[Album Review] The APX's Debut EP Puts The Fun In 'Electrik Funk'
The APX. The After Party Experience. Dee and Erika Rhodes. Husband and wife. There are many ways to reference the self-dubbed “galactic funk” duo out of Atlanta, GA, but none convey what they're all about like their new EP Electrik Funk.
This whopping 8-track EP is on the border of being a full-length album, but whatever you decide to call it you’re gonna be dancing 10 seconds into the first song. By utilizing the use of nostalgic synth sounds, sensual saxophone solos, and enticing vocals, The APX have delivered a cohesive experience that is simply fun to listen to.
Starting with opening track “Sweet Surrender,” I was immediately reminded of classic Earth, Wind, & Fire hit “September” which had my whole body moving in an instant. It isn’t often that a band has the ability to so quickly capture my attention and make me feel as if I’ve been listening to them for years, but this first song is, dare I say, an instant classic. But just as I began to feel comfortable inside the familiar bubble of repetition the saxophone kicked in and gave the song a whole new feeling of weightlessness and sensuality.
“Truth or Dare” adds to the musical motifs set forth in the first track, but where “Sweet Surrender” has listeners surrendering their bodies to the dance floor, “Truth or Dare” features vocals by Erika Rhodes that are touched with just the right type of reverb and other skillful adjustments that put me in a trance. The vocals are put on full display here as they create a haunting feeling of mystery and secrecy.
Where this EP begins to truly become unique and set itself apart from the many other newcomers to the disco/synth-pop revival as of late is with the range that is displayed to push the boundaries of the genre and create a true hybrid of modern and classic styles of music.
Bouncing from “Spontaneous,” which is a straight up synth-pop jam, to Michael Jackson-esque disco bop “Digital Lover,” and onto dance-floor anthem “Say You Will,” Electrik Funk explores different ways to make you move and does it all within an 8-song package, neatly-wrapped and easily consumable at about 32-minutes.
It's a rare thing to find a new group with such a strong command of their musical identity, but the Rhodes duo seems to have a plan of exactly what they want to do with each track to create such a well-balanced mixture of old school and contemporary sounds. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or in search of the hottest new thing coming out of this quickly-growing genre, The APX’s Electrik Funk will definitely set you straight.
Celebrate the album release on July 19 from 6-10 PM at City Winery Atlanta.