Memory’s A Ghost – Phantom Phunk (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Not all band names fit the music they make, not that they have too but it makes for a useful signpost for new listeners to be guided by. But if Phantom Phunk sounds to you like a band who perfectly blend the urgent groove of hip-hop with a more floating and spacious indie sound, nailed to a gorgeous, wandering and dexterous bass line then they have sold their musical wares perfectly. Echoes of the loose and groundbreaking sound that De La Soul offered up as the eighties turned into the nineties hang above it, as does some infectious pop sensibilities and funk fusions.

But despite those old school references, this is as forward thinking as those where back in the day and rather than suggest that the connection between Phantom Phunk and those originators is purely musical, I would say that they are connected more by an attitude. It’s an attitude that thrives on being alternative, it thinks outside the box and it doesn’t follow where others lead. Instead, this is music making its own way forward, beating new paths and revelling in its own freedom. Some bands are happy to follow fashion, others try to create new sounds and scenes. I suspect that Phantom Phunk fall into a third category in that they really don’t care what anyone else is doing as long as they are having fun. And it sounds like they are having a lot of fun at that!

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