Beat Funktion, Mandy’s Secret

by Jeff Becker

I am on a bit of Swedish tear it seems, with two reviews in one week from Swedish groups, entirely different from each other, yet uniquely on a chosen path.  Beat Funktion has transcended the confines of the region and burst onto the North American scene with vigor and resolve to dominate the funk/jazz scene.  Spending a collective of 52 weeks on the jazz charts with 3 releases in 2 years: Moon Town, Voodooland and Mandy’s Secret, is certainly nothing to take lightly or shake as stick at.  So let’s get down to the music.  It’s pure, its retro, at times cinematic, it offers a refreshingly danceable quality not found in a lot of jazz overall, this could be what some call the magic to the recipe, except we cannot discount the musicianship is top-notch and the writing is superb, which to me is the unique and secret ingredient.

Overall, the music is instrumental with big production values, and soaring horn lines that offer complex rhythms and well-conceived writing ideas.  It is easy going, but deceivingly complex and rich in nature. Highlight cuts for me are: “I Am Summer,” “Snap To It, ” “On The Tiles,” and “Rundfunk.”

Each cut seemingly was a journey onto itself.  The title cut “Mandy’s Secret” has the most filmic vibe of the outing, with a female voice narrating the storyline.  The companion “official video” offered up on youtube, drew me into the intrigue quite nicely.

This is a win folks, don’t delay – pick up a copy today via iTunes, skip the designer coffee and support this group on the rise.