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Fort Knox Five: Pressurize the Cabin

Chris M. Slawecki By

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Fort Knox Five: Pressurize the Cabin
Pressurize the Cabin delivers the best of the club dance experience—funky grooves, spacey loops and echoes, scratches and samples, shout outs and call outs—without overpriced drinks or the ubiquitous smoke, glitter or perfume. The core four of the Fort Knox Five—Sid Barcelona, Jon Horvath, Rob Myers and Steve Raskin—herewith present a jumping party that's just waiting for you to climb onboard.

"Reach" smoothly opens pop, funk, R&B, hip-hop, electronic and groove styles, then blends them all into the FN5's one of a kind instrumental smoothie, as Flex Mathews' rap flows strong and deep as the Mississippi. And it's almost TOO easy to grab and hold onto the instrumental hook and vocal melody of "Whatcha Gonna Do," with a closing vamp so locked down that this section of the Cabin sounds airtight.

The FN5 also find ways to be creative within the groove. "Swinging on a Rhyme" introduces modern electronic funk to the tempo and sound of classic swing music, complete with a rumbling big-band drum break and antique-sounding production on the guitar and horns. Ashley Slater, on loan from the UK, leads "Fire in My Belly" with a vocal that's cool and laconic yet deeply in the pocket, while his trombone saunters through the mix like it's strolling down a sunny New Orleans jazz avenue.

"Cinco to the Brinco" sketches in Spanish trumpet and Latin hip-hop plus shades of the Caribbean from reggae toasting by vocalists Felix Perez and Frankie Rosado on loan from DC's Latin legends The Empresarios. The straight-up reggaeton of "24 Hours to Set It Off," featuring Sleepy Wonder from Thievery Corporation, dives even deeper into Caribbean waters. Clever song titles can often be more pun-ny than funny, but "Mission to the Sitars" works thanks to instrumentation that layers sitars into the horns, synthesizers, percussion, shouts and raps, and hip-hop beats of its frothy funk parfait.

If you prefer one particular style of dance or funk music, you're sure to find it in some form or another on Pressurize the Cabin. While the Fort Knox Five's 2008 debut Radio Free DC spotlighted local rappers and musicians, Pressurize the Cabin expands to a more global scope. As the result, the Fort Knox Five is no longer the greatest electronic funk party band on the US East Coast—they're the greatest GLOBAL electronic funk party band on the US East Coast.

Track Listing

Reach (featuring Flex Mathews); Fire in My Belly (featuring Ashley Slater); Whatcha Gonna Do (featuring Mustafa Akbar); Pressurize the Cabin (featuring Vokab Kompany); Swinging on a Rhyme (featuring Flex Mathews); Keep It Poppin' (featuring Mustafa Akbar); Ready Go (featuring Raashan Ahmad); Cinco to the Brinco (featuring The Empresarios); 24 Hours to Set It Off (featuring Sleepy Wonder); Mission to the Sitars.

Personnel

Fort Knox Five: Sid Barcelona, Jon Horvath, Rob Myers and Steve Raskin; with Raashan Ahmad: vocals; Mustafa Akbar: vocals; Brad Clements: trumpet; Joe Herrera: trumpet; Matthew Hotez: trombone; Chelly Jane: vocals; Flex Mathews: vocals; Javier Miranda: percussion; Frank Mitchell: saxophone; Jon Modell: drums; Felix Perez: vocals; Scarlett Quinn: vocals; Frankie Rosado: vocals; Ashley Slater: trombone, vocals; Sleepy Wonder: vocals; Vokab Kompany: vocals.

Album information

Title: Pressurize the Cabin | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Fort Knox Recordings

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