Jules Buckley follows the snapshot crash course in the history of hip-hop breaks that inspired his recent single ‘X Breaks’ with a brand new version of the Manzel classic ‘Space Funk’. Both tracks feature on the Grammy Award-winning conductor, composer and orchestrator’s upcoming album ‘The Breaks’, a collaboration with Chris Wheeler and the Heritage Orchestra and Ghost-Note that will be released on September 3rd via Decca Records.
You may well have never heard of the instrumental funk group Manzel, but you’ll definitely have heard them. Originally released in 1977, the track has been sampled by everyone from Grandmaster Flash to Childish Gambino. Copies of its initial vinyl release are listed for hefty sums on Discogs, while the song received a second wave of attention with a remix and a reissue courtesy of Kenny Dope and the Dopebrother label.
Buckley’s reinvention of the track gives it a fresh feel which makes it feel just as futuristic as it did back in the late ‘70s. The Heritage Orchestra allow the track to flourish with the full force of their live instrumentation, while Snarky Puppy duo Ghost-Note keep the disco-funk exuberance at full throttle with their energising breaks and drum fills.
Jules says, “Sampled by the likes of Childish Gambino and hip hop royalty Eric B. & Rakim, ‘Space Funk’ is one of the breaking scene’s absolutely deepest cuts. Heritage Orchestra and Ghost-Note are on the money here with the Manzel classic. Enjoy!”
Listen to ‘Space Funk’ - BELOW:
Also already previewed by two singles: a new interpretation of Jerry Lordan’s ‘Apache’ , as well as hip hop homage ‘X Breaks’, ‘The Breaks’ finds Buckley and co. paying a loving tribute to the explosive percussive pillar of the hip hop sound.Buckley commenced the project in the wake of his 2019 BBC Prom ‘The Breaks’ and the result is a joyous collection of influential classics originally from the likes of The Sugarhill Gang and James Brown.
Joined by modern artists such as four-time world DJ champion Mr Switch, the acclaimed saxophonist Kamasi Washington, the jazz/funk pianist, solo artist and former Snarky Puppy member Cory Henry, and Heavenly Recordings duo Mattiel,Buckley has achieved an unusual feat with the album: recording and orchestrating live instrumental takes on pieces of music renowned for being sampled.
On August 21st, Jules Buckley will present his 17th BBC Prom: Moses Sumney Meets Jules Buckley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. Blending soul, jazz, art-pop and spoken word, singer-songwriter Moses Sumney will perform songs from his albums ‘Aromanticism’ and ‘græ’ in orchestral form, with new arrangements courtesy of Buckley. Tickets for the show are available here. It will subsequently be broadcast on BBC Four on September 3rd.
With a staggering discography of over 70 albums, Jules Buckley has worked with some of the biggest names in music, spanning Quincy Jones to Stormzy and Chaka Khan to Michael Kiwanuka. His multi-genre talents have resulted in some of the most eclectic BBC Proms imaginable including the iconic Ibiza Prom, the 1Xtra Grime Symphony, and tributes to Nina Simone and Scott Walker. He recently collaborated with Paul Weller for a special show at the Barbican, which has been captured in his upcoming album ‘An Orchestrated Songbook’.
Buckley formed the Heritage Orchestra in 2004 with Chris Wheeler, creating a versatile 45-60-piece non-classical orchestra which has filled arenas and defied all expected orchestral stereotypes.