The City Champs – Luna ’68 (2021) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

The City Champs – Luna ’68 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 38:09 minutes | 454 MB | Genre: Funk
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Big Legal Mess Records

The return of the Memphis soul/funk/jazz trio The City Champs. Members, Al Gamble (St. Paul & The Broken Bones), George Sluppick (Chris Robinson Brotherhood) and Joe Restivo (Don Bryant) have been secretly concocting these tasty, solar expansing nuggets since their last output in 2010.

The rich analogue synth sounds that Al Gamble brings to this new number are a new flavor for the group, though it sits nicely with their command of groovy ’60s vibes on previous albums The Safecracker and The Setup.

As Gamble notes on this new element in the Champs’ sound, “It’s kind of a new thing for me. Even though I was in high school in the ’80s, when it was kind of a big thing, I was never really a synth guy. But over the last few years with St. Paul and the Broken Bones, there’s been some synth added to that.”

It’s a perfect match for this Restivo composition, which evokes some of the vintage soundtracks he’s been known to favor, especially with his other outfit, Detective Bureau. “I’m real into Piero Umiliani,” Restivo notes. “He’s an Italian film composer, and the stuff he did in the late ’60s, early ’70s had a futuristic sound to it.”

That retro-futuristic resonance comes through loud and clear with the accompanying video by filmmaker Andrew Fleming, which features mysterious astronauts encountering landscapes beyond their ken.

1. Luna ’68 (03:55)
2. Lockdown City (03:17)
3. Mack Lean (04:33)
4. A-Meld-a-Marcos (04:41)
5. Hanzo (04:39)
6. Skinny Mic (03:11)
7. Freddie King for Now (02:51)
8. Thinking of You (04:48)
9. Voyage to Vega (For Felix) (06:14)