Melbourne’s flourishing musical output certainly has been well documented in recent years. While a distinct brand of neo-soul and jazz-fusion defined by groups such as Hiatus Kaiyote, 30/70 and Mildlife has become synonymous with this surging hotbed, another sound with its own milieu is proving just as compelling.
Surprise Chef demonstrate there’s many strings to this city’s bow. The cinematic-soul outfit is cut from the blueprint of David Axelrod, and evoking a style and ethos that is reminiscent of NYC labels Daptone and Truth & Soul. This band is top-shelf referential fodder for beat-diggers and deep-funk lovers alike.
A year on from their acclaimed debut All News Is Good News, their new long player Daylight Savings confirms the band is equally as perceptive as it is layered. Expanding on their dramatic 70s soundscapes, the album, at times, both explores more jazzy and hip hop territory.
The title cut is a raw slice of funk break goodness. A homage to the backbeat, the open drums drive this hip-hop informed texture. Organs and bass guitar gently shadow the rhythmic rapture until splashes of ARP synth fill the track with colour. A neck-snapping drama piece one could equally describe as Boom Bap by today’s context.
Daylight Savings is out 16th October via Mr Bongo – buy from Bandcamp.