Confunktion Records label founder and German funk/breaks producer Mr. Confuse returns with his fifth full-length and third original studio album “Only A Man”, a very personal record that explores the man behind the music. From well-known soul topics of love and hate to social issues of modern life – this full-length is all about an odyssey through time, rhythm and music.
The way Mr. Confuse produces his music is inspired by growing up with the 90s hip hop production technique of creating something new by referencing unheard funk and soul. For this album the process involved sampling and resampling the recordings of up to 16 international musicians to create an organic, powerful, authentic and danceable funk sound, which can be heard in each and every second of this record.
Opening titletrack “Only A Man” sees long-time Mr. Confuse collaborator Dan Salem take the mic to lament the difficulty of day to day living over a guitar-led uptempo funk workout. Dan also appears on jazzy soul number “Only Rainbows” and “The Modern Way”. While “Same Old Game feat. Leo Will” is a sister soul stormer for lovers of deep funk and northern soul alike, with blazing organ and standout vocals.
Twisting electro funk from the 80s into heavy 60s and 70s-sounding funk that could have been the blueprint for the original version has long been a defining characteristic of Mr. Confuse‘s sound. On this album he re-funks well-known freestyle electro classic “Let The Music Play” by Shannon, with Manoo contributing vocals.
“Can’t Be No Crime feat. Rick” dips into latin-funk territory and “Cranberry Dream feat. Elaine Thomas” closes the album with some sweet, sweet soul. But Mr. Confuse proves he can equally hold up a track on his own, with surefire b-boy favorites to be found in instrumentals “Gain Station”, “Fast Lane” and “Against All Odds”. And the infectious future jazz grooves of “Rush Zone” make this tune another album highlight.
It may be ‘only a man’ behind composing, producing, arranging, mixing, recording, organizing, promoting and performing abroad, but when that man is Mr. Confuse, it takes “Only A Man” to get the job done well.