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As the musical spine of the Daptone label, The Budos Band have made a name for themselves over the past half-decade by cranking out instrumental soul music that takes equal cues from the Blaxploitation films of the ’70s and Afro-Cuban polyrhythms. Although their sound may be the beating heart of the revivalist beast, the fact is that no one has been able to breathe life into soul and funk for the past quarter decade the way The Budos Band does (although Bronx River Parkway is a close second). The Staten Island combo completely understands the grittier side of their musical forbears and, armed with this knowledge, writes songs that sound like they should be in the next Tarantino kung fu send-up.
In addition to possessing ass-kicking flair, “The Proposition” weaves some interesting textures into the funky garb. For starters, there is the discombobulated rhythm of the opening guitar part, which quickly recedes into the background as the brass proudly announces its presence. At the end of the choruses, the whole gang stops on a dime, filling the air with silence for a few breathless moments, before all diving back in simultaneously. About three-quarters in, there is a thumping bridge punctuated by horn blasts and improvised rumbling saxophone–it would be the perfect accompaniment to some flying kick freeze frames.
There is no doubt that The Budos Band has a narrowly defined audience; that’s what happens when you do the soul revival thing and make your tracks instrumental, to boot. But for those that “get” their sound, there is no one who does it sweeter.