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Mental Combat - Funk It Up

Author: Blaze
Monday, 18 February 2008
I’d love to be able to inform everyone of loads of funk or soul nights in Sydney, but alas, you’d need a fleet of bulldozers to uncover anywhere that plays such music. Though I did pick up a tiny flyer for a possible monthly night called Sounds of Soul, which was in The Viper Room of The Burdekin on Saturday 9 Feb. Shucks, I missed it. If you can listen to their long running soul show on Eastside Radio 89.7FM every Friday 6:30-8pm, I’m sure they’ll fill you in on the next one. Or naturally check, though there’s no mention of the night on there anyway. Hmmn!

Be on the look out for the new Amy Winehouse chick called Duffy (left). I spotted the videoclip the other day and saw a whole bunch of northern soul dancers in the clip for her song Mercy, but it was the style of the song that made me come out of my room to see what it was. She’s a Welsh lass who sounds a bit like Dusty Springfield, but the track was of updated northern soul vibe. She really can belt it out - and I must say it was the best thing I heard during the 2 or 3 hours of listening/watching Rage recently.  There’s another chick called Erika Rose from Brooklyn, one of Alicia Keys’ mates, but every time I see her she seems to be chucking a leg spread and looking like a glammed - up harlot. Wasn’t that enthralled with her album Rosegarden, so I moved on. Just not raw enough for my ears and far to piss weak rnb for me.

Fingers crossed that UK’s newest crew The Super Phonics and their album Interstellar gets some local distro, as well as the US afro/latin/funk outfit Brownout and their debut LP Homenaje. Their cover of Manu Dibangu’s African Battle seems to pop up in loads of b-boy battle dvds and has just been released as a very limited 7” on the steam-rolling Freestyle label. Cali native Glen Anthony Henry had an awesome 7” out last year called Hope, but still no sign of his upcoming album. Tough organic drums held down the spot while his gutsy ‘60s evoking vocals ran roughshod over the whole shebang. Production was arranged by Spanish wunderkind Carlos Coupe (The Sweet Vandals) so you know ‘itsa gunna be noice’. Another UK act getting a meteoric rise are Baby Charles. They are 3 singles deep, but their latest one is a version of the Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor. So the clever clogs might get some extra attention from such a carefully planned move. The drummer has b-boy friendly breaks that capture my ear. So I’m happy.

So I guess I really should be keeping the kids informed of new b-boy friendly funk within this column, but I always forget. So here’s one for the aficionados, but it is on the slower side - the Finnish 45 of Mighty Mo & The Winchester Seven’s The Next Message (Peace Street). It’s a sparse funk tune consisting of percussive drums, horn and bass interpretation of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s The Message, which of course was the work of Duke Bootee. Naturally we all have the new b-boy friendly Herbaliser 7-inch single Amores Bongo. Oh, you have it on MP3- Whoopee shit. Sounds rougher on wax. Flip it for the extra scratch crazy Bongo Boom version. Try flipping yer MP3s. Nothing doing, eh- While 12-inch singles seem to be getting scarce, the plethora of limited 7-inch singles doesn’t seem to be abating at all. Even major label rock stuff appears to be fully back into 45rpm scene as well.

Need some jazz in your day. Then search the blogs for J.Rocc’s Blue Note Droppin Science mix. He’s grabbed a few of the tracks from the recent compilation of the same name and cut-n-scratched them up. It was a limited free leech from the Giant Step website, but has since spread all through the rapid-share type. But where in this bloody town can anyone get down to hear this stuff- Where-! Email me at ' ); document.write( addy1984 ); document.write( '' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> to let me know and I’ll pass it on. Or to let me know if I should continue with more funk/soul content.

Oh - while I’m here I should let you know that since the demise of the magazine Straight No Chaser a new mag has arisen with just as tasty design and content. It’s called Shook and it leans more towards funk and hip hop than SNC’s jazz and world coverage. It’s the English answer to Wax Poetics and it’s a top read. Google it. Buy it. Read it.