The Winston Brothers is a relatively new project from two veteran Hamburg musicians who have both been part of the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, multi-instrumentalist Sebastian Nagel and drummer Lucas Kochbeck. They made their debut on Colemine in 2020 with the release of a 7-inch, but now they are ready to give us their debut LP, Drift.

The Winston Brothers aren’t looking to redefine funk with the first album. Instead, they are just looking to make the type of music they love, which are instrumental jams with great grooves and a gritty feel. They also join the lineage of groups like El Michels Affair or Budos Band, who both draw on the tradition of late-‘60s and early-’70s soul and funk and the boom bap hip hop production that later reinterpreted that music. Of course, to do all of this, you need a solid rhythm section, and Kochbeck’s tight and crisp drumming and Nagel finding the pockets with his basslines and guitar riffs, we have an excellent foundation from which you can build out the rest of the album. As they do that, they lean on some great horn section riffs and melodies to help define their sound and take the music that step further beyond just some enjoyable grooves. The Winston Brothers keep the music memorable, funky, and always in motion, so you never get stuck in any one groove for too long. More than anything, though, this is just a really fun album to listen to that immediately feels familiar and will get your toes tapping and your neck bobbing.

Drift is a solid debut for the Winston Brothers. They aren’t doing anything too unusual, just giving us a really solid collection of instrumental funk that is gritty, soulful, and full of great musicianship.