The funk is something you cannot learn, buy or steal from somebody else. The funk is with you, or it is not. You have to be honest and real. Enter Diazpora: They have the funk. It is with them since they started in 2002 and it did not deserted them since.
The nine-piece band from Hamburg/Germany knows that you cannot fake the funk. You need to keep the groove on the move. On their fifth album „Islands” they do this more profound than ever. As with all things funky, it is about a continuous travel on an instinctive path that never leads to the final destination. Just like in real life: You got to keep moving!
Let us have a look at the Diazpora collective. The brass section features a line-up including some of the coolest faces on the North German scene. Trumpet player Hans-Christian Stephan has been a member of the Diazpora force since day one, he already worked with Gregory Porter, Hamburg’s rising young soul voice Miu and plays with hip Hamburg techno marching band Meute. Jonathan Krause (baritone saxophone, flute) plays with the wonderful PiazuTrio and is an integral part of the local orchestra world. Finally, Alexander „Kimo“ Eiserbeck (alto saxophone) wraps up this unstoppable set-up with his unmatched stage presence and the experience of playing with local heroes like Smith & Johnson and Uebertribe as well as being a requested studio musician.
Now get down with Diazporas’s rhythm section. Lucas Kochbeck (drums) und David Nesselhauf (bass) are a masterful team. They supply the foundation of the Diazpora operation. Fellow artists like The Kiez or Carmen Brown know what we are talking about here. Lucas Kochbeck also produced the acclaimed Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band Album „55“ (Truth & Soul) and sometimes joins the Mighty Mocambos on stage. David Nesselhauf is a well-travelled bass player with a long history of solo releases and recently put out his new album „Afrokraut“. Percussionist Thomas Neitzel ranks among the founder members of Diazpora and played on all releases. Guitarist Legbo’s style is unmistakable, like Christoph Hinrichsen (keyboards) he is a dedicated live performer and also plays in Uebertribe. Most important, on „Islands“, Diazpora introduce a new member to their team. After working with various vocalists over the years, the band found a soul mate in singer Axel Feige, guitarist and singer in his own band Absolem Max as well.
On „Islands“ Diazpora decide to throw a big party. Engineer Sebastian Nagel (The Mighty Mocambos) went for a straightforward analogue and purist sound. The album kicks off with the furious „Street Market“, very Blaxploitation, very Shaft, but still highly original - followed by „Beast“, another unstoppable signature tune. This band is a well-trained 18 legged groove machine, and with Axel Feige adding his truly unique vocals this is a very international sound. „Islands“, the title track, serves as proof and displays Diazpora’s ability to deliver a haunting ballad.
„Kinshasa Strut“ adds some powerful Afro funk to the whole set, while „Give A Little Prayer“ explores cinematic funk territory, not far away from what The Olympians do. With „Moon“ and “2 Much Effort” Diazpora continue in this vibe and get down to the nitty gritty in a deep down 70s style. “Piece By Piece” then takes no prisoners. Rock, Funk and Afro appear in a perfect balance with Axel Feige’s engaging vocals. “Yaroslava” and “Me & I” are even more haunting, Diazpora deliver a stylistic scope unmatched by any other of their genre competitors “Nap Xtra Long” and “27-28-29” prove the fact. “Numbers” finishes “Islands” with a powerful brass hook full of emotion and intensity. “Our quest for the true funk is never ending. One minute we think we are nearly there, then again we notice we still have such a long way to go,” Diazpora say. “But that’s the fun in it. The funk does not stand still. It is on a constant journey. To keep up with the funk, you can’t afford to be lazy. Otherwise you lose it.”
„Islands“ is released on CD, as digital download and as a limited double vinyl LP.