Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Various Artists - Kon And Amir Present Off Track Volume III: Brooklyn - 2010 - BBE

BBE is one of those labels - distinctive, well-respected and knowledgeable; dedicated to bringing us, the music connoisseurs, the best in well-sought after and rare soul and boogie both old and new. This collection, dubbed Rare Ghetto Disco, Funk and African Boogie boasts an awesome array of 22 songs spread over 2 discs all chosen by the well-known duo, Kon and Amir. Best known for their Hip-Hop credentials, these 'kings of digging' - as they are known - have reversed engineered the rap grooves and taken it back to the soulful and jazzy roots from which rap grew. This compilation is, I have to say, SUPERB and is a credit to these gentleman. I would happily buy this album for any one of the inclusions, and all of these songs were brand new to my ears! What finds they have gathered together! The brilliance of the opening song, "From The Heart" by Donny McCullough cannot be overstated. The smooth, summery boogie times vibe is underpinned by a salivatory keyboard, piano and rhythm guitar. This is soul music for a summer's day and no mistake! Fans of Lenny White or Bill Summers will lap this track up - the gorgeous guitar work is second to none. Track two is equally unmissable - "More Power To You" by the Mazyk Project is one of those great early 80s efforts that I suspect most of us missed. Worthy of a likeness to the Skool Boyz, this track is superb. The horn-driven funk of Backyard Construction's "I Want Your Lovin'" is like the Blackbyrds meets Herb Alpert head on, and the vocals remind me slightly of Steve Arrington.

Disc 2 - Amir's choices for this compilation - features some older grooves, yet not at all less interesting that Kon's 80s opt-ins for disc one! I am struck by the spacey funk of Bomp's "Disco Power", great rhythm guitar and enough funk to shake your booty too if that's your cup of Darjeeling! Very much in the Brick line of stomper, this should be a winner for those who lap up the sounds of, say, Van McCoy or Hamilton Bohannon. Tee Mac feat Marjorie Barnes serves up a SUPERB flute-filled barnstormer called "Living Everyday". This 70s nugget is no piece of fools gold but very much the real thing. A great song and I am so pleased to have this in my hands now. The effervescent "Step On" by Harry Mosco is another bubbling '70s monster stepper and is well worthy of your attention. The compilation is guaranteed to raise a LOT of interest, as the previous collections did. This CD is released late in April and is so worthy of a purchase. You cannot and will not find rare gems such as these on any other compilations and I heartily recommend it to you.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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