Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Various Artists - Back Street: Brit Funk Compiled by Joey Negro - 2010 - Z Records

If you're anything like me, then you sometimes like to know what makes some people 'tick'; where they get their ideas, inspirations and so on. Joey Negro aka Dave Lee is certainly one man whom I am interested in as his love and passion for quality soul and boogie is well-known. Ask Dimitri from Paris and he'll tell you! Joey Negro, under many of his guises, has given us some ultra-high standard house music and boogie music, whether it be Z Factor, Doug Willis, the Sunburst Band or anyone else. His passion for the perfect boogie tune is evidential in all his work, and it's interesting to see this collection of British soul and Funk tunes on his Z imprint. I know that a lot of his influences come from the US scene, so I'd like to see a US compilation at some point too. In listening to these choices it is abundantly clear that Dave Lee is not only a connoisseur but a craftsman in how he manages to soak in the rhythms, the melodies and the feelings and atmosphere of these times and these tunes into his own work. No mimic or rip-off artist, Dave Lee is a purveyor of his Art.

Listen, for example to the superb "Summer Groove" by Mirage...and you will instantly get the vibe of the latest Sunburst Band album. The scratchy guitar work of John Rocca and Freeez and the spacy synth...yes, it's all there. Glorious, isn't it? You know, I was never much a fan of the British sound BUT time and tide has changed my way of hearing and thinking. The hi-hat that underpins this song is almost one that could be transformed into a House tune...a bit more on the bassline and you're not far away from Doug Willis. Inspired. Talking of inspired, the great Nigel Martinez is included with his excellent "Better Things To Come". Such a talent...where is this gentleman today and why is he not in the studio?! Great to see Incognito's "Parisienne Girl" included. I would love to have seen "Summer's Ended" on here too - a great, great song. A very good compilation and a consistent listen. Good times - and available from May 3rd!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe