Rhythm Machine were an American soul-funk septet from Indianapolis that released a self-titled album on Lulu Records in 1976.
Members: James Boone (bass, vocals), Maurice Puckett (guitar, vocals), Robert Dycus (drums, vocals), Donald Harris (tenor/soprano saxophone, vocals), Maride Williams (alto/soprano saxophone, vocals), Hopie Monroe Bronson III (piano, strings, vocals), Dennis McNeil (congas, bongos)
Honing their chops on the Midwest live circuit, Rhythm Machine entered Kalamazoo’s Sound Factory and cut the 1975 “Whatcha Gonna Do / Freakish Love” single. Released on the band’s own Rodan label, the a-side alternates brisk 3/4 horn charts with soft, wah-soaked verses. On the Mayfield-esque flipside, a heady stream of percussion pummels along a Dmin tonal plane as brass charts flare and descend amidst an urgent vocal delivery.
Greenlighted by hometown indie Lulu Records, the band convened at Des Moines’ Trident Studios to lay down their sole album, Rhythm Machine, in 1976. The spiraling keyboard spaceship depicted on the cover hints at the grooves within.
Long commanding three-figure prices as a rare collectible, Rhythm Machine has since been reissued twice in the 21st century.
- “Whatcha Gonna Do” / “Freakish Love” (1975)
- “The Kick (Pt. 1)” / “The Kick (Pt. 1)” (?)
- Rhythm Machine (1976)