Published Nov 02, 2016At this point, it's well known that a Daptone record will have a distinct sound and feel. With the launch of his self-titled instrumental LP, the Olympians are counting on that fact. Largely known as the session players behind Daptone artists such as Lee Fields and Charles Bradley, the nine-piece outfit offer up a take on funky vocal-free grooves with the self-titled The Olympians.
As the story goes, bandleader Toby Pazner was so inspired by the 2008 Beijing Olympics that he rounded up Daptone stalwarts Thomas Brenneck, Dave Guy, Leon Michels and several other musical pros to record in his Brooklyn bedroom armed with a Tascam 388 tape recorder. Flash forward to the present, and the Olympians have provided 11 satisfying tracks feel like the Dap-Kings' output meshed with the sounds of Pazner's old El Michels Affair group.
Each track title refers, appropriately enough given the band's name, to Greek mythology: a chill number like "Pluto's Lament" recalls old Isaac Hayes compositions, "Europa and the Bull" offers up an exemplary "Billy Preston on organ" feel and "Sagittarius by Moonlight" mines a Holland–Dozier–Holland soul groove, to pleasing effect. The Olympians don't break the mould here, but they deliver robust soul with tight compositions, florid instrumentation and that trademark Daptone sound that feels authentic and earned. (Daptone)