The Motet Channels The Power Of Interstellar Funk On New Album, ‘Totem’ [Stream/Review]

first_imgThe 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.last_img read more

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Guyana calls on Venezuela to withdraw from Ankoko island

first_imgGuyana has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order Venezuela to “immediately remove from and cease occupation” of the eastern half of the Island of Ankoko” the ICJ has announced.In a statement, the Hague based court confirmed that Georgetown had filed its application regarding the decades old border dispute with Venezuela.Last week, Caracas said it wanted a “practical and satisfying” solution to the border dispute and that it “objects to the judicial settlement as a means of resolving the territorial dispute over Guyana’s Essequibo, since it violates the preamble of the 1966 Geneva Agreement, which establishes, exhaustively, that the controversy must be “amicably resolved in a way that is acceptable to both parties.”The Geneva Agreement of 1966 was signed between Venezuela and the United Kingdom regarding steps for a future resolution of the border controversy. Venezuela had rejected the Arbitral Award of 1899 between both countries as “null and void,” claiming sovereignty over a portion of what was then British Guiana.In the statement, the ICJ said that Georgetown also wants Venezuela to “immediately withdraw from and cease occupation every other area recognized as Guyana’s sovereign territory in accordance with the 1899 Arbitral Award and the 1905 Agreement.”The Venezuelan army occupied the eastern side of the Ankoko Island in the Cuyuni River which is the western border between the two states; five months after independence, in October 1966 and has remained in illegal occupation ever since.The ICJ said that Guyana is also calling for Venezuela to “refrain from threatening or using force against any person and/or company licensed by Guyana or engage in economic or commercial activity in Guyanese territory as determined by the 1899 Award and 1905 Agreement, or in any maritime areas appurtenant to such territory over which Guyana has sovereignty or exercises sovereign rights, and shall not interfere with any Guyanese or Guyanese-authorized activities in those areas.”last_img read more

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