of suspicious transactions had risen from around 340 to 450, and that this had resulted in dozens of investigations as well as “informal measures”, such as verbal and written warnings.The regulator is also the watchdog for pensions communication, and said that the elaboration of the pensions agreement should focus on simplifying the pensions system, “as clear communication is difficult if the system is too complicated”.“Complexity causes problems in the implementation of a new pensions system and undermines support,” it argued.The regulator is among the Dutch cabinet’s advisors on the legal aspects of pensions reform.It said its aim is to include a limited number of choices, and to ensure that the envisaged new pensions system is cost-effective and also addresses the impact on pensions from increased job mobility as well as the needs of self-employed workers.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of comfort to the family of Mr Henry Masaku Ngei who succumbed to prostate cancer on Wednesday night.Mr Ngei, 74, is the first born child of the late Kenyan freedom fighter and, former Kangundo MP and Cabinet Minister Paul Joseph Ngei.Also Read Govt moves to resolve land allocation dispute in East MauIn his message of comfort to the Ngei family, the President described the departed businessman as a entrepreneur, patriot and wise counselor who worked tirelessly for the good of Kenya. “The death of Masaku Ngei has robbed our country of a seasoned entrepreneur and businessman whose hospitality and agricultural ventures created hundreds of jobs for young Kenyans.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153 “Throughout his life, Mr Ngei stood and worked for the unity and prosperity of Kenya, and was a wise counselor whose wisdom will be missed by many,” President Kenyatta eulogised.Also Read Relief for families as MOH revises Covid-19 burial protocolsUntil his death, Mr Henry Masaku Ngei ran Tala Motel in Tala town and was a consummate farmer in Kangundo, Machakos County.Also Read KUPPET calls on parents to prepare for early reopeningPresident Kenyatta wished the Ngei family God’s comfort as they mourn their beloved kin.