OKP Premiere: UK Duo Par-le Brings The 80s Boogie Back On "Exclusive"
If we never achieve time travel, Par-le could go down as the next-best-thing. The London-based duo of guitarist Miles James and bassist Alex Bonfanti have happened upon a kind of synthesis, a blend of dingy mid-70s funk the sparkling synthetic boogie that came after, and pour it all out on their upcoming six track EP The Light Years. It’s a record that breathes new life into the synthesizers, drum machines and tape reels of an almost-lost time, and on lead single “Exclusive” things get very lively indeed.
“The feeling and feedback we get from this old equipment–it definitely inspires us,” James told Okayplayer. “Exclusive” hits like bright neon mist, familiar and exhilarating and undeniably funky. Guest vocalist Nadine Charles sings of lovers’ timeless devotion, but the drums and synth bass have 1983 written all over them. Still, it’s the composition and musicianship that make it all come togehter; both Bonfanti and James are lifelong students of their instruments and have become go-to hired studio guns for the London soul, funk, jazz and pop circuits. Their influences stem from the golden era of studio production–the sleek rhythm guitar of Nile Rodgers and the boogie bounce of The Whispers, and on “Exclusive” we hear all the work and appreciation come to a head. Only true devotees of boogie and funk could cut a record that sounds this on.
“Miles and I, the reason we started working together in the first place, it’s that funk and boogie like this really doesn’t exist anymore,” Bonfanti said. “No one in the UK has really done that, and we took to it quite comfortably.” Both players have become collectors of sorts, buying up all the Oberheim and Linn LM-1 drum machines, Juno synthesizer and 2″ tape reels they can find and then pouring over them, molding their vintage tones to their modern demands. With The Light Years set to drop very soon on rapidly-rising UK soul label Movement Records, plus talk of an entirely new full-length over the next horizon, Par-le is opening up a fast-track back to the best dance floors in history. Okayplayer is very proud to present the world premiere of “Exclusive” below. This is the sound of a good night out turning into a great one.