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Dusk Till' Dawn

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Album Review

In 2005, Breakestra, the Miles "Om" Tackett-led band, released their full-length debut, Hit the Floor, an album praised for its loyalty to preserving the sound of the funky breaks later sampled in hip-hop. Four years passed between Hit the Floor and Dusk Till Dawn, but despite (or perhaps because of) the time elapsed, their sophomore follow-up lacks cohesion, feeling instead like it's been cobbled together from songs Tackett's been working on in fits and starts since the last album was completed. He is far and away the driving force behind the record, and the band (while they tour with an eight-piece, Tackett plays guitar, bass, keyboard, cello, and percussion on Dusk Till Dawn, sings on a handful of songs, and produced, wrote, and recorded everything), which perhaps explains this, but unfortunately doesn't help the fact that the album often feels as if it's dragging on far past where it should have stopped. It's not that Dusk Till Dawn is slow: it is a funk album, in fact, full of fast-paced songs that are quick and light on the beat, with plenty of horn and guitar riffs, and so tracks move along at a good clip. But because many of the songs are instrumental and structurally simple, when they stretch past the five- and six-minute marks, which they often do, it's hard to stay focused on what's going on. It's also not to say there aren't some bright spots here: "'Posed to Be," featuring Chali 2na and the late DJ Dusk (Tackett's old DJ partner) should have been a Sugarhill Gang hit, and "No Matter Where You Go," with vocals by Mixmaster Wolf, is a fun namecheck of contemporary soul and funk bands worldwide (the New Mastersounds, the Dap-Kings, the Bamboos, etc), and an acknowledgement that they know they're not doing anything new, that they're part of a scene. But this is also the problem with Breakestra: they are just part of a scene, and not at the top of it, so reminding listeners of the other bands also reminds them what those bands do better (vocals, hooks, choruses, etc), and ultimately, makes the weak parts of Dusk Till Dawn more memorable than the highlights.


Formed: 1996 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s

Formed by breaks fanatic Miles Tackett, Breakestra is a constantly morphing hip-hop orchestra based in Los Angeles. The group came together in 1997-1997 around Tackett's DJ gigs at a coffeehouse. A multi-instrumentalist whose work on cello has appeared on recordings by B.B. King, Macy Gray, and Black Eyed Peas, Tackett was a funk fan who got into hip-hop during the late '80s -- courtesy of the Ultramagnetic classic Critical Beatdown -- when he realized it was keeping the funk flame alive. A wish...
Full bio
Dusk Till' Dawn, Breakestra
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