Since DJ Shadow first tipped the world of funk collector fiends to the untold treasures buried on goofy-looking high school and college band LPs with his Schoolhouse Funk (Cal-Tex) collection, the Kram label recordings of the super-tight and prolific Kashmere Stage Band from Houston, Texas, from the 70s have become the most sought-after of the genre, typically fetching more than $200 a pop. The Zero Point collection released last year included their Shadow-sampled version of Scorpio along with other killer joints like Al's Tune and Masquerade, but what about the title track? Well, the just-reissued Out Of Gas... But Still Burning (Kram) solves the mystery, and Zero Point is a genuine cooker. There's also the super-dope Kash Register, by the Kashmere splinter group Cold Fire . A Kashmere box set might be in order.
Milk makes it
If you've ever been to online mecca of rare funk www.funk45.com , you'll know that Salt 's super-tough Hung Up is among the all-time favourite joints of site visitors and contributors, but scoring the original wax could cost you a late-model subcompact. Fortunately, some enterprising chappie has reissued the coveted corker on the mysterious Milk start-up, with Lou Courtney 's boss bumpin' Hey Joyce on the flipside of the stylish pink-and-orange-labelled disc. So save yourself a grand or two.
For some, the mere mention of British hiphop is enough to inspire loud laughter, but lately there have been some heartening developments where emulating Brooklyn and Bronx MCs is no longer the rule but the exception. Call it the Ali G effect, but listening to the DJ Excalibuh -compiled We Got Next sampler of rising Brithop talent affixed to the September issue of Hip-Hop Connection , more UK rappers appear to be revelling in their Britishness, playing up their regional accents and spitting more colloquialisms. The best of the bunch here is Cappo & Konny Kon 's Capkon Entertainment, J.T.W.R .'s Get Over It, Verb T. 's Ravenous and Klashnekoff 's Black Rose. Check out more badass Brithop online at www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra.
The prohibitive price of vintage sound library recordings has left many sample-scrounging producers hiring session musicians to replay the licks in the studio. Shawn Lee has taken it one step further by inventing his own Ping Pong Orchestra to create his own sound-library-style album. The 25-track double LP bearing the appropriately generic title Music And Rhythm (Ubiquity) has all the hard-hitting breakbeats, slinky bass lines, furious bongo bashing, Hammond organ crunch, sleazy synth lines and vaguely Eastern string touches that make the decent titles on KPM , De Wolfe , Conroy , MP2000 , Peer and Chappell so sought after. Swank.