Independent record label Record Kicks is closing out 2020 in an intriguing fashion. The label released a new compilation record Friday to finish out the year. Dubbed Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals, the 12-song collection is composed of 48 minutes worth of instrumentals from some of the biggest hits of the acts signed to the label. The record’s makeup – in regards to its featured songs — is itself a key aspect to the compilation and will be discussed shortly. The sequencing of the record’s songs also plays into its interest. This aspect will be discussed a little later. The songs’ production rounds out the record’s most important elements. Alongside the noted aspects of the songs and their sequencing, the compilation in whole proves itself an interesting new presentation from Record Kicks that is worth the occasional play.
Record Kicks’ newly released compilation record Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals is an interesting new offering from the independent record label. It is a presentation that audiences will find well worth taking in at least once if not more. That is proven in part through its featured songs. The songs themselves are works from a handful of the more than 30 artists and acts who are signed to the label. Some of the featured artists and acts have released new material in the past year or so, too. That might be why they were featured here. Among those featured are the likes of Calibro 35, Hannah Williams and the Affirmations, Marta Ren, and The Tibbs, each of whom has released new music this year. Between those noted acts and the others featured in the record, what audiences really get here is not only a sampling of new music from many of the featured acts, but also an introduction to those acts for those audiences who might be less familiar with the noted acts. To that end, having so many acts and so much music to introduce to so many listeners forms a strong foundation for the compilation. With any luck, the introduction to all of that music will encourage listeners to discover even more music from those acts. This is just one aspect of what makes Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals such an interesting collection of songs. The sequencing of the record’s songs adds to that interest in its own right.
Thee sequencing of Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals is important because of the clear attention paid to the record’s energy exhibited in this aspect. The album starts off on a mid-tempo fashion in its first half before gradually starting to pick up just before its midway point. From there, the energy gradually pulls back in ‘Soul Run.’ It starts out higher energy but then starts to gradually ease back as the song progresses. From there, the compilation’s energy picks back up again gradually to a steady, mid-tempo feel right to the record’s end. The short and simple is that the compilation’s energy is well-balanced throughout even with the stylistic approach and sounds staying relatively similar from one song to the next. The changes in the energy are so subtle throughout, but just noticeable enough in that subtlety. The result is that the record will ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment through its overall feel as much as for its content. Keeping all of this in mind, it still is not the last of the compilation’s most important elements. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
Funk as a genre typically presents arrangements that typically are very busy. Between guitars, drums, horns, (and vocals), most funk songs feature a wide range of instruments and lines. The songs that are featured in this compilation are no exception to that rule. Whether it be the combination of keyboards, drums, guitars and horns in Calibro 35’s aptly titled ‘CLBR 35,’ the more laid back but still rich mix of instruments in The Devonns’ ‘Tell Me’ or even the mix of instruments in The Liberators’ ‘Episco,’ the fact of the matter is that each of the songs featured in this compilation was precisely produced. No one instrument outdid the others at any point in any song. The dynamics overall were perfection, bringing about so much great emotion from listeners. To that end, this aesthetic element of Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals cements the engagement and enjoyment for the record. In turn, it will no doubt encourage plenty of listeners to discover even more music from the record’s featured acts. Considering that along with the compilation’s content and sequencing thereof, the whole of this compilation proves to be a positive presentation from Record Kicks that audiences will enjoy.
Record Kicks’ new compilation record Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals is an interesting new offering from the label. Usually, compilation sets are thrown out during the summer as mid-year space fillers rather than at year’s end. That aside, the record is still a presentation that will entertain and engage listeners. That is proven in part through its featured songs, which give audiences a nice introduction to just some of the label’s many acts. The sequencing of the compilation’s featured songs adds its own element of enjoyment and engagement to the record. The production presented in each song puts the final touch to the record’s presentation, bringing everything full circle. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the compilation. All things considered, they make Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals an enjoyable last offering from Record Kicks for 2020 and gives hope for what 2021 has to bring from the label. Breaks and Beats: Funk Breaks & Hot Instrumentals is available now digitally.
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