Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the new record. With this album, the band succeeds in fusing the rhythm-heavy traditions of classic New Orleans funk, raw, West African tribal-Jazz, myriad Latin-Caribbean sounds as well as rock with the hypnotic, trance-inducing effect of cutting-edge electronic dance music. Their immersive polyrhythmic grooves are interwoven with graceful melodies and daring solo improvisations. Their lyrics make a forceful response to ongoing onslaught of negative experiences too many people all around the world are subjected throughout their lives whether it’s on the job, in their relationships, contemplating the political scene, or spending time on social media. Indeed, this is a multi-faceted amalgamation of sounds that are at once danceable and contemplative. When considered alongside the New Orleans canon of music and history, this is something that is both totally different yet still rooted in the funk, jazz, soul and groove of the culturally rich Crescent City.
Colorado Music Buzz Magazine
by Thom Jackson
Jamtronica is a genre that goes over very well here in Colorado, and New Orleans’ Junko Beat will be bringing the sound to our fair state this month. Mellow but symbiotic, easy listening but danceable, the music is made to appeal to the stoner dance crowd, the Cervantes type, who are currently fresh off Global Dance Festival and hungry for what’s next.
While ripping guitar solos and original drum beats may not be found, the group knows that that isn’t what their crowd is looking for- they just want to party, and party they will to Junko Beat’s new record.
OFFBEAT MAY 2020
Drummer and keyboardist Chris Lacinack leads the cosmic funk-electronica-jam band Junko Beat. Lacinack also composed the seven convention-defying songs and instrumentals that pulse through Junko Beat’s Satirifunk.
Funk is a major ingredient here, but there’s also much world beat in Junko Beat. Lacinack and his shifting cast of musicians and vocalists venture into prog rock, Middle Eastern and Indian sounds, Western classical music and reggae. More than once, Lacinack’s compositions stay on a single chord. Examples include “Lotus Rising,” an Indian music-style instrumental featuring pedal steel guitarist Dave Easley’s impression of a sitar. Easley fluently improvises above the static “Lotus Rising” harmony and a musical backdrop that includes Siguenon Kone’s jembe (a skin-covered goblet drum from West Africa). When the mystical, “Tomorrow Never Knows” vibe of “Lotus Rising” moves to a funk section, Easley easily adapts to a new landscape built on Jagon Eldridge’s riff-repeating baritone saxophone and Ian Cunningham’s wah-wah pedaled rhythm guitar.
“Control,” featuring Jane Brody’s vocals up front, contains the wistfulness of Mazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval and moody pop-rock of Depeche Mode. It’s another of the album’s one-chord, groove-based pieces. Brody also sings the reggae-styled “Words.”
Will Snowden’s cello adds classical touches to “After Burn,” a Middle Eastern-style instrumental. The dark B section of “After Burn” derives much of its ominous character from Dave Ludman’s primal baritone sax. Snowden returns for “Voyage to Gold and Green,” playing dramatic cello pronouncements in a prog-rock setting featuring a spoken-word performance by Trea Swindell. Snowden is back again for another instrumental, “March 1827,” adding contrasting cello interjections to a funk jam.
Traceable though Lacinack’s influences are, the music he creates and confluence of styles within it puts Junko Beat in a world of its own.
NEW ORLEANS Offbeat magazine
Junko Beat, JamKronic
February 25, 2016 by: Robert Fontenot
What to label this? The rhythm section was once known as Junko Partners, but they’ve since split from that nucleus and mutated into the kind of funk band that features a synthesized bass and a fair bit of electronic sweetening, all while occasionally employing an R&B diva of sorts, a worldbeat drummer from West Africa, a veteran pedal-steel sideman, and a cellist whose classical axe just happens to be plugged in. Yes, they’re that kind of funk outfit: the kind you’ve never heard before.
If that mix kinda sounds like an aural marshmallow-peeps milkshake, your concerns are well noted. But Junko’s odd melange is surprisingly well integrated: Their funk-by-committee approach is anchored by that same rhythm section of Chris Lacinak (drums, both “real” and not) and Vernon Rome (synth and bass). Most of these nine workouts follow the same formula anyway—a backbeat steeped in Crescent City funk, Middle Eastern music or both, a big fat squiggly bottom, some antiseptic synth atmospheres just to show they mean business, and then plenty of room on top to allow their guests to stretch out and do their thing.
And as good as the groove gets, it’s really those guests who bring these songs home—Trea Martinez’ vocals give them a moral foundation, Seguenon Kone’s djembe propels “Fatima” around the world, and Will Snowden’s ominous electric cello rockets Junko into space. Too bad you can’t see the belly dancer. Did we mention the belly dancer? There’s also a belly dancer
Trance-inducing, cutting-edge, and improvisational: all are terms that have been used to describe the newest release from the New Orleans progressive funk outfit Junko Beat. On their sophomore album, Satirifunk, the group presents an innovative musical fusion of New Orleans funk and West African tribal jazz with electronic and Latin-Caribbean influences. The result is a powerful, rhythm-heavy sound that truly captivates the listener.
Junko Beat was formed in 2012 by New Orleanian drummer and composer Chris Lacinak with bassist Vernon Rome and African American cellist Will Snowden. On Satirifunk, this core trio collaborated with a number of skilled musicians including West African master percussionist Sigeunon Kone and renowned pedal steel performer Dave Easley to produce seven captivating tracks. Primarily an instrumental album, highlights include the cosmic “Voyage to Green and Gold” and “March 1827,” the latter featuring Snowden’s cello over a funky NOLA backbeat with a nod to Beethoven. Jane Brody and Trea Martinez also contribute to the eclectic mix, adding their soulful vocals on tracks such as “Control” and “Words.”
"Satirifunk" is the second album from drummer Chris Lacinak's Junko Beat. The group has been around since 2012, when Lacinak returned to New Orleans after work with bands including Family of God. His roots in New Orleans include, along with Junko bassist Vernon Rome, forming Tribe Nunzio, a group that helped draw crowds to Frenchmen Street when it became a popular night spot in the 1990s. Lacinak drives the band's funky New Orleans beats, and the group has incorporated more percussion from Ivory Coast native Seguenon Kone. Will Snowden adds cello, Jane Brody sings and Dave Easley contributes pedal steel guitar. Standout tracks on the seven-song album including "Lotus Rising" and "Land of Milk and Honey," in which the band builds on rhythmic grooves, adding trance-y electronic sounds and mystical Middle Eastern vibes.
Our guest this episode is drummer Chris Lacinak. Chris has drummed with some legendary people like Gatemouth Brown, Papa Mali, Tab Benoit, & Adam Peters of Echo & The Bunnymen and Family of God to name a few. But his love of New Orleans jazz and second line drumming drove him to form his band Junko Beat with Vernon Rome and Will Snowden. This episode was an education for me in a genre of music that I was not at all familiar with, but am now deeply intrigued by. Chris tells some great stories of touring with Gatemouth, moving all over the country and playing sessions. There’s also some great New Orleans jazz history in here. So there’s something for everybody. Check out Junko Beat’s new album Satirifunk on streaming services or their website, junkobeat.com. Subscribe, rate, & review the show. Follow us @PerformanceAnx on the socials. And let jump right into some funky stuff with Chris Lacinak and Junko Beat. This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.