Don’t stop the Black Gold
Asha Bhosle on Saturday was really great, I’m glad that I didn’t miss that one but more of that later on...
I'm listening to Gilles Peterson World Wide show right now so Black music is still going strong down here. I’m posting an update of some recent favourites. I recently found a compilation album that I’ve been looking for a long time. Funky Drops. Nothing special, just a fine collection of some rare and less rare tracks.
034 Fabulous Counts - Lunar Funk
This a great Fuzz Rock/Funk crossover track from 1970. The Fabulous Counts or Counts are best known for their classic first single Jan Jan b/w The Girl From Kenya recorded in 1968 for the Detroit based Moira label but I’m still lookin’ for that one. The single contains all of the trademarks that would make up the bands sound: wailing Hammond, two saxes in unison and funky, slightly off-centered guitar. Particularly Jan Jan is a floor-shaker.
Their last Moira 45’s are Get Down People b/w this Lunar Funk before they got more slick and started to record for Westbound of Funkadelica and Parliament fame. I found the track on the compilation Funky Drops volume 2 from 2002. It’s a fast moving tune with lots of wah-wah and echo effects in the break.
It's interesting to note that unlike many of their contemporaries, the Fabulous Counts manage to stay away from the influence of the Meters, the premier instrumental funk band of the era. Their sound has a harder, city edge to it and a much more conventional (and often less interesting) approach to funk than the Meters. But the lunar space sounds makes it still stand out.
Read more here.
035 The Twilight Clone – Herbie Hancock
From Magic Windows, Herbie Hancock’s 1981 break away from generic dance music and Disco into the homeland of 70’s funk. It’s basically an R&B record with funkier, more flexible rhythm sections, more intriguing electronic instrumental decorations by Hancock and some first-class instrumental contributions by the Brothers Johnsons, the Escovedo family and Michael Brecker.
Closing title The Twilight Clone is Hancock’s spooky foretaste of 80’s techno-pop and it sounds to me that he listened very well to The Talking Heads futuristic electrofunk sound from 1980’s Remain in Light.
036 Karawane – Escort
I found this track on the Bumrocks blog while they’re off on safari apparently. I do hope them come back because they post great stuff. I didn’t know anything about this percussive deep disco house gem complete with afro chanting inspired by Hugo Ball’s dada sound poem of the same name.
This psychedelic percussion-driven journey recalls the likes of Was Not Was and Kid Creole. It’s perfect for all fans of Rong Music, Idjut Boys, Prins Thomas and Lindstrom, Metro Area, Putsch 79 and Chicken Lips.
Escort was formed in early 2005 by Dan Balis, Eugene Cho, and Darius Maghen out of a desire to bring detail, depth, and perhaps most of all, the R&B songwriting tradition, back to underground dance music. Some may find their records shamelessly nostalgic: a blast of unadulterated and symphonic disco but for the members of Escort, this is not about the past. This is about a fervent belief that certain things are timeless: musicianship, songwriting, and production. No samples, no loops, just well crafted songs and great performances. Karawane is Escort's second release.
jolifanto bambla o falli bambla
großiga m'pfa habla horem
higo bloiko russula huju
blago bung blago bung
ü üü ü
schampa wulla wussa olobo
hej tatta gorem
wulubu ssubudu uluwu ssubudu
ba - umf
037 Kansas City Funk – Roy Hargrove
This track’s from Hargrove’s last album Distractions. Roy Hargrove is probably one the finest Jazz musicians at this moment but more important, he’s very eclectic and open minded. He mixes many styles and works with a lot of contemporary soul artist like Erika Badu, D’Angelo,… This track is rather short but nevertheless has it all in terms of funk.
038 The Bombers – Get Dancin' (12'' Version)
The Bombers is a project of Pat DeSerio and from the same producer of Kebekelektrik and Rational Youth. It’s a Canadian group fronted by the vocals of Tamara Lorincz and Mack Jones that burst on the disco scene in 1978. The group's first album on Mel Cherren's West End label was simply-titled Bombers and contained an album version of this track. In 1979 West End issued the album to DJ's as a 2-12" singles package. This practice was originated by Prelude Records and copied by Salsoul. This commercial 12" remix of (Everybody) Get Dancin' went top ten in the clubs and also propelled sales of the album.
039 Yarbrough & Peoples - Don't Stop The Music
This singing duo from Dallas was discovered by Charlie Wilson of the GAP Band. Don't Stop The Music was their biggest hit single back in 1981 and a sinewy slab of synth-based R&B/funk that was way ahead of its time and had a far-reaching influence in the following years.
And now for somethin’ completely different…
Work on you – MSTRKRFT
MSTRKRFT or Masterkraft are Jesse F. Keeler of Death from Above 1979 and his group’s producer, Al-P, gone electro house and they sound like what Daft Punk should sound like today if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re human after all and not man-machines. I like this opener and highlight of their album The Looks, especially the hyped-up vocoder and way that drive builds up and up. A real floor-filler that makes one live up to the phrase… dance as if no one is watching you.
I’m gonna work on you
Until you’re feeling right
I’m gonna make you right
Under the disco lights