The album comes once again on Bear Funk, who previously released his 2013 debut
Having been responsible for his 2013 debut LP Limited TIme, Bear Funk bring us the second album proper (not counting 2012 remix collection Nice To Mix You) from San Francisco nu/cosmic disco producer Ryan Bishop, AKA The Beat Broker.
If you're a fan of Bear Funk and/or sister label Nang generally, then you'll already have a pretty good idea what this album's going to sound like. Shimmering synths and unhurried beats are the order of the day, just as you'd expect - what's perhaps more surprising is that the album's an entirely instrumental affair, with nary a vocal in sight. Not even a cut-up micro-snip or a chorused 'aah'. This works well in terms of giving the album as a whole a sense of cohesion; the flipside of that, of course, is that with nine tracks all treading fairly similar ground, operating at a similar tempo and without a vocal element to differentiate them, the tracks do start to all merge into one after a while. Not so much so, though, that it's not possible to pick out highlights - in which regard I'd humbly steer you towards Living On The Edge, with its 80s-sounding synths and jazz-funk overtones, the marginally housier After Touch and the euphoric Mystic Moods.
Tailormade for summer BBQs and sundown sets on the White Isle alike, if you dig other Bear Funk/Nang acts like Sare Havlicek, Max Essa, Proper Heat or Bottin then this is an album that's well worth checking. Just don't go looking for the wheel to be reinvented and you won't be disappointed.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 30 June
Review Score: 7