SUPAFUNKANOVA Vol.2 Badass funk classics from the disco boogie era Compiled by Joey Negro & Sean P
Z Records is an imprint you can rely on as far as compilations go. Label boss Dave Lee as alias Joey Negro sets the quality bar higher than the pack so you can purchase any comp on this label with quiet confidence. On this occasion he teams up again with long-time, super-knowledge cohort Sean P for volume 2 in this series. The result? A stack of ‘off the beaten track’ boogie, funk, early rap and disco SO fresh you’ll question the power of your deodorant.
I recently watched (and massively enjoyed!) the brilliant documentary Founding Fathers which tells the untold history of hip-hop’s roots outside The Bronx. That was the culture that inspired these sounds. I’d imagine the time-span of these tracks would be 1979-84. For almost a decade before, the Jamaican combination of DJ, MC and sound system had been infiltrating Queens, Brooklyn and of course the Bronx, creating a scene which would go on to change music forever. Kraftwerk via Bambaata had electro-fied funk’s second generation and disco was huge. That mix of styles can be heard all over this stunning comp.
The Blue Denim Band’s Spunk In The Funk leads the charge into an early New York rap/funk style that defies it’s Miami roots. ” A.M. , F.M.” rocks the chant from the off and the radio theme holds strong with DJ Frankie Crocker / KC Prince of Soul male and female MC stylings over a fierce Fatback Band jam. Sound Reason from Splash ramps up the boogie with a classic Stephanie Mills/Cheryl Lynn flavoured vocal over a bumpin party groove while the Sam Culley Band’s Walk maintains the standard with an insistent guitar riff driving home a familiar male vocal style which echoes T-Connection’s – Do It Anyway You Wanna without sounding tired in any way. I’m not entirely certain what Buckets ‘O Duckats is but J.S. Theracon’s P-Funk slant is convincing enough to hold the listener (and dancer) in a state of satisfaction throughout with a synth-bass and cuica jam which invites no other than Maceo Parker to the party. There are seemingly no fillers here , just 20 high end obscurities to keep your block party on fire until the dawn breaks.
Soulful space boogie like Stimulus and the vocoder and synth funk heavy Airplay sit happily alongside old school rap and even Prince influenced proto-house like Magnum Force’s play on Laid Back’s White Horse (the infectious Cool Out) while Star Quality & Class play like a street rap Zapp with the completely ace Betcha Got A Dude On The Side. Of the other many highlights included the sleazy and quirky I’m Burning Up from Nick Allen, the irisistable disco funk of Bright Moments’ She’s So Fine and the Cameo/Jam & Lewis fusion joint Big Fun by Contact shine bright and strong.