link quartet Minimal Animal (CD, £10.75)label: Soundflat
The legendary kings of Hammond beat, LINK QUARTET from Italy, have released six records, several singles, digital releases and appeared on numerous compilations and guest appearances since 1993 already. Now the jazzy, funky instrumental quartet around the virtuosic Paolo “Apollo” Negri release yet another fantastic record, this time on SOUNDFLAT RECORDS, that has a Mod/soul/jazz‐feeling to it. “Minimal Animal” is all LINK QUARTET‐originals and all instrumentals with absolutely divine, mindblowing hammond‐organ‐ soli, a jazzy beat, groovy guitars and catchy melodies. Incredibly cool, funky, danceable sounds (such as “Black Bug”) mixed with one or the other calmer song with laid‐back jazzy wah‐wah sounds and finally even groovy, ska/rocksteady‐offbeat, hammond‐driven songs like “Peacock Steady” altogether combine into a well‐rounded album from beginning to end. With this record, Soundflat Records enters a slightly different/new spectrum of sixties‐sound and adopts one of Europe's, if not worldwide, best Hammond beat‐acid jazz‐bands to the Soundflat‐Records family. This band combines Hammond-driven beat and jazz so well, that not only Mod‐ and Funk‐lovers will love this album, but due to its variety of different influences it will appeal to a much broader crowd from all different kinds of musical backgrounds and leave them more than impressed. "Minimal Animal" is a welcome back home album for The Link Quartet, 13 original instrumental tracks (the CD includes two bonus tracks) of pure raw funk, minimal and aggressive, where the screaming Hammond organ of Paolo Apollo Negri duets with the acid wah-wah guitar of Marco Murtas over the rocky rhythm lines of Renzo Bassi (bass) and Alberto Pato Maffi (drums). The quartet is back on the track of the long and prolific tradition of bands like The Meters, Alan Hawkshaw, Jackie Mittoo and many others but don't forget to keep an eye on the future to serve a unique cocktail of retro futuristic tunes. With this album The Link Quartet is making a new start, building a new future starting from its own roots.
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