Late '70s disco infused afrobeat funk is the surprising soup de jour for Israeli multi-instrumentalist Ophir Kutiel's eponymous debut.
The debut record from Tel Aviv's Ophir "Kutiman" Kutiel is the late '70s funk album nirvana crate-diggers spend their lives searching for. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't recorded, mixed, and released until 2007. More shocking, Ophir himself hadn't even heard of Fela Kuti and James Brown till about five years previous, when a DJ pal finally introduced him to his destiny via a small stash of classic vinyl. Gawd damn, if he isn't making up for lost time.
With this proudly self-titled effort, Kutiman distils the finest freak afrobeat, psychedelic soul, and West African riddim with Patrick Cowley "Sea Hunt" disco synths into a full-length rubber chicken three shades funkier than the Quantic Soul Orchestra's Tropidelico. What's amazing is -- with a little help from his friends here and there -- the whole thing is just Kutiel jamming with himself on a PC. It's unbelievable how authentic and fresh it is at face value, let alone the work of a multi-instrumentalist basement producer in the Holy Land, where the entire scene for this vein of music can fit in Ophir's bedroom. Jazzanova, Gilles Peterson, and Diplo have already caught the Kutiman fever, and it's only going to keep spreading. Keep on truckin', soul brother.