What's on our iPod: Galactic

From the Corner to the Block

by Brendan Polmer

New Orleans jazz-funk legends Galactic released a new album back in August, but for those who didn't know, this ain't no regular Galactic record. Yes, the heavy funk of Stanton Moore's drumming still abounds and the hot horn section still wails, but the band decided to add a new element to their music this time around: hip-hop.

The album features a different MC on every track, as the band sought to include a wide range of talented rappers to lay down rhymes over their heavy funk grooves. Among the talent are Mr. Lif, Boots Riley, Chali 2na of Jurassic Five, Ohmega Watts, and New Orleans' own Juvenile and the Soul Rebels Brass Band. Each MC brings a different style to every track, complimenting the band's original grooves.

It was another legendary New Orleans funk band, The Meters, who helped lay down the foundation for hip-hop in the late 1970s with their funky drum breaks that were often sampled by early hip-hop DJs. Taking a cue from Meters drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, Stanton Moore adopted many of the early funk grooves and incorporated them into a modern hip-hop funk blend to form the backbone of this fine record.

Those who never got into the jam-funk feel of Galactic's previous work should appreciate the band's new effort at a hip-hop album, and previous fans won't be disappointed either, as the band has constantly shifted through various vocalists and MCs through the years.

Be sure to check them out on tour as Galactic makes its way to the 9:30 Club next week on Nov. 14.

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