Mr. Confuse ‘Only A Man’ LP/CD/DIG (Confunktion) 3/5

Confunktion Records label founder and German funk/breaks producer, Mr. Confuse, returns with his 4th solo album “Only A Man”. Starting out as a DJ in 1999 he turned to composition/production in 2004, gaining some success in 2005 as a member of the Breakout crew with a funk reworking “Planet Rock” and eventually releasing his first solo album “Feel The Fire” in 2008.

Since then he hasn’t been afraid to shine light on his influences with
with a cover version of Debbie Deb’s freestyle-electro classic “Lookout Weekend”, that still continues to be a download seller to this day, and his 2012 release “Do You Realize” which pays tribute to the man, Man Parrish.

So, I guess we should know what to expect. And Mr. C delivers that in spades with a right royal bouncing funk up of Shannon’s freestyle electro hit “Let The Music Play”. That aside the rest of the album sonically nods at this influence but is less overt.

Opening title track “Only A Man” sees long-time Mr. Confuse velvety-rasper Dan Salem belt out an anthem to all the fellas who work hard (16hrs and bills to pay) and play even harder. It’s a guitar-led uptempo 3 mins 46 worth of, fun-for-all, funk workout

Next up is the tight, Northern Soul-ish “Same Old Game” with the beautifully throaty Leo Will fronting some fruity organ, smashing snares, funky beats and stabbing horns. Leo absolutely nails it, probably the album highlight.

“Against All Odds” is a 70’s TV instrumental electro funk piece. Light, bright and heavy on the dance. “Only Rainbows” intros with some lush, horny blaxploitation-ness before Dan’s bouncing us through a soulful step or two. “Can’t Be No Crime” is a busy, latin-touched, organ-stabbing, Freak Power-esque, groove-laden growl that leads us into the real meat of today’s action…Busy, busy…the 3 instrumental electro Acid Jazz cop chases that are “Fast Lane”, “Gain Station” and “Rush Zone”. They’re all about the busy percussion, chopping organs and barking horns.

“Modern Way” is quick, tight beats and more of Dan the Man with a fast throbbing jazz soul down-trodden anthem about the dull, knackering day-to-day. Sleep Eat Work. Work Work Work.

All that work has me plum-tuckered out and “Cranberry Dream” is the sweet soulful dream ending to the day/album with Mayfield guitar trills, Strawberry (all about the berries) Letter tings and Elaine Thomas’ lovely lullabying.

Mr. Confuse has created a right cheery funky little thing here. Its indomitable, inherent chirpyness defies the energy-sapping theme of some of the lyrics. Mr. C sure ain’t gonna let The Man get HIM down.

Ian Ward