Time Is Now
'With the release of their debut album, Time Is Now, Moka has been rapidly drawing attention with their refreshing take on a classic Philly Soul sound. Their music hints at some political and social messages like the aftermath of Katrina and violence in Philadelphia, but then eases you down with a cool beat and warm, funky rhythms. The band was founded about 3 years ago by vocalist Pauline Houston and guitarist Robb McCall and further developed with the addition of Luis DiCupe on percussion, Damon Bennett on the keys, Tone Whitfield on bass, and Jimmy Coleman on drums. The full sound comes together to produce a unique combination of cool jazz, funky melodies, powerful lyrics, and a touch of latin beat to create a brand new type of Soul. Their album is for sale on CDBaby, Itunes, and Amazon so go check them out. Trust us, you wouldn't wanna miss these guys!' -- Helen Leight, WXPN 'MOKA offers an updated take on Philly Soul that could win over just about any listener. There are plenty of styles to offer: funk, rap, world music, and more, but when it comes down to it, these songs stay with the listener. 'Whole New Kind of Love' and 'Still' are radio hits in the making (unless this sentence ends up jinxing them.) Album highlight 'Unchain My Soul' brings in a choir to great effect. Opener 'Lies & Alibis' does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the album. Lyrical topics range from the political to the personal. Vocalist Pauline Houston delivers a stunning performance throughout, but the rest of the band's efforts cannot be diminished. This is a surprisingly powerful first effort. In a just world, MOKA would be making waves in the near future. And who knows, that might even happen in this world.' -- Kevin McKeon, The Compendium 'VITAL AND COMPELLING' -- Carol Denker, The Spirit 'MOKA's 'Time Is Now' (4Your Records) represents a new generation of original Philly Soul sound, but borrows heavy influences from hip-hop and jazz.' -- Deesha Dyer, Philadelphia City Paper The definition of 'motivated' is being re-written by Pauline Houston and Robb McCall. MOKA is a 3-year-old project they began together. 'I think he is the best guitarist... he can really make a guitar sing,' Houston boasts. They create a funky and psychedelic take on the classic Philly Soul sound. The songs take on a political edge, tackling subjects ranging from the injustices in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to inner-city violence. Their songs begin as politically laced soul and slowly transcend into psychedelic riffs where the political message is reduced to a single phrase, repeated rhythmically in tandem with the guitar and percussion. The effect is powerful and provocative on more than one level, engaging the thinking mind as well as a raw appreciation of musical beauty. -- Brian Rademaekers, North Star /// With a socially conscious edge, urban soul juggernaut MOKA produces cool grooves and fluid sounds with strong songwriting at it's central core. Sultry vocal powerhouse Pauline Houston presents a style that many attempt but few achieve -- bringing a new plateau for the new Soul movement. This is the real thing, taking you from smoky smooth ballads to edgy incantations of sistergirl soul. Guitarist Robb McCall lays out the luscious web of velvet sounds that beckons you with funky, fiery vibrations of rhythm and melody. McCall plays rhythm and lead guitar with a fluid versatility and a uniquely emotional style. MOKA's recordings feature McCall's innovative and exploratory production. Recorded and mixed at his Charging Bull Studio in Philadelphia, his arrangements set the songs in alternate atmospheres which reveal their true beauty and honesty. MOKA's live show is a spectacle to behold and a genuine adventure. Lay back and enjoy the ride that grooves you and feeds you, saying Drink me! Smoke me! The MOKA sound is influenced by The Classic Philly Soul sound, the Motown Sound, Marvin Gaye, Mahalia Jackson, Curtis Mayfield, Gladdys Knight, Acid Jazz, Hip-Hop, and on and on. MOKA is coming up from the roots... brewing and blending a new sound for new times. MOKA SMOKES!
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