The evolution of Breakestra has been an auspicious journey of funk and feeling. Bandleader Miles Tackett has reserved his place in the Los Angeles mind as leader of the weekly Rootdown party, a hangout for conscious and breakthrough hip-hop/soul/funk mavens. His band started by playing covers of soul classics, eventually writing a solid repertoire of its own. Hit the Floor marks the group's debut of original material, 14 studio slices of what's made it a stellar live outfit. The record does fall into the pitfalls one would expect of a former cover band, like the wedding band routine vibe. But the production has enough integrity and the rhythms enough groove to grant certifiable credibility to the record. The flute lead on "Burgundy Blues" and Tackett's low-end vocals on "Stand Up" and "Recognize" -- the latter having a bit of Neville Brothers spirit -- guarantee an enjoyable experience. Guest appearances by fellow Californians Jurassic 5 (we can imagine fans cross-pollinating) add rap etiquette to the grime of funk. And grimy it does get. When they say hit the floor, they mean it.


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