Title: Divine Pocket Bouncers
Artist: Divine Pocket Bouncers
Label: Distributed via CD Baby
Formats: CD, MP3
Release date: December 2012
Described on the band’s website as a retro-funk pop-hop quartet, the Divine Pocket Bouncers blend the New York honed funk-rock sensibilities of keyboardist Bruce Mack and bassist Jared Michael Nickerson (affiliates of the Black Rock Coalition and Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber), with the world music and hip hop influences of Parisian-based drummer Benjamin Sanz and vocalist/rapper Bruce “B Devine” Sherfield.
On their self-titled debut EP, the group continues a sonic exploration begun in 2008 when the members started jamming together at an abandoned building in the Menilmontant section of Paris. Over the ensuing years the group coalesced through file sharing across the pond, then finally came together again in January 2012 for several live concerts in Bordeaux. From these performances the group emerged with six songs that were turned over to the U.S. production team of Diriki Mack and John “Quixotic” Gundersen.
Kicking off the project is “Wow!” which can best be described as a rap-based party track that name checks James Brown, then brings in the funk at full throttle. The remaining 8 tracks follow a similar pattern, as Sherfield’s half sung, half spoken syncopated lyrics (like a more playful version of Saul Williams) fuse with smooth synths and funky bass lines. The result is a highly original EP that showcases the group’s genre-bending talents and offers a contemporary yet familiar sonic landscape that should appeal to everyone from seasoned funkateers to youthful hipsters.
Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss