review: funk/soul

Various Artists - Stay on the Groove CD

Compiled by label owner, Jazz Café booker, artist, manager, DJ, famed record collector and all round music nut Adrian Gibson, this is one of the best funk compilations released in as long as I can remember. It’s all new funk, which is very surprising, as most new funk sounds are just cut and paste jobs of older tunes mixed with current vocals. It’s a strong compilation that is encouraging and that renewed my faith in the state of today’s funk and sent me on the search for more.

V.A. - Stay on the Groove - 20 Modern Funk Anthems
(Freestyle Records/Creative Vibes)

The album features tracks from artists from all corners of the globe, such as Sweden’s Jaguar, Germany’s Poets of Rhythm, New York’s Dap Kings, LA’s Breakestra, The Bamboos and Cooking on Three Burners from Australia and the UK’s New Mastersounds and Quantic Soul Orchestra. The title track, Stay on the Groove, is an outstanding but it’s honestly quite hard to pick a favourite. The only reason I could pick some over the others is because artists such as Quantic,Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Breakestra have been on high rotation in the clubs, so it’s interesting to hear these artists that have not broken into the mainstream yet – and some homegrown talent too, of course!

And it ain’t all about the groove. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings take money-hungry corporate types to task in What if We All Stopped Paying Taxes, while musical mastermind Will Holland cautions against jest in the face of a growling stomach, in Don’t Joke with a Hungry Man. But party you must, so deeply cool offerings such as Gravel Rash from Three Burners and Hold it Down from Quantic will get those feet shufflin’.

Really, there’s not much more to say about this one – with 20 tunes on offer it is an absolute bargain and a tasty way to rediscover the freshest funk around. It’s living proof that funk ain’t dead – in fact, quite far from it.

18.01.2006 / bap / mail

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