THE CACTUS CHANNEL 

“Tightly raw soul, rambling deep-funk jams and organ-driven party mash-ups” – THE AGE

“Infectiously funky sounds… a horn-fuelled, butt-shaking affair” – triple j HOME & HOSED

“It’s old-fashioned, gritty and down-home soul music – by a bunch of white teenagers from Melbourne” – THE MONTHLY

“Brilliant… The Cactus Channel are poised to take over the world with their sweaty, nasty, funky sounds” BEAT

“Haptics is quite simply a near-perfect funk album… A rich cluster of solid, compelling instrumental pieces” DRUM MEDIA ALBUM OF THE WEEK – PBS-FM + SYN Melbourne, 2SER + Eastside Radio Sydney, RTR Perth, Radio Adelaide

Hear that sound? Raw, loose and nasty funk, recorded straight to analog tape. It’s just like the old days, but so new it’s sporting a badass teenage moustache. Now that Melbourne funk sensation The Cactus Channel have graduated high school, they’re taking their own brand of high-octane, instrumental car chase funk and smooth soundtrack soul to the people with their debut, Haptics. On the road and on the airwaves, 2012 is the year The Cactus Channel come of age.

Back in 2009, the founding members of The Cactus Channel were already jamming on some classic soul feels, tripping on Eddie Bo, James Brown and their contemporaries, and using words like “Boss” and “Cat” while trying to make it through year 10 in 21st Century Australia. What began as experimentation in Junior Stage Band developed into outright insubordination in Senior Jazz Ensemble and by 2011 The Cactus Channel were an out of control ten piece funk orchestra with the momentum of a runaway train who could count The Dap Kings’ Tom Brenneck and soul legend Charles Walker as fans.

How did members of the iTunes generation get on to those rare and deep seventies sounds at the age of 14? The internet, of course! Also, who really cares? It works! No matter what year it is, or sounds like it is, these records are great. From triple j Unearthed to FatBeats Records in NYC, people all over the place love this band.

The Cactus Channel deliver on all their precocious promise with this super heavy full length debut LP. Haptics is chock full of deep funk, jazzed-up soul and boogaloo hits, all informed by a canny sense of soundtrack-ready drama, loaded with tight, hard grooves and one strong track after another. The Cactus Channel is ready to roll!

 

THE CACTUS CHANNEL ~ Cast of Characters ~

Darvid Thor (guitar). Some say born, some say summoned, either way there was thunder and there was lighting and the kid came out shredding a little guitar. Having climbed a stairway to heaven in his youth, some say one too many times, it only took only one listen to The Meters to get Darvid down off of that stairway, and balls deep in transcriptions of the most soulful records the world has to offer.

Campbell Wheeler (alto saxophone). The unofficial mayor of Coburg gave up a career as a figure skater to lead a complex double life — by day he splits atoms, and by night he splits dancefloors. He can make you drop your drink with an alto squeal, or drop your pants with Baritone honk, all while wearing a smile fit to beat Clooney.

Hudson Whitlock (drums). With the finest selection of Hawaiian shirts this side of the equator, Whitlock’s startling affinity with time and rhythm sprouted from his infallible comedic timing, which he often employs on stage to dazzling effect. Wielding a wave of strawberry blonde hair and the fastest double-handed-alternating-four stroke-flamadiddle-taps in West Preston, he channels the powers of James Black and Clive Stubblefield into his soul so you can’t help but dance when the band breaks and lets him do his thing.

Callum Riley (organ/tambourine). With most of the crowd distracted by his good looks, Callum has it tough. However with the enviable ability to shake a tambourine just about as tasty as Bobby Byrd, all while playing a puppet show on his organ, he can cope. We’ve had to strap him down to his organ stool or else he’ll start dancing and forget where he is. Legend has it that his hair dreaded itself while he was dancing to Fela Kuti one night…

Kate Charlwood (tenor saxophone). She can speak in eight languages and play sax in seven more — all soulful. Although she only has 18 years behind her, Kate has pursued the Italian alps, meandered through Belgian woods, and wouldn’t feel out of place drinking with the heartiest of sailors. Don’t get on her bad side though, she will knock you down!

Lena Daisy Douglas (trumpet). When things turn sour, Lena is there to sweeten it up. When the blokes can’t decide between toast and warm bread, she has the answer. When the stink is just too nasty in the rehearsal room, she opens the door. This logic translates into her musicality and soulful personality with an ease not dissimilar to the turning off of Mix 101.1. Every band has their stick of glue, she is ours.

Lauren Mullarvey (tenor saxophone). Laura will make you shake like a caged go-go dancer, until you collapse in a great fervour induced solely by the moans and yelps expelled from her curvaceous horn. At full tilt, she’ll have the whole band wishing they were on the dance floor; and when she ain’t playing sax, she’ll be dancing like the aforementioned go-go dancer.

Lewis ‘Nosh Baby Boss’ Coleman (guitar). One half of the underground hip-hop crew Boss, Bix & Stix, Lewis is more than a dope MC or a pretty face. He is the riff child of Dick Dale and Steve Cropper, and the most fashionable member of the group by at least eight furlongs. With a great mo’, a pair of enviable dimples, and sarcasm in frightening abundance, he’s a cutie pie if you ever saw one.

Henry ‘Baby Face Bace’ Jenkins (Fender Bass). With hands fit to model and/or massage, Henry sacrificed the jacuzzi & cocktail lifestyle in order to hone his bass guitar skill, creating a style scholars have coined ‘Basscrobatics’. Often heard saying “I’m all about clothes, bank rolls and ho’s”, Jenkins is straight to the point in all facets of his life, especially when funk is in the mix. Bace!!!

Daniel ‘Jumpin’ Jack Dagnel (trumpet). Also known as The Beast, Daniel Targus Targus Sutton Preece, he’s the man with the hands, who can do hand stands, whom no one can stand. Just joking, he’s alright, and he plays trumpet like a Chilean on a cocktail of Nesquik and Milo. Oh Jim Joe!!!