Germany’s The Winston Brothers intercept, collate, codify, regurgitate, and return the sound of late-’60s instrumental funk to the country from which it spawned.
The band’s first full-length LP, Drift, is a time machine back to the days when funky guitar lines, hip-shaking bass, and toe-tapping drum grooves came face-to-face with the sounds of psychedelia. Producer/guitarist Sebastian Nagel leads a crack team of music professionals and analog fetishists including drummer Lucas Kochbeck.
The ensemble, also made up of members of the Mighty Mocambos, the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, and the Hamburg Spinners, creates an album that balances groove, melody, and space. Heavy drumming offsets strategic use of hollowbody guitars doing tasty octave work, dreamy chord arpeggiation, reverb-drenched guitar solos, and spacious jazzy guitar tropes, like on “High Life.” Slow dance grooves with tremolo and Rastafarian echo repeats make the title track hip and sensual – dig that trippy, hallucinogenic fadeout guitar solo, dripping with echo.
Repetition legitimizes, and the brothers Winston lean into it with catchy guitar lines and riffs like on “Winston Theme,” “Boiling Pot,” and “Free Ride.” The horn section yields that early-’70s blaxploitation film soundtrack flavor. It’s solid, baby.
This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.