The Soul of Melbourne

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With parents hailing from Detroit, I grew up on the sounds of Motown Records: soul, classic jazz and funk. From an early age, I was nagging my parents to turn up the volume for Stevie Wonder, Sade and Earth, Wind & Fire. To this day, something about the use of sultry horns, jumpy percussions and magnetic vocals make me light up from the inside out. I think many Melburnians feel the same.

Lucky for us, soulful sounds are not hard to find in Melbourne’s bustling music and café scene. The Bamboos, Chet Faker and Electric Empire are just some of the local artists driving the funky revolution and sweeping up hipsters and yuppies alike with each trombone hoot and snazzy snarl.

Enter The Soul of Melbourne, a compilation of 18 tracks and four never-released exclusives, from the cream of the local scene including Gypsy Brown, Clairy Brown & The Bangin’ Racketts, Kylie Auldist and oodles more. It is the first compilation to showcase the modern Melbourne soul music resurgence.

Compiled by Chris Gill (Northside Records) and Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos), these guys have championed local soul and funk for more than a decade now and have carefully selected tracks that will have you doo-wopp’ing without shame.

‘Don’t Wanna Try’ by Saskwatch is a breezy, horn-driven track that follows the frustrations of love gone awry. The Putbacks give us ‘Waz That?’, an instrumental number that makes you feel like you’re running through the cheeriest maze on earth and never want to get out.

As George Clinton would say, “We need the funk, gotta have that funk!” Well party people, it’s here.

Buy The Soul of Melbourne online here or pick up a copy at Northside Records at 236 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.

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