In early 2017, CSC Funk Band deliver their most ambitious undertaking yet with “Above The Starrs,” an all-instrumental homage to the seminal East Coast hip-hop duo, Gang Starr, that consisted of MC Guru and the DJ/producer DJ Premier. In the three years since their last full-length “Funkincense,” was selected for SPIN’s “Record Store Day Shopping Guide: 42 Essential Releases,” CSC’s 10 band members have poured hundreds of hours of studio experimentation into this highly anticipated follow-up album, resurrected from the Fat Beats vaults and originally inspired by a live collaboration with rapper Masta Ace at a Guru tribute concert. “Above the Starrs” offers an instant rap-geek curio for anyone who likes hearing bands cross the bounds of sample-based and live hip-hop instrumentation.
Spearheaded by Colin Langenus, the lead guitarist for prog-punk pioneers USA Is A Monster, CSC Funk Band celebrated its initial success by expanding the lineup to include players plucked from each point of the stylistic spectrum. Although initially concentrating on dancefloor-friendly funk jams, the embryonic group quickly grew out of its party-band britches by absorbing the diverse influence of its new members, including a former GWAR drummer, a keyboardist who plays with the Akron Family, an Anthony Braxton collaborator, and a trombonist for ska legends Bad Manners.
Rocking saxes, moog, guitars, trombones, drums, trumpets, a bass, and an oboe, the band is a random, diverse, and eclectic collective whose members draw from their rich histories to effortlessly entertain every flight of fancy while never once stepping out of sync or into categories. The psychedelic avalanche that the band effortlessly induces can be traced up the musical mountain to firm roots in technical mastery, avant-experimentation, and noise-punk ethos.