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CD Review
The Ghosts of Laura Palmer - The Funk’s On Me

Ghosts of Laura Palmer

The Funk’s On Me
Record Label: SFP Recordings
Artist's Facebook
Review by Geert Driver
October 2011

The Ghosts of Laura Palmer are back at it again. And this time, the funk’s on them.

Earlier this year, The Ghosts of Laura Palmer released their debut mix entitled, “Blackbird” (named for the Bay View, Milwaukee club of the same name). Also within the same year, the Ghosts were tapped to play high profile events including fashion shows, private events and more. The whirlwind year proved to be exhausting for the Ghosts as they tirelessly played live in support of their debut while still staying true to their roots and testing more and more analog tracks.

The response to the Ghosts’ debut and niche analog sounds overwhelmed the DJs behind the turntables. Ghosts Andy Gulotta and Mario R. Martin never expected the reaction. In fact, the reaction to the project shocked them. The pressure got to the duo as they canceled all their remaining Midwest dates for the year. But out of the ashes the Ghosts return with their second release in the same calendar year with a new model to release it.

Available October 31, 2011, “The Funk’s On Me E.P.” (SFP Recordings) is an extended play mix consisting of just five songs. Unlike the Ghosts’ full-length debut, the new E.P. will only be available digitally, and will be available for free download. But the concept behind the E.P. is more intriguing. According to the Ghosts, three more E.P.’s will be released over the course of the next year. Once all four mixes are released, the end user/listener will be able to join all 4 mixes as one complete long play mix. A model that has not yet been seen before within DJ culture, the Ghosts are on the cutting edge of whatever new trend they’re setting.

When asked what prompted this concept, as well as the decision to cancel all remaining Midwest dates for the year, Ghost Mario R. Martin said, “We canceled our dates because we want each set to be special. There’s nothing special about overexposure,” said Martin. “We play when we feel inspired and creative, and we refuse to be passé.” The ideology of the E.P. structure is even more interesting. Martin explains, “First and foremost we are fans of the music we play. And personally, I still make mixes for everything. If I take a road trip any longer than half an hour, there’s always a mix playing. I asked Andy what he thought of the idea of interchangeable mixes, so a shorter multi-track recordings could be sequenced by the listener, instead of by the artists. He loved it!” The result is a 5-track E.P. whose tracks are not separated. The intention is to have a set of tracks meant to be listened to together, and after multiple sets are available, they can all be burned to a single CD by the listener in whatever sequence they desire.

Some great artists make up the first E.P., “The Funk’s On Me.” The Ghosts live in a dichotomy between popular and obscure. By utilizing James Brown’s “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and Prince’s “Kiss,” the Ghosts serve up pop culture on an analog dish. Listen for the hisses and pops from the original vinyl. Then, the Ghosts delve into less widely known tracks like Tenison Stephens’ “Soul Control” (a staple in the Ghosts’ live sets) and The Girls’ “Mark My Words.” The real gem, however, is the disco track “You Can’t Run From Love” by Maxine Singleton. Spanning different eras and even genres, the Ghosts have released a cohesive blend of soul and funk. It might now be harder to catch a live set by the Ghosts, but if/when you do, you know it will be special.

Found on the back cover: “Dedicated to the promotion of soul, the freaking of the funk and of course, the shaking of asses.” Amen.





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