AS THE OLD-SKOOL REVIVAL RUMBLES ON, EVER MORE people seem keen to discover the origins of hip-hop. Thus the music’s motherlode – cheaply produced and extremely rare funk records from the early-’70s – have become the most marketable subdivision of the mushrooming compilation album business.
A decade ago old funk gems were unearthed and caned in London clubs under the snobbish banner of ‘rare groove’, a scene that revelled in the music’s inaccessibility. Happily, today’s beat fiends don’t want to keep these brilliant records to themselves.
Culled from the crates of London luminary DJ Pogo, this flawless selection of sampler staples proves there’s more to good funk than a few nickable drum beats. Almost every part of every track here has found its way onto someone else’s record, meaning that listening to this album is like hearing your record collection condensed into 12 seamless, sweaty ’70s chunks.
Hear Rhythm Heritage’s ‘Theme From SWAT’ and The Soul Searchers’ ‘Ashley’s Roachclip’ (the source of drums for everyone from Eric B & Rakim to EMF) and watch your surroundings turn into a scorching Brooklyn street corner in 1972. While The Headhunters’ ‘God Made Me Funky’ will have you hollerin’ your allegiance to The Funk out on the floor. Of your flat. In Bromley.
Some of the finest music ever made, much of it available for the first time in the UK, at a fraction of the price collectors have been paying for the last decade. That’s what I call a (lucky) break.