Yet another illuminating compilation from Joey Negro, culling tracks from a movement that many of its audience might not have known existed.
Dubbed “the UK’s answer to underground disco,” Brit Funk emerged on the island in the late 1970s, drawing upon a phenomenon reflected in the increasingly multicultural jazz, funk, reggae and pop scenes and characterized by the big slap bass sound of bands like Touchdown and Savanna. From the outside looking in, UK producers have always had this skein of soul underlying all their productions. It’s a tantalizing conclusion to point to this trove of underrated and somewhat overlooked records as the source for it.
Eight years passed since Volume 1 of Backstreet Brit Funk, and apparently much of that was spent sourcing records and compiling tracks that might possibly measure up to it. The older tracks on here (Cache’s “Jazzin’ and Cruisin'” and Index’s “Starlight”) have a smooth R&B sound that sounds like a distant (somewhat discoified) echo of The Commodores. Some of the later material is what really grabbed me: AD 2000’s “Love Time Machine” from 1984 sounds like a cocktail of Prince, P-Funk, The Wailers and Fela. Really peculiar stuff and done justice by this collection.
Joey Negro: Backstreet Brit Funk Vol 2 (Part 2) (Z Records)
A1. Caché – Jazzin’ And Cruisin’
A2. Congress – You Gotta Get It (Unreleased Edit)
A3. The Hudsons – Show Me You Care
B1. The Antilles – I’ve Got To Have You
B2. Index – Starlight
C1. Cloud – All Night Long
C2. Touchdown – Ease Your Mind
D1. AD 2000 – Love Time Machine
D2. Paradise – Stop And Think
D3. Ritual – Non Stop Boogie