Remastered for this vinyl reissue, Be With Records present this modern soul double-sider. Essential in every way. Breakwater’s earth-shattering Release The Beast is unquestionably the standout song from their 1980 funk masterpiece LP Splashdown. It also came out as a now-hen’s-teeth-rare 7" in the same year and when it came to putting it out as a 7" again Be With just had to do it in a miniature version of the Splashdown sleeve. It’s one of the best album cover shoots of all time. For the b-side, it's backed with Breakwater’s biggest track: the quietly majestic gem Let Love In, another winner from the same LP.
Possessing a sound and a feel that was lightyears ahead of its time, Release The Beast is a showcase for Breakwater’s phenomenal power-funk capabilities. The energy is astounding. It rips out of the grooves on a deep funk tip, with speaker-smashing, room-shaking drums competing with distorted funk-rock guitar, bumping bass and space-age synths. But it’s not without its compellingly haunting elements too. What else can we say? It’s a genius piece of music.
And, yes, of course this is the tune Daft Punk sampled for their 2005 track Robot Rock. Let’s be blunt, they lifted the Philly act’s funk-rock vamping pretty much wholesale. But to be fair to them we wouldn’t have messed with the perfection of the original either and those Parisians shone a much- needed spotlight on an innovative band from the halcyon period of post-disco funk.
On the flip, Let Love In is a smooth, easy glide that demonstrates Breakwater’s superb, sophisticated musicianship. The tight horn section and irresistible bass make for an undeniable groove. However, it also reveals a depth to their lyricism that’s often overlooked. In these dark days, the sentiment of the opening lines is truly one to we should all take to heart: