Let me start out by saying that Italian funk-rockers Tubax' debuet Il Mondo Stava Finendo, released in April on Megasound, is not funky – it is funkay! The Italian trio have really committed a near-masterpiece with this album.
The style is dirty bass-centric funk rock with plenty of fuzzy guitars and synth rawness and, what is more, the bass is at times very distorted and aggressive sounding, while some of the synth effects are very spacey, too. The music is, apart from some rapping in 'T-Rex' and some processed vocals in 'Bigfoot' and 'I Topi Non Avevano Nipoti', which makes room for a lot of experimentation with grooves, melody and noise. While the main style is funk with rock attitude, there are some jazz elements, too, on this album, especially in many of the leads.
But this is not just funk, this is progressive funk music with a lot of changes in tempo and time (I mean just the opening track 'T-Rex' is a flurry of changes), and there are several odd metered grooves as well, in addition to the experimentation with noise. The absence of vocals also allows Tubax to experiment with song structures that are different from the more conventional ones that are tailored for vocals-fronted popular music. Fans of psychedelic music will be interested to know that there is also a psychedelic edge to Tubax' music on the release, generated through the experimentation with sound and texture – also, there is a flute solo in 'Topi Non Avevano Nipoti' which of course spells psychedelia with a capital P.
This is definitely one of the most interesting funk releases I have heard in a long time, and I like how raw the production is, and how organic the overall sound is. The Tubax guys make it all sound so easy almost intuitive and jam-like, but, in reality, the music on this release is very complex and technical (just listen to the drumming, for instance).
Il Mondo Stava Finendo is a slab of organic, dynamic, progressive and extremely groovy progressive funk rock sprinkled with jazz elements and general weirdness, and has earned an instant place among my favorite funk albums along with Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magic. Recommended to all fans of supah funkay music, this release has the potential for both broad commercial appeal and appeal to people who understand the complexities and technicalities of progressive music and like to be challenged as listeners.
Our American readers will be pleased to know that they will actually have the opportunity to experience Tubax live, as they are embarking on the Music and Milles II Tour of the United States aloing with fellow contrymen Tribraco. Open this link for more information: http://www.seaoftranquility.org/article.php?sid=1949
3. Eola Oirali
4. Er Nonno
6. L'Uomo Pila
8. I Topi Non Avevano Nipoti