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by World Music Network July 18, 2011


Max Tannone: Ghostfunk

ghostfunkResiding in New York City, budding music producer Max Tannone has taken the sounds of his hometown heroes and crafted them into a number of unique remix albums. Max burst onto the scene in early 2009 with 'Jaydiohead', combining the sounds of rap king Jay-Z and British rockers Radiohead. His next venture in spring 2010 was 'Mos Dub', in which he merged the styles of Brooklyn legend Mos Def with dub reggae masters like King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry into a truly innovative project.

Tannone's latest mixtape 'Ghostfunk' was released earlier this month, presenting much more than the standard mashup format. He takes the lyrical prowess of hip hop rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and pairs his songs with rare cuts of vintage Afrobeat, African psychedelic rock, and rhythm and blues from Ghana and South Africa. 

As noted on the Afropop blog:

'He puts out albums worked around a central concept and – unlike every other person that has done that since the dawn of time – it works. Every time. It does not work because of shock value, or because it has a punny title – it is just good music, and Tannone leaves you scratching your head and wondering why Ghostface Killah didn't do this himself.

It is anything but smooth, as Ghost's high insistent notes are mirrored by the hard angular African rhythms, just as Mos Def's West Indian tones were brought out by reggae in Mos Dub, Tannone's previous album. Ghostface always sort of sounds like a teary-eyed boy trying to get himself out of trouble, and the instrumentation in 'Ghostfunk' emphasizes his wobbly high timbre and pushes it forward to its breaking point. In 'Make It N.Y.', Ghost comes out swinging at his most agitated and insecure, and the high synths carry his voice up and up as his flow gets tighter and tighter until it finally breaks into the chorus, as if the Ironman is too emotional to continue.'

Have a listen (and a download) below.

Ghostfunk by Max Tannone