Rating: Admittedly Rocafort Records new heavy funk comp., Funk For The People, did come out about a month ago but when those autumn release gates open, trying to stay on top of them is like trying to hold back a storm surge with a rizla. Still – that’s no reason to give up battling onwards especially when a release in question contains the sort of gems this one does, compiled as it is by New Yorker Robert Perlman. Robert who? You know – Perlman – as immortalised in the Beastie Boys’ Flute Loop cut from ’94 LP Ill Communication, “Perlman’s got beats and it ain’t no secret.” Yeah – that guy. Wait – 1994! Yeah back then, long before hipsters even became aware of vinyl 7″s and it was just Keb Darge and a few others slugging it out in obscure warehouses.
So to cut to the chase then – what’s on this bad boy? Well appropriately enough, given the provenance of that Beasties’ lyric, the cuts include the fuzz guitar and flute-drenched heavy groovin’ opener That’s A Bet by Arnold Albury & The Casuals. Combo Guarajeo provide Latin shimmy business, John Fitch & Associates provides atmospheric soul and there’s also the chugging clavinet n horns-driven business of Living Colour’s Plastic People. Big as these undoubtedly are though, there’s better cuts on here – Willie Johnson’s Lay It On Me for example which is all over within two minutes but makes up for it’s brevity with a heavy stank groove. Another banger is Mark McIver’s Soul Thing which is liable to do as much on broader-minded northern soul dancefloors as it is in funkier places. The two biggest cuts however are The Hitchikers featuring Mighty Pope’s Mr Fortune (which comes on like a livelier, rawer Underdog by Sly Stone) and the insides-warming, funky soul groove that is Sloan Bey’s Look At Your Brother plea for racial harmony. Funk for the people indeed.
(Out now on Rocafort Records)