“I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of Ikebe Shakedown. Not being familiar with the group, my only point of reference were such buzzwords as “funk,” “Afrobeat,” and “revival;” the last of these being the most telling. A popular treatment by contemporary artists is the reappropriation of past fashions. More often than not, the attempts of said artists fall haphazardly into a contrived pool of clichés. The sound would come off more forced than felt. Simply put, I’ve learned that in music, it is usually best to leave the past in the past. This was my line of thinking going into my first listening session of the group’s self-titled debut. Several listens later, I realized that Ikebe Shakedown wasn’t faking the funk.
The minute I pressed play, I was overwhelmed by what I was hearing. As an enthusiast of the Blaxploitation film genre, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was listening to a modern day soundtrack from the likes of Curtis Mayfield or Willie Hutch. The album carries a certain soulful grit; so much so that it’s easy to get lost in present-day reality. “Is this seriously from 2011?” I often wondered. You see, at its core, Ikebe Shakedown isn’t trying to be funk. It just is. This isn’t a careless cover job attempting to evoke the soulful appeal of former genres. It’s an honest step back in time. What Ikebe Shakedown has managed to do, in their first major release, is something that modern artists have been attempting to capture for quite some time – authenticity of past sounds.”
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For The Revivalist