Baba Soul & The Professors Of Funk ‘Chronotapes’ CD/DIG (So Real International) 5/5

At the time of writing (late June 2017) this excellent 11 tracker was only available from the band’s own Bandcamp page, however having conversed with the musical director and guitarist, Gulherme Schmidt Camara, the CD is forthcoming and I am awaiting the arrival of trusty vinyl.

The album is solid funky soul with nuances of James Brown, Fred Wesley, Otis Redding and Charles Bradley. In fact, you could file this set alongside other recent and decent long players from the likes of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Monophonics, Durand Jones & The Indications.

However, there are two tracks on here that simply take your breath away. The guttural “I’m so lucky”, which is the kind of deep soul tune that shouldn’t be around in 2017. Thankfully we have bastions of the real deal like these guys, a strong passion fuelled lead from Hugo Castro Pereira AKA Baba Soul, mocking horns shadow his every word, heavy bass and strong percussion all manage to practice restraint. A simply wonderful piece of modern day deep soul moving on to “Can you be true to me”, which starts off with pleading vocals asking whether she can be true to him, a delicate guitar for company, then a thumping bass and in come the horns over the top, his vocals appear to have a slight echo which adds real clarity to the sound. Another monster soul tune.

Modern soul rooms should investigate “If you love me” with its urgent pace and classy feel. The funk boys will cream there pants at what’s on offer here: “Funkstorm” is exactly that a furious funker with keyboard runs doing battle with that bass and those horns. “I got soul” is another funky highlight, proving this band is as tight as any I have heard – I recently had the immense privilege to witness Alabama’s St. Paul & The Broken Bones smash up the Cambridge Junction with Paul Janeway’s vocals tearing up the place, I tell you what, how good would it be have this lot over here?

The pace drops for the meandering “Believe” and it works perfectly in this setting, percussion and horns open proceedings then the man’s vocals take it up another level.

The Professors include the following: Guilherme Schmidt Camara – Guitars and backing vocals, Stian Nordviste Skog – Drums & backing vocals, Oystein Bends Aune – Bass, Auden Kjeldahl Bernsen – Keys, Kristian Halvorsen Kjaernes – Trombone, Andreas Lovold – Trumpet and Michael Strut on Tenor Sax.

Funky, deep soul from Oslo, you better believe it.

Brian Goucher