Breakbot - By Your Side

A unique record that puts a contemporary spin on an era that modern music forgot.

Label: Ed Banger

Rating: 8

When you’re born Thibaut Berland it seems foolishness to take a nom de plume but this confounding of expectations is nothing compared with the moment you unreel the Ed Banger label to uncover a treasure trove of retro-indebted funk and disco grooves.

At times it’s hard to believe you’re listening to a debut record, such is the level of consistency and seamlessness with which the tracks flow in and out of each other. His small but carefully chosen list of collaborators gratefully stay clear of the usual big name suspects, helping to maintain an even keel.

Whilst there is understandably a certain hesitancy in comparison, Ruckazoid’s smooth come-to-me vocals bring to mind the late great Michael Jackson. This is most apparent on the superlative ‘Why’, flawlessly produced and oozing the same class and sophistication that permeates the likes of musical history lesson ‘Rock With You’.

In a sky full of stars it’s hard to pick favourites but ‘Programme’ is a wonderful little instrumental, its playful guitar licks and woozy electronic stabs freewheeling on a bassline straight out of soul heaven. Equally delightful is ‘Baby I’m Yours, a slinky retro-future blend of disco and modern electro that’s nigh on impossible to listen to without moving your head, shoulders, arms or a combination of the above. The ‘listen baby, your wish is my command, baby won’t you understand’ hook may be from another era but its clear no-nonsense message has dancefloor appeal in abundance.

‘By Your Side’ is a key milestone for what has felt like a label coasting on its own success, a unique record that puts a contemporary spin on an era that modern music forgot.