Paris DJs presents The Downtown Rulers Club EP  (The Austin - Paris Connection)

Released August 26th 2014

By Graham White


There is something spectacular about The Downtown Rulers Club EP, a something that listeners will fall head over heels for. Soulful, funky and groovy, this EP is one that will stick in my ears and my heart for many long years. A perfect mix of vintage vamps and contemporary grooves, it is hard not to dance along with the hard-hitting brass and tight, funky guitar. It is as if jazz, funk, soul and Motown have finally come together in one tightly arranged sound, grooving with the gritty annals of music history.

Uneventful is hardly as uneventful as the name might suggest, with a light staccato piano offset with a powerful brass section that causes the listener to instantly fall into the groove, finding themselves unconsciously dancing along to the colourful and soulful sound. It is impossible to sit still to such a potent sound. Falling in love with Alex Chavez’s impeccably spirited vocals is no difficult task, as it warbles about, caressing the listener’s ears into a frenzied, funk fueled free-for-all.

Sugar follows with well-manicured guitar licks, soulful organ, and an organic vibe that could only be described as extremely danceable. The desire to shake, to groove, is so powerful that none could resist it’s temptations. Beto Martinez demonstrates his signature guitar sound, a tight and neat tone that dances across the steady beat provided by Jeremy Bruch’s drum-set. Overflowing with soul, Sugar makes for an immensely enjoyable track.

All My Stories employs a wonderfully full organ sound, with Josh Levy’s baritone saxophone hitting the lowest of low notes, striking a chord with heartstrings and shoe-soles alike. It is a joyous track, full of life and happiness, with a smiling sound that one cannot help but reciprocate. The track demands movement with it’s walking groove, begging listeners to find a partner and start dancing! As much as I dislike favoritism, All My Stories is definitely the centerpiece of the EP for my ears, and has found a very special place in my heart.

Standby ends the EP with a beautiful ballad-like sound that explodes into saxophone and trombone (Mark Gonzalez) fueled soul, with a grooving bass (Greg Gonzales) that is perfectly synchronized with the quick moving beat. It fills the listener with a purposeful and powerful desire to dance in the midst of a thunderstorm, to groove with complete strangers in the streets. Grupo Fantasma’s horn section is showcased most eloquently here, strong and lively with a spirit that could only come from these seasoned musicians.

The stripped-down, vintage sound that is expressed in The Downtown Rulers Club EP is a must listen for soul, funk, and jazz music fans. If ever there was an EP that was far too short, it would be this. The absolute brilliance of sound that dances from the speakers is far too amazing to be condensed into a mere twenty minutes. On the upside, however, repeat listens never seem to grow old, opting to stay as fresh and powerful as the first time one’s ears hear the soulful collection of tracks.