Even more rare funk
Considering all the wildly obscure recordings UK dealer Gerald Short has dug up for reissue on his Jazzman imprint, titling his label's latest funk comp Quantic Presents The World's Rarest Funk 45s is quite a claim, and the track listing makes good on it. But thankfully, Will "Quantic" Holland and Short didn't merely gather up all their scratchy acetates of mediocre one-offs just because no one else has heard them. Nope, all these hard-battering joints are superb examples of the deep funk form characterized by killer breaks, driving grooves and searing vocals, and deserved to be hits. Perhaps the Prepositions ' horn-heavy Something Different, Herman Hitson 's Ain't No Other Way, James Polk 's Just Plain Funk and the Great Deltas ' Tra La La could've been big sellers had they not been pressed in ridiculously small quantities. Informatively notated and colourfully illustrated with artist photos and a great mastering job, this is one of the best funk compilations ever. www.jazzmanrecords.co.uk.
Although Radiohead have managed to come up with a few decent tunes over the years, I still can't look at frontman Thom Yorke without laughing uncontrollably. I've often wondered if I'd have a greater appreciation for Radiohead if their singer didn't remind me so much of Martin Short's SCTV character Jackie Rogers Jr. Hearing BBE's new Radiohead covers set Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads , it seems possible. Mark Ronson 's club funk overhaul of Just, sung by Alex Greenwald , makes the song eminently listenable, and I didn't chuckle once during Bilal 's rendition of High & Dry, Sa-Ra 's take on In Limbo or the jazzing up of Morning Bell by the Roots ' ?uestlove and James Poyser as the Randy Watson Experience . A Radiohead collection even Thom Yorke-haters can love.
After Miles Cleret effectively strip-mined West Africa of all its Fela Kuti sound-alike recording gold for his Soundway label, he set sail to Panama hoping to find more exotic funk goodies to sell back to collectors in the West looking for a new kick. The cleverly named Panama! set presents his latest discoveries of the salsa jazz, Caribbean soul, cumbia boogie and funky calypso variety, recorded during the golden era of Panamania music production, 1965 to 75. Since very little of this stuff made it out of the isthmus, names like Los Exagerados , Victor Boa , Los Mozambiques , Maximo Rodriguez and Lord Cobra probably won't be familiar, but these exuberant jams will quickly win you over. Raw and righteous.
The latest volume in the Rough Trade Shops series of thematic collections, Counter Culture O5 (V2) comes off like a cassette comp of recent album tracks and import single B-sides put together by a nerdy friend who somehow scored a job at the hippest record store in town. It doesn't all flow together that well. but the disc serves as a great introduction to a lot of really good artists. like Matson Jones , Espers , Modlang , the Pipettes , King Creosote and many others you probably won't hear on the radio or played in the background on The OC.