CSC Funk Band
forging an unforgettable path that leaves no ass unshaken.
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Spearheaded by Colin Langenus, the lead guitarist for prog-punk pioneers USA Is A Monster, CSC Funk Band celebrated its initial success by expanding the lineup to include players plucked from each point of the stylistic spectrum. Although initially concentrating on dancefloor-friendly funk jams, the embryonic group quickly grew out of its party-band britches by absorbing the diverse influence of its new members, including a former GWAR drummer, a keyboardist who plays with the Akron Family, an Anthony Braxton collaborator, and a trombonist for ska legends Bad Manners.
Rocking saxes, moog, guitars, trombones, drums, trumpets, a bass, and an oboe, the band is a random, diverse, and eclectic collective whose members draw from their rich histories to effortlessly entertain every flight of fancy while never once stepping out of sync or into categories. The psychedelic avalanche that the band effortlessly induces can be traced up the musical mountain to firm roots in technical mastery, avant-experimentation, and noise-punk ethos.
In 2010 the group released two 7”s on drummer Jim Thomson’s Electric Cowbell Records: “Bad Banana Bread/Caneca” and a split with Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Iron and Wine). Once the band’s Electric Cowbell 45’s caught the attention of Brooklyn’s legendary Fat Beats Records, the idea of a proper full-length release for 2011 began to take shape. The album balances slightly urgent and mildly aggressive tracks such as “Canaca” and “Fiesta” with more chill and casual tracks such as “Bad Banana Bread” and “Funk Shoppe.” Explains Jim, “The latter could be the soundtrack for when you’re searching for that spot in the grass to put your picnic blanket while the former tracks mentioned have that car chase under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway at the end-of-the-world-Mayan-calendar vibe.”
In early 2017, CSC Funk Band deliver their most ambitious undertaking yet with “Above The Starrs,” an all-instrumental homage to the seminal East Coast hip-hop duo, Gang Starr, that consisted of MC Guru and the DJ/producer DJ Premier. In the three years since their last full-length “Funkincense,” was selected for SPIN’s “Record Store Day Shopping Guide: 42 Essential Releases,” CSC’s 10 band members have poured hundreds of hours of studio experimentation into this highly anticipated follow-up album, resurrected from the Fat Beats vaults and originally inspired by a live collaboration with rapper Masta Ace at a Guru tribute concert. “Above the Starrs” offers an instant rap-geek curio for anyone who likes hearing bands cross the bounds of sample-based and live hip-hop instrumentation.
Sonically distilling their rhythm section down to the core ingredients of a classic old-school hip-hop beat with live bass and drums, then rebuilding the tracks with kraut-rock synth tones, psychedelic guitar swirls, and effected oboe, CSC Funk Band have emerged with this unique musical nod to one of hip-hop‘s greatest legacies.
if you ever wondered what the Dirtbombs and Stereolab would sound like together, this is your answer.
anyone’s feet would be moving within earshot of Brooklyn’s-own, CSC Funk Band.
–Matthew Forss, Inside World Music