Two new singles of Japanese afrobeat band STEPAK-TAKRAW have been released on Soul Garden Records, who kindly sent us a copy of each! The first one, 'Slugfest' is afrofunk at a seamingly exaggerated uptempo pace — but the tune quickly drops into a darker vibe, a more psych rock setting, with the guitar then playing only half the notes, before a spaghetti western comes in — a mad transition the afro/disco jam ending. B-side 'Yellow & Green' starts on an afro/rock tip too, with a very cool, more groovy afrofunk part, with chants & percussion. The second one, 'Gazelle' is one crazy ride into African polyrhythmics made in Japan. Somehow the result is not that far from Franz Ferdinand's riff-heavy funk/pop. Play this a few times in a row to tame its madness. B-side 'The Mission' for once seems to navigate into more familiar territories, with its breakbeat and deep latin funk vibe. A soulful, sweaty downtempo affair evoking the Austin, Texas, vibe of Brownout.

(7") Soul Garden Record SG-033/M&L-005, 2016-04-13

Tracklisting :
A1. Slugfest 4:19
B1. Yellow & Green 4:05

Juno Review :
Fans of Osaka funk fusionists Stepak Takraw are spoilt this week with a deluge of musical goodness by the band arriving courtesy of Soul Garden. After spending an hour or so assessing the respective charms of these records from the crew, it's this Slugfest 7" that stands out in particular. Up top the title track pulls no punches, a slick lick of funk guitar riffage acting as the lead for the band to follow and lay down a taut, fast paced funk composition that leans on their well-honed talent for throwing cumbia elements into the mixer. "Yellow & Green" is there for those who prefer their funk to sound a bit more traditional.

(7") Soul Garden Record SG-034/M&L-006, 2016-04-13

Tracklisting :
A1. Gazelle 4:21
B1. The Mission 4:18

Links :
Buy on
STEPAK-TAKRAW : discogs | facebook | juno | parisdjs | soundcloud | tumblr | twitter
Soul Garden Records : official | blogspot | facebook | juno | parisdjs | youtube

Original post on Paris DJs