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VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club Vol. 3 (2014)

Craig Charles Funk Soul Club Vol. 3As the PR blah for this notes, among the many ways in which Craig Charles spread the sound of good grooves around the globe in the last year was taking his ‘trunk of funk’ to Australia. I speculate that he must have really dug his time there given that he’s now enjoying a sojourn on that TV show which makes people eat centipedes and chew kangaroos’ bollocks. Luckily he’s managed to put the wheels in motion that ensure that cometh the autumn: cometh the funk before a cockroach goes down the wrong way or something. That’ll be Vol. 3 of his now annual signature Freestyle Records fixture The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, named after his travelling club night event, featuring somewhere just shy of twenty tracks (in this case 18) and a cover depicting our man joyously lost in the mix.

This album isn’t mixed of course but it does draw eclectically from contemporary funk and soul. As a consequence, we have everything from Hot 8 Brass Band’s cover of Marvin classic Sexual Healing, Sena Dagadu’s afro-funk number Accra City People, Andre Espeut’s Quintet’s uptempo jazzy tinkle Let It Go, Speedometer’s Blue Note-ish instro cover of that Pharrell track, Afrika Bambaataa atop a Mighty Mocambos beat, Omar’s distinctively off-kilter neo-soul hit The Man and no fewer than two Boogaloo cuts from Ray Lugo and Sunlight Square. Particular highlights include the latter two, Skeewiff & Stephen Gray’s uplifting piano ‘n horns police chase breaks, Cookin On 3 Burners’ Daniel Merriweather-featuring recent LP standout Losin Streak, Renegades Of Jazz’s storming b-boy remix of Flaximus’ Brownout and Juliette Ashby’s saucy strut Like A Bass Guitar. And if that’s not better than a squirt of warm semen as you crunch down on a marsupial’s testicle – I don’t know what is.
(Out 25 November on Freestyle Records)

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