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When New York retro-funk label Desco shut its doors, co-founder Phillipe Lehman started up a new label, Soul Fire, which was dedicated to releasing only the sort of rough, raw, lower-fidelity funk Lehman preferred. Calypso King & the Soul Investigators were the first band to issue a full-length album on Soul Fire, and like many of the groups in Lehman's orbit, their origins were unlikely: a Meters/J.B.'s/MG's-styled instrumental funk band from Helsinki, Finland. All the members played in other bands; guitarist Pete Toikkanen was in a garage rock group called the Paisley, while organist Antti Maattanen, bassist Sami Kantelinen, and drummer Jukka Sarapaa all played in Mood (aka Maor Presto). Forming in 1998, the group issued a couple of 45s before hooking up with Lehman; after a debut single on Soul Fire in 2000, "Compin' and Smokin'," they recorded their debut full-length, Soul Strike! which was released in 2001. The Soul Investigators subsequently recorded for their own Timmion label with a newly added horn section, featuring trumpeter Eero Savela, trombonist Erno Haukkala, and saxophonist Lasse Tolvanen.
1998 op Helsinki, Finland