Loyalty Lies - Darron J Connett

October 12, 2017
Review of the cracking new album from ex Last of The Troubadours and Black Noire frontman @

Slight Facelift in Operation!

March 1, 2015
There's a few tweaks and changes happening, with the introduction of the magazine style flipboard page and some old duffers disappearing so bear with us if things are looking a bit wonky! It'll be worth it when we get tnere! 

Crazy Times

October 3, 2014
Been the week from hell here at HQ with one thing and another so opted for some musical therapy in the form of a new playlist for October (see The Funk homepage Spotify player) and a few nice shiny new albums.
Smooth and Turrell's 'Broken Toys' is more than worth checking out if you've got a few spare quid as is the stupendous Fitz and The Tantrums album and don't forget kids...the New Street Adventure long player is finally gonna drop in November!
Catch ya soon, TBC

A Quick Hello!

July 4, 2014
Hey cats, only me! Checking in and making sure you're all behaving yourselves. Couple of great gigs this weekend with The Len Price 3 at the Hertford Corn Exchange Saturday night and then New Street Adventure's single launch at the Barfly Monday. Check out the video for the newly reworked on 'Our Front Door Step' over on the YouTube page. Hopefully catch some of you at the gigs!

 Stay Soulful! - TBC!

Busy Times

March 18, 2014
Morning peeps! Just coming down to earth after a busy weekend which kicked off at The Sebright Arms up that there EastEnd with The Milk and New Street Adventure! Both put in a stunning performance including the new lineup for NSA! 
Last week also saw Stone Foundation's album 'To Find The Spirit' rocking the amazon charts and getting to number 1 in the funk chart.... nice! As if all that wasn't enough, friend of the site Steve White was voted Britain's second greatest drummer of all time (ahead of Moony even) - told ya, busy times! 

Been tweaking the site a bit lately too and have added a spotify player so you can check out what we're spinning here at HQ right now! The youtube page from the mobile app has proven very popular so that has also been added and new content will be going up on the promo and events page very soon, its nice to be back in the saddle!

Love n Hats, TBC!

I'm Not Done Yet!

February 21, 2014
Hey funky children, just thought I'd pop my old noggin' over the parapit and let y'all know I'm still alive, diggin' the funk and all is well at HQ.
I'm hoping to get my arse in gear and get some new content on here very soon but after the change to iOS I have been struggling to get things working properly. Thankfully, due to Spreaker the music player is back so the site doesn't seem pointless. I may just use this page as it is for a spot of old school blogging like this for the foreseeable but who knows? Keep 'em peeled funsters and I'll let you know if some miraculous new app comes along and fixes the problem!

Peace and Carrots, TBC

Soul Commune is doing me nut in... help!

July 10, 2012
Does anyone know why Soul Commune has been down for over 2 weeks now? As the hosts for this sites main page music players i will be forced to look elsewhere for a substitute if they don't come back soon and as they were before! If you know anything, put me in the picture - thebeatcollector@googlemail.com

Obsessing About Shawn Lee

March 8, 2012
What's up surfers of the world? I've not been up to too much on here of late as I've been busy obsessing over a new discovery (for me anyway)! Shawn Lee is totally blowing my mind at the moment in his various guises and it's come as a total surprise as its not all about the funk! There are some seriously soulful moments to be found but it's an eclectic mix.

At times he touches on country (god forbid),classical, indie and a kind of world percussion type thing. Not really my bag but there's something about this wacky dude that's got me gripped. I've not been so worts n all interested in an artist since my 4 year Dave Pike addiction (which is still ongoing in the background for the record). I shall do my best not to bore you too much on here with it all but just thought for anyone interested that doesn't know him I would give y'all a little heads up! Points of major interest are the albums 'Soul Visa' and 'Soul In The Hole'.
Check him out, be safe and until next time.... keep the faith!



Top 10 Funky Bass Players!

February 24, 2012
Hey squidlings,
Another slice of interweb worth checking out and investigating if you get 5 minutes... yet again it's one of those lists that are so hard to compile without missing someone out! At least this one didn't make us want to spontaneously combust so all's good! There's some handy YouTube links if you click on the titles so you can hear for yourselves! Have a good weekend and stay on the right side! 


100 Greatest Funk Artists....or NOT!

February 21, 2012
Embarking on my new mission to load up a list of artists featured on the site led me to notice how many big names aren't gonna be on there. I was mooching around the old wonderweb over the weekend and I stumbled across this list (again).... arguably miles off target but interesting all the same. It features links to check out all the bands but as you are funky enough to be reading this you've probably heard them all before anyway.

My beef with these 'lists' is the usual one - Cameo, Prince, Hot Chocolate, Shalamar, Heatwave etc.. I am admittedly very snobbish about music generally but come on, to me that just ain't the funk!

As you will start to discover if you follow these innane ramblings.. there is no where for you to reply or comment! I figured it was probably safer this way as I got into quite a few barneys with people the last time I dipped my toe into the murky depths of the 'blog'! You can always mail me via the contact form if you really think I'm off the mark but do me a favour and tell me what it is you are moaning about as the site has quite a bit of content on it and I'm not too sharp at mind-reading! If you're funny enough I may even add your responses to the post in question (obviously omitting your email address). 

Until the next time - keep on keepin' on kids and stay away from the bad stuff! 


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... The 60's!

February 19, 2012

Courtesy of wikipedia... ''The term refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends which occurred roughly during the years 1958-1974 in Western countries, particularly Britain, France, the United States, Italy and West Germany. Social and political upheaval was not limited to these nations, but included such nations as Japan, Mexico, Canada, and others. The term is used descriptively by historians, journalists, and others documenting our collective past; nostalgically by those who participated in the counter-culture and social revolution; and pejoratively by those who perceive the era as one of irresponsible excess. The decade was also labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the libertine attitudes that emerged during this decade. Rampant drug use has become a synecdoche for the counter-culture of the era, as exemplified by Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner: “If you can remember anything about the sixties, you weren’t really there.” The sixties were a time of immense change in all areas of public and private life, often referred to as a social revolution global in scale. In the United States, for example, social change was wrought by the American civil rights movement, the rise of feminism and gay rights, invention of the microchip and formulation of Moore’s Law, and even the rise of neoconservatism. The “Sixties” has become synonymous with all the new, exciting, radical, subversive and/or dangerous (depending on one’s viewpoint) events and trends of the period, which continued to develop in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond. In Africa the 60s were a period of radical change as countries gained independence from their European colonial rulers, only for this rule to be replaced in many cases by civil war or corrupt dictatorships. GovernmentSeveral Western governments turned to the left in the early-1960s. In the United States President John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960. Italy formed its first left of center government in March 1962 with a coalition of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, and moderate Republicans. Socialists joined the ruling bloc in December 1963. In England, the Labour party gained power in 1964. Liberal Programs President John F. Kennedy promoted the space program, math and science education, tax cuts and the Peace Corps. It continued with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s projects of the Great Society, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Assassinations The 1960s were marked by several notable assassinations. First Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, is assassinated by Belgian/Congolese firing squad on January 17, 1961 Medgar Evers, a NAACP field secretary, is assassinated by a Klu Klux Klan member on June 12, 1963. First South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem (Ngô Ðình Diệm) is assassinated in coup d’etat on November 2, 1963. US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22, 1963 in his car during a parade Malcolm X is assassinated on February 21, 1965 The assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968. The assassination of presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968. The assassination of social activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969 while he was asleep. Counterculture/social revolution Many younger generations soon began to rebel towards the conservative norms of the time. This created a counterculture that eventually turned into a social revolution throughout much of the western world. It began in the United States as a reaction against the conservative social norms of the 1950s, the political conservatism (and perceived social repression) of the Cold War period, and the US government’s extensive military intervention in Vietnam. The main group from the movement were called hippies. Together they created a new liberated stance for society including the Sexual Revolution, questioning authority and the government, and more freedoms and rights for women, gays, and minorities. The movement was marked with drug use (LSD, and marijuana), and Psychedelia music. Anti-war movement A mass movement began rising in opposition to the Vietnam War, ending in the massive Moratorium protests in 1969, and also the movement of resistance to conscription (“the Draft”) for the war. The antiwar movement was initially based on the older 1950s Peace movement heavily influenced by the American Communist Party, but by the mid-1960s it outgrew this and became a broad-based mass movement centered on the universities and churches: one kind of protest was called a “sit-in.” Other terms included the Draft, draft dodger, conscientious objector, and Vietnam vet. Voter age-limits were challenged by the phrase: “If you’re old enough to die for your country, you’re old enough to vote.” ~~ Civil rights Stimulated by this movement, but growing beyond it, were large numbers of student-age youth, beginning with the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley in 1964, peaking in the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and reaching a climax with the shootings at Kent State University in 1970, which some claimed as proof that “police brutality” was rampant. The terms were: “The Establishment” referring to traditional management/government, and “pigs” referring to police using excessive force. This became the start of something new. New left The rapid rise of a “New Left” applied the class perspective of Marxist to postwar America, but had little organizational connection with older Marxist organizations such as the Communist Party, and even went as far as to reject organized labor as the basis of a unified left-wing movement. The New Left consisted of ephemeral campus-based Trotskyist, Maoist and anarchist groups, some of which by the end of the 1960s had turned to militancy. TechnologyThe Soviet Union and the United States were involved in the space race. This led to an increase in spending on science and technology during this period. The space race heated up when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth and President Kennedy announced Project Apollo in 1961. The Soviets and Americans were then involved in a race to put a man on the Moon before the decade was over. America won the race when it placed the first men on the Moon: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in July 1969. American automobiles evolved through the stream-lined, jet-inspired designs for sportscars such as the Pontiac GTO and the Plymouth Barracuda, Ford Mustang, and the Chevrolet Corvette. 1960 - The first working laser was demonstrated in May by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories. 1961 - First human spaceflight to orbit the Earth: Yuri Gagarin, Vostok 1. 1962 - First trans-Atlantic satellite broadcast via the Telstar satellite. 1962 - The first computer video game, Spacewar!, is invented. 1963 - The first geosynchronous communications satellite, Syncom 2 is launched. 1963 - Touch-Tone telephones introduced. 1964 - The first successful Minicomputer, Digital Equipment Corporation’s 12-bit PDP-8, is marketed. 1965 - Sony markets the CV-2000, the first home video tape recorder. 1966 - The Soviet Union launches Luna 10, which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon. 1967 - First heart transplantation operation. 1967 - PAL and SECAM broadcast color TV systems start publicly transmitting in Europe. 1968 - First humans to leave Earth’s gravity influence and orbit another world: Apollo 8. 1968 - The first public demonstration of the computer mouse, the paper paradigm Graphical user interface, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, and hypertext. 1969 - Arpanet, the research-oriented prototype of the Internet, was introduced. 1969 - First humans to walk on the Moon: Apollo 11. 1969 - CCD invented at AT&T Bell Labs, used as the electronic imager in still and video cameras. Popular CultureThe overlapping, but somewhat different, movement of youth cultural radicalism was manifested by the hippies and the counter-culture, whose emblematic moments were the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967 and the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The sub-culture, associated with this movement, spread the recreational use of cannabis and other drugs, particularly new semi-synthetic drugs such as LSD. The era heralded the rejection and a reformation by hippies of traditional Christian notions on spirituality, leading to the widespread introduction of Eastern and ethnic religious thinking to western values and concepts concerning one’s religious and spiritual development. Psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, were popularly used medicinally, spiritually and recreationally throughout the 1960s. Psychedelia influenced the music, artwork and movies of the decade. Music Popular music entered an era of “all hits” as numerous singers released recordings, beginning in the 1950s, as 45-rpm “singles” (with another on the flip side), and radio stations tended to play only the most popular of the wide variety of records being made. Also, bands tended to record only the best of their songs as a chance to become a hit record. The developments of the Motown Sound, “folk rock” and the British Invasion of bands from the U.K. (The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones ,and so on), are major examples of American listeners expanding from the folksinger, doo-wop and saxophone sounds of the 1950s and evolving to include psychedelia music. The rise of an alternative culture among affluent youth, creating a huge market for rock and blues music produced by drug-culture, influenced bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Doors, and also for radical music in the folk tradition pioneered by Bob Dylan, The Mamas and the Papas, and Joan Baez in the United States, and in England, Donovan was helping to create folk rock. Significant events in music in the 1960s: Motown Record Corporation founded in 1960. It’s first Top Ten hit was “Shop Around” by the Miracles in 1960. “Shop Around” peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100, and was Motown’s first million-selling record. The Marvelettes scored Motown Record Corporation’s first US #1 pop hit, “Please Mr. Postman” in 1961. Motown would score 110 Billboard Top-Ten hits between 1961 and 1971. The Beatles went to America in 1964, spearheading the start of the British Invasion. Bob Dylan goes electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The Beach Boys release Pet Sounds in 1966, ushering in the era of album-orientated rock. Bob Dylan is called “Judas” by an audience member during the legendary Manchester Free Trade Hall concert, the start of the Bootleg recording industry follows, with recordings of this concert circulating for 30 years – wrongly labeled as – The Royal Albert Hall Concert before a legitimate release in 1998 as . In 1966, The Supremes A’ Go-Go was the first album by a female group to reach the top position of the Billboard magazine pop albums chart in the United States. Jefferson Airplane release the influential Surrealistic Pillow in 1967. The Velvet Underground release their influential self-titled debut albumThe Velvet Underground and Nico in 1967. The Doors release their self-tilted debut album The Doors an early progenitor of the Heavy Metal Music and Punk Rock genres. The Jimi Hendrix Experience release two successful albums during 1967 Are You Experienced and that innovate both guitar, trio and recording techniques. The Beatles release the seminal concept album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967. Pink Floyd releases their debut record the Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Bob Dylan releases the Country Rock album John Wesley Harding in December 1967, making the genre acceptable. The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 was the apex of the so-called Summer of Love. The Band releases the roots rock album Music from Big Pink in 1968. Big Brother and the Holding Company, with Janis Joplin as lead singer, becomes an overnight sensation after their performance at Monterey Pop in 1967 and release their massively successful second album Cheap Thrills in 1968. The Rolling Stones film the TV special Rock and Roll Circus in December 1968 which was never broadcast during its contemporary time. Considered for decades as a fabled ‘lost’ performance until released in North America on Laserdisc and VHS in 1995. Features performances from The Who; The Dirty Mac featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell; Jethro Tull and Taj Mahal. The Who release and tour the first rock opera Tommy in 1969. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band release the avant garde album Trout Mask Replica in 1969. The Woodstock Festival, and four months later, the Altamont Free Concert in 1969. Film Popular American movies of the 1960s include Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, My Fair Lady, The Pink Panther, ; The Sound of Music; Doctor Zhivago, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Bonnie and Clyde; Cool Hand Luke; The Graduate; Rosemary’s Baby; Midnight Cowboy; Head; Medium Cool; ; Easy Rider. The Counterculture Revolution had a big effect on cinema. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing both controversy and fascination. They turned increasingly dramatic, unbalanced, and hectic as the cultural revolution was starting. This was the beginning of the New Hollywood era that dominated the next decade in theatres and revolutionized the movie industry. Films such as Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Stanley Kubrick’s (1968), and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (film) (1968) are examples of this new, edgy direction. Films of this time also focused on the changes happening in the world. Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider (1969) focused on the drug culture of the time. Movies also became more sexually explicit, such as Roger Vadim’sBarbarella (1968) as the Sexual Revolution progressed. In Europe, Art Cinema gains wider distribution and sees movements like la Nouvelle Vague (The French New Wave); Cinéma Vérité documentary movement in Canada, France and the United States; and the high-point of Italian filmmaking with Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini and Pier Paulo Pasolini making some of their most known films during this period. Notable films from this period include: 8½; L’avventura; La notte; Blowup; Satyricon; Accattone; The Gospel According to St. Matthew; Theorem; Breathless;Vivre sa vie; Contempt; Bande à part; Alphaville; Pierrot le fou; Week End; Shoot the Piano Player; Jules and Jim; Fahrenheit 451;Last Year at Marienbad;Dont Look Back; Chronique d’un été; Titicut Follies; High School; Salesman; La Jetée; Warrendale The sixties were about experimentation. With the explosion of light-weight and affordable cameras, the underground avant-garde film movement thrived. Canada’s Michael Snow, Americans Kenneth Anger. Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, and Jack Smith. Notable films in this genre are: Dog Star Man; Scorpio Rising; Wavelength; Chelsea Girls;Blow Job; Vinyl; Flaming Creatures. Significant events in the film industry in the 1960s: Removal of the Motion Picture Association of America’s Production Code in 1967. The decline and end of the Studio System. The rise of ‘art house’ films and theaters. The beginning of the New Hollywood Era due to the counterculture. The rise of independent producers that worked outside of the Studio System. Move to all-color production in Hollywood movies. The invention of the Nagra 1/4″, sync-sound, portable open-reel tape deck. Expo 67 where new film formats like Imax were invented and new ways of displaying film were tested. Flat-bed film editing tables appear, like the Steenbeck, they eventually replace the Moviola editing platform. The French New Wave. Direct Cinema and Cinéma vérité documentaries. International issuesIn the United States President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson take office in 1961; Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps. Substantial American forces first arrive in Vietnam in 1961. 1963 - After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson becomes president, and presses civil rights legislation; college attendance soars. U.S. President Richard Nixon is inaugurated in January 1969; promises “peace with honor” to end the Vietnam War; price inflation soars; Nixon imposes wage and price controls. In Canada Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967 by hosting Expo 67, the World’s Fair, in Montreal, Quebec. The Quiet Revolution in Quebec modernized the province into a more secular society. The Jean Lesage Liberal government created a welfare state (État-Providence) and fermented the rise of active nationalism among Francophone Québécois. On February 15, 1965, Canada got the new maple leaf flag, after much acrimonious debate known as the Great Flag Debate. In 1960, The Canadian Bill of Rights becomes law, and Universal Suffrage, the right for any Canadian citizen to vote, is finally adopted by John Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservative government. The new election act allows first nations people to vote for the first time. In the UK British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan delivers his Wind of Change speech in 1960. In Europe Pope John XXIII calls the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church, continued by Pope Paul VI, which met from Oct. 11, 1962 until Dec. 8, 1965. The May 1968 student and worker uprisings in France. Mass socialist or Communist movement in most European countries (particularly France and Italy), with which the student-based new left was able to forge a connection. The most spectacular manifestation of this was the May student revolt of 1968 in Paris that linked up with a general strike of ten million workers called by the trade unions—and for a few days seemed capable of overthrowing the government of Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle went off to visit French troops in Germany to check on their loyalty. Major concessions were won for trade union rights, higher minimum wages and better working conditions. University students protested in their hundreds of thousands in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome with the huge crowds that protested against the Vietnam War. In Mexico The peak of the student and New Left protests in 1968 coincided with political upheavals in a number of other countries. Although these events often sprung from completely different causes, they were influenced by reports and images of what was happening in the United States and France. Students in Mexico City protested against the authoritarian regime of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz: in the resulting Tlatelolco massacre in which hundreds were killed. The October 2, 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City, of student protesters and uninvolved bystanders, by the Mexican military and police. In the Commonwealth Australia and New Zealand committed troops to the Vietnam war with controversy and war protests.Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary of confederation in 1967 by hosting Expo 67, the World’s Fair, in Montreal, Quebec. In Eastern Europe In Eastern Europe students also drew inspiration from the protests in the West. In Poland and Yugoslavia they protested against restrictions on free speech by Communist regimes. In Czechoslovakia 1968 was the year of Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring, a source of inspiration to many Western leftists who admired Dubček’s “socialism with a human face”. The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August ended these hopes and also fatally damaged the chances of the orthodox communist parties drawing many recruits from the student protest movement. The popular uprising in Czechoslovakia, known as Prague Spring, which was ended by a Soviet invasion In Africa The transformation of Africa from colonialism to independence dramatically accelerated during the decade. In China In the People’s Republic of China the mid-1960s were also a time of massive upheaval and the Red Guard rampages of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution had some superficial resemblances to the student protests in the West. The Maoist groups that briefly flourished in the West in this period saw in Chinese Communism a more revolutionary, less bureaucratic, model of socialism. Most of them were rapidly disillusioned when Mao welcomed Richard Nixon to China in 1972. People in China, however, saw the Nixon visit as a victory in that they believed the United States would concede that Mao Zedong-thought was superior to capitalism (this was the Party stance on the visit in late 1971 and early 1972). In South America The Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara travelled to Africa and then Bolivia in his campaigning to spread worldwide revolution. He was killed in 1967 by Bolivian government forces, but in the process became an iconic figure for the student left .’


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... The Mixtape!

February 19, 2012

More blurb from wikipedia for ya: 'The most common early mixtapes were bootleg 8 track tapes that were sold at flea markets and truck stops in the late 60's through the early 80's, with names like "Super 73", "Country Chart Toppers" or "Top Pops 1977". Homemade mixtapes became common in the 1980s. Although the compact audio cassette by Philips appeared at the 1963 Berlin radio show, the sound quality of cassettes was not good enough to be seriously considered for music recording until further advances in tape formulations, including the advent of chrome and metal tape. Before the introduction of the audio cassette, the creation of a pop music compilation required specialized or cumbersome equipment, such as a reel-to-reel or 8 track recorder, that was often inaccessible to the casual music fan. As cassette tapes and recorders grew in popularity and portability, these technological hurdles were lowered to the point where the only resources required to create a mix were a handful of cassettes and a cassette recorder connected to a source of prerecorded music, such as a radio or LP player. The 8-track tape cartridge was more popular for music recording during much of the 1960s, as the cassette was originally only mono and intended for vocal recordings only, such as in office dictation machines. But improvements in fidelity finally allowed the cassette to become a major player. The ready availability of the cassette and higher quality home recording decks to serve the home casual user allowed the cassette to become the dominant tape format, to the point that the 8 track tape nearly disappeared shortly after the turn of the 1980s. The growth of the mixtape was also encouraged by improved quality and increased popularity of audio cassette players in car entertainment systems, and by the introduction of the Sony Walkman in 1979. A distinction should be drawn between a private mixtape, which is usually intended for a specific listener or private social event, and a public mixtape, or "party tape", usually consisting of a recording of a club performance by a DJ and intended to be sold to multiple individuals. In the 1970s, such DJs as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, Kool Herc and the Herculoids, DJ Breakout, the Funky Four, and DJ Hollywood would often distribute recordings of their club performances via audio cassette, as well as customized recordings (often prepared at exorbitant prices) for individual tape purchasers. These recordings tended to be of higher technical ability than home-made mixtapes and incorporated techniques such as beatmatching and scratching. One 12 October 1974 article in Billboard Magazine reported, "Tapes were originally dubbed by jockeys to serve as standbys for times when they did not have disco turntables to hand. The tapes represent each jockey's concept of programming, placing, and sequencing of record sides. The music is heard without interruption. One- to three-hour programs bring anywhere from $30 to $75 per tape, mostly reel-to-reel, but increasingly on cartridge and cassette." Club proprietors, as well as DJs, would often prepare such tapes for sale. The CD-R disc is currently the most common medium for homemade mixesThroughout the 1980s, mixtapes were a highly visible element of youth culture. However, the increased availability of CD burners and MP3 players and the gradual disappearance of cassette players in cars and households have led to a decline in the popularity of the compact audio cassette as a medium for homemade mixes. The high point of traditional mixtape culture was arguably the publication of Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity in 1995. Since then, mixtapes have largely been replaced by mix CDs and shared MP3 playlists, which are more durable, can hold more songs, and require minutes (rather than hours) to prepare. While some mixtape enthusiasts bemoan the obsolescence of the cassette tape, others concede that the greater convenience offered by the mix CD has expanded the possibilities and accessibility of the medium, as indicated by the recent resurgence of mix-swapping clubs that trade mix CDs by regular mail. Some mix enthusiasts also appreciate the potential of the mix CD for extended, continuous mixes and creative album art. Today, websites concerned with electronic music provide mixes in a digital format. These usually consist of recorded DJ sets of live, beat-matched mixes of songs, which are used by DJs seeking to demonstrate their mixing skills to an online audience. Some radio shows worldwide specialize in mix series, including The Breezeblock on BBC Radio 1, The Solid Steel Show (formerly on KISS-FM), and The BTTB Show. Additionally, DJs like DJ Spooky, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Z-Trip or DJ Shadow, The Avalanches, and RJD2 have gained fame for creating new songs by combining fragments of existing songs (which need not necessarily belong to the same genre). The resulting remix or mash-up can be seen as an evolution of the mixtape, in that it appropriates existing songs to give them new meanings through their juxtaposition, but does so in a quicker, more integrated style. This practice is heavily derived from the use of song loops as musical backdrops for an MC's rhymes in hip hop music, which is also related to turntablism. Mixtapes vs. compilations - Many commercially available compilations of pop music initially seem to share certain important characteristics with mixtapes. Like many private mixes, a significant number of the earliest pop LPs were essentially collections of popular singles, and such compilation albums have often taken cues from underground mixes of the same era. One example is Disco Par-r-r-ty, the first nonstop dancing LP record, which was released by Spring Records in October 1974. Consisting of a continuous mix of songs by such artists as James Brown, Mandrill, and Barry White, it was clearly inspired by the bootleg DJ mixes that were becoming popular at the same time. However, the relative anonymity of the compilers of such albums is arguably inconsistent with the rationale behind most mixtapes, which typically reflect the musical tastes of a single compiler. While the editors of such compilations do exercise a certain amount of discretion over song order and selection, the term mixtape is generally restricted to a compilation where the identity of the compiler is clearly associated with the album itself. For example, Starbucks, the coffee chain, sells a compilation CD series called Artist's Choice, which consists of mixes based on selections by such artists as Johnny Cash, Tony Bennett, and Sheryl Crow. Similarly, Apple Computer's iTunes Store features Celebrity Playlists, downloadable mixtapes in AAC-compatible form, selected by such artists as Moby, Barry Manilow, and Andrew W.K. The Late Night Tales series has seen artists such as Four Tet and Turin Brakes make their own compilations that are distributed in mainstream record shops such as HMV. The presence of an identifiable compiler whose tastes are reflected in song selection and arrangement allow retail mix CDs to be distinguished from other types of compilations. The distinction can be rather subtle. For example, while most "greatest hits" compilations of individual recording artists consist of a collection of singles in chronological order, others include album tracks, new songs, or obscure selections in addition to established hits, and sometimes reorder the songs for optimal listening. As such, these compilations can be seen as "artist-specific" mixes selected and arranged by the artists themselves. One could also argue that the modern movie soundtrack, which often consists of selected pop music tracks (rather than the traditional orchestral score) is a mixtape with songs selected by the film's director or music supervisor. '


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... Acid Jazz!

February 19, 2012

Wikipedia: 'Acid jazz (also known as club jazz) is a musical genre that combines elements of soul music, funk, disco, particularly looping beats and modal harmony. It developed over the 1980s and 1990s and could be seen as tacking the sound of jazz-funk onto electronic dance/pop music. Acid Jazz is also the name of a recording label in the United Kingdom (founded by Gilles Peterson and Eddie Piller) which issues recordings by artists in this genre. While acid jazz often contains various types of electronic composition (sometimes including sampling or live DJ cutting and scratching), it is just as likely to be played live by musicians, who often showcase jazz interpretation as part of their performance. The compositions of groups such as The Brand New Heavies and Incognito often feature chord structures usually associated with jazz music. The Heavies in particular were known in their early years for beginning their songs as catchy pop and rapidly steering them into jazz territory before "resolving" the composition and thus not losing any pop listeners but successfully "exposing" them to jazz elements in "baby steps". The acid jazz "movement" is also seen as a "revival" of jazz-funk or jazz fusion or soul jazz by leading DJs such as Norman Jay or Gilles Peterson or Patrick Forge, also known as "rare groove crate diggers". The sound and clubs that went with it arose out of Southern England's rare groove scene of the late seventies and early eighties and various other alternative groups, including the London mod scene. It is distinguished from the Northern Soul scene (then popular in the South of England with clubs such as the 100 Club in Oxford Street) but still portrayed various similarities. The name came into common parlance with the Acid Jazz label but in reality the scene had existed in disparate forms and without a distinguishing name for some time beforehand. Journalists at the time appeared very confused by the genre and made various attempts to connect it to the London mod scene (by links with various former members of that scene, prominently Eddie Piller and the James Taylor Quartet — Taylor having formerly been Hammond Player for sixties garage band The Prisoners). Infamously, ID magazine ran an article on Acid Jazz Mods which irritated both mods and "acid jazz fans" in equal amounts. The scene always had two halves, those who liked the original jazz and soul recordings and those who followed the new bands signed by labels like Acid Jazz. It is the former who still probably support their music, many of the early bands having fallen well by the wayside. Attempts to integrate the music with hip hop and jungle are now regarded by many as misguided attempts to keep the music fresh whilst leading it a long way from its starting point, attempts that were regarded with disdain by many. An important gauge of the UK scene and the creation of the genre are to be found in the UK's Straight No Chaser magazine. Similarly, clothing labels like Duffer of St George were closely associated with the scene, although the "right outfit" was never essential. Disc jockeys Gilles Peterson and Chris Bangs are generally credited with coining the term acid jazz at a 1987 'Talkin' Loud Sayin Something' session. At the time, this was Peterson's regular Sunday afternoon club at Dingwalls in Camden, London. In his Radio 1 biography, Peterson describes how the term Acid jazz came about. "We put on this old 7-inch by Mickey and the Soul Generation which was a rare groove record with a mad rock guitar intro and no beat. I started vary speeding it so it sounded all warped. Chris Bangs got on the microphone and said, 'If that was acid house, this is acid jazz'. That's how acid jazz started, just a joke!" Acid jazz in the international context In the United States notable acid-jazz groups have included The Brand New Heavies and Solsonics; although during the 1990s the major contributions from the US related to jazz dance were predominantly in jazz-house (from labels such as 8 Ball Records) and jazz-rap, particularly by artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, De la Soul, and the Jungle Brothers. From Japan, notable artists included United Future Organization who released 'I Love my Baby: My Baby Loves Jazz' as well as a cover of Van Morrison's 'Moondance'; another prominent artist from Japan was the female vocalist, Monday Michiru. From the UK, Repercussions who had a top hit, Promise me nothing. Other more recent artists and groups who have produced music in this genre include Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Mother Earth, Mr. Scruff, Visit Venus, Praful, and Down to the Bone. '


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... Northern Soul!

February 19, 2012

This weeks wikipedia insight: 'The music that has been described as Northern Soul originally consisted of obscure American soul recordings, including lesser known songs from Motown Records, Stax Records, Okeh Records and many more obscure record labels. The phrase Northern Soul was coined by journalist Dave Godin and popularised in 1970 through his column in Blues and Soul magazine. In a 2002 interview with Chris Hunt of Mojo, he explained that he had first come up with the term in 1968 as a sales reference for use in his record shop in Covent Garden, to help staff differentiate the more modern funkier sounds from the smoother, Motown-influenced soul of a few years earlier: 'I had started to notice that northern football fans who were in London to follow their team were coming into the store to buy records, but they weren’t interested in the latest developments in the black American chart. I devised the name as a shorthand sales term. It was just to say ‘if you’ve got customers from the north, don’t waste time playing them records currently in the U.S. black chart, just play them what they like - ‘Northern Soul’. A large proportion of Northern Soul's original audience came from the mod movement. Some mods started to embrace the freakbeat and psychedelic rock of the late 1960s, but other mods - especially those in northern England - stuck to the original mod soundtrack of soul and blue beat. Some mods transformed into what would eventually be the skinheads, and others formed the basis of the Northern Soul scene. Early Northern Soul fashion included bowling shirts, button-down Ben Sherman shirts, blazers with centre vents and unusual numbers of buttons, Trickers brogue shoes, baggy trousers or shrink-to-fit Levi's jeans. Many dancers wore badges representing membership to clubs organised by dance halls. The first nightclub that effectively defined the Northern soul sound was Manchester's Twisted Wheel Club. Other early clubs were the The Mojo in Sheffield, The Catacombs in Wolverhampton, Golden Torch in Stoke, Room at the Top in Wigan, the Wigan Casino, the Blackpool Mecca and Va Va's in Bolton. The music reached its peak of popularity in the mid to late 1970s, when Wigan Casino was voted the world's number one discotheque. Thousands of people visited every week, but the exclusive and underground appeal of the music was lost and many of the hardcore soul fans drifted away. When Wigan Casino shut down in 1981, many believed the Northern Soul scene was about to end. However, the 1970s mod revival and the later scooterboy subculture produced a new wave of fans. The 1980s — often dismissed as a low period for the Northern Soul scene by those who had left in the 1970s — featured almost 100 new venues in places as diverse as Bradford, London, Peterborough, Leighton Buzzard, Whitchurch, Coventry and Leicester. Pre-eminent among the 1980s venues were Stafford's Top of the World and London's 100 Club. Previously, most of the songs played at Northern Soul clubs had been fast stompers by American blacks, but 1980s Northern Soul DJs began to add mid-tempo tunes, slower ballads and songs by non-African-American acts such as Gale Garnett. Artists and records - UK-issued northern soul records are among the most expensive vinyl recordings to collect (although their equivalent U.S.-released discs often sell for much lower prices). Many 7" singles have broken the £1,000 (c. $2,000) barrier; a copy of Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You" sold several years ago for £15,000 (c. $30,000). The value of many discs has appreciated, due not only to their rarity, but more because of the quality of the beat, melody, and lyrics of the songs (often expressing heartache, pain or joy related to romantic love). Many soul artists attempted stardom without all of the necessary ingredients in place. Low-budget independent labels couldn't deliver the necessary promotion and radio play. Many artists had to go back to their day jobs, thinking themselves failures, with their records sinking into obscurity, until they were revived in the Northern Soul circuit. Songs by Tami Lynn, The Fascinations and The Velvelettes that were originally released in the 1960s all became top 40 UK hits in 1971. Tami Lynn got to #4 with "I'm Gonna Run Away From You", The Fascinations made #30 with "Girls Are Out to Get you" and the Velvelettes managed #35 with "These Things Will Keep Me Loving You." Many other songs became surprise hits years after they were recorded. Among them were "Loves Gone Bad" and "I Want to Go Back There Again" by Chris Clark, "Just Loving You" and "Helpless" by Kim Weston, "Every Little Bit Hurts" by Brenda Holloway and "Heartbeat" by Gloria Jones '


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... Mods!

February 19, 2012

According to our trusted friends at wikipedia: ‘The mod (originally modernist, and sometimes capitalised as Mod) subculture originated in London in the late 1950s and peaked in the early to mid 1960s.The mod lifestyle is sometimes referred to as modism, a term which may have been coined by Pete Meaden when he was famously quoted as saying “Modism, mod living, is an aphorism for clean living under difficult circumstances”. Elements of the mod lifestyle include music, clothes (often tailor-made), dancing and motorscooters. From the mid to late 1960s onwards, the mainstream media often used the term mod in a wider sense to describe anything that was (or was believed to be) popular, fashionable or modern. Origins - The term mod derives from modernist, which was a term used in the 1950s to describe modern jazz fans as well as the musicians themselves. This usage contrasted with the term trad, which described traditional jazz and its players and fans. The 1959 novel Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes describes as a modernist a young modern jazz fan who dresses in sharp modern Italian clothes. Absolute Beginners may be one of the earliest written examples of the term modernist being used to describe young British style-conscious modern jazz fans. The word modernist in this sense is believed to refer specifically to modern jazz and should not be confused with the wider use of the term modernism in the context of literature, art, design and architecture. There are contradicting stories about the origins of the first mods, but one popular belief is that the movement began with a few disparate cliques of middle class teenage boys with family connections to the garment trade in London in 1958. These early mods were obsessed with new fashions such as slim-cut Italian suits, and music styles such as modern jazz and rhythm and blues. It has been suggested that both modernists and their contemporaries, the rockers, evolved from the Teddy Boy subculture.Teddy Boys were influenced by American rock n’ roll, wore Edwardian-style clothing, and had pompadour or quiff hairstyles. Other sources suggest a link between the modernist and beatnik subcultures, both of which had a penchant for modern jazz. Between 1945 and 1960, teenagers’ wages had grown at a rate double that of their parents’ wages.Many young people had relatively large amounts of disposable income, which along with the increased availability of HP and cheaper credit meant that teenagers could spend more money on tailored clothing and scooters, and could spend more free time in nightclubs and coffee bars. By the early 1960s, mod had developed to include contemporary fashion and lifestyle elements, such as continental European clothes, Italian motorscooters and — to a lesser degree — a taste for French New Wave films and existentialist philosophy (popular also with beatniks) The original mods gathered at all-night clubs such as The Scene, The Flamingo and The Marquee in London to hear the latest records and to show off their clothes and dance moves. As mod spread across the UK, other clubs became popular such as Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester.Although reports as to the importance of drugs amongst the original mods vary, for some mods, their all-night urban social life was fueled in part by amphetamines like Dexedrine, (sometimes known as blues or purple hearts). The drugs were sometimes purchased from African American GIs stationed in the UK, who were given drugs as part of their ration kit. Some of the drugs were also available over the counter in pharmacies. Black American soldiers also brought over rhythm and blues records that were unavailable in Britain, and often sold these to young people in London. Many mods used motorscooters for transportation, usually either Vespa or Lambretta. At the time, public transport stopped relatively early, and scooters were cheaper than cars and were also available via a Hire purchase scheme. After a law was passed requiring at least one mirror be attached to every motorcycle, mods were known to add four, 10, or as many as 30 mirrors to their scooters. This may have been to mock the new law. The Who’s album Quadrophenia, which includes themes related to mods and rockers, features cover art depicting a young man on a scooter with four mirrors attached. As the lifestyle developed and was adopted by British teenagers of all economic strata, mods expanded their musical tastes beyond American jazz and R&B to embrace soul (particularly records released on the Atlantic, Stax, Tamla Motown and Sue labels), Jamaican ska, and British beat music and R&B; by artists such as Georgie Fame, The Animals, The Small Faces, The Who, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, and The Spencer Davis Group. Lesser-known British artists associated with the 1960s mod scene include The Action, Zoot Money and The Creation. However, many mods rejected British beat groups such as The Beatles (despite their significant contribution to the awareness of mod clothing fashion under Brian Epstein’s image makeover in the spring and summer of 1962)[6] and The Rolling Stones because they did not consider those bands’ R&B-influenced music to be authentic enough. The television programme Ready Steady Go! was an example of mod-inspired programming. Mods sometimes clashed with rockers, although fights between rival mod gangs were probably more common. In 1964, there were several well-publicised battles at seaside resorts such as Brighton, Margate, and Hastings.The mods and rockers conflict led to a moral panic about young people in the United Kingdom. There is disagreement about how much of the reports of violence were true, and how much was a media or police invention. Some credible sources suggest that the battles were staged for photographers. The media coverage has permanently linked the mod and rocker subcultures in the popular consciousness. Decline and new beginnings - Mods were the products of a culture of constant change, and by the time Bobby Moore held the World Cup aloft in the summer of 1966, the mod scene was in sharp decline. As psychedelic rock music and the hippie culture rose, many people drifted away from the mod lifestyle. Bands such as The Who and The Small Faces had changed their musical styles and no longer considered themselves mods. The “peacock” or “fashion” wing of mod culture evolved into the Bohemian style of London hippie culture, featuring a marked interest in previously esoteric ideas and aesthetics, and an arguably more gentle and contemplative outlook on life that certainly differed from the frenetic energy of the mod ethos. At the other end of the youth culture spectrum, both in philosophy and appearance, were the hard mods.The hard mods were rougher, had less emphasis on cutting-edge fashion trends, and got their hair cropped short. The hard mods soon transformed into the first skinheads. They retained basic elements of mod fashion — three-button suits, Fred Perry and Ben Sherman shirts, Sta-Prest trousers and Levi’s jeans — but mixed them with working class-oriented accessories such as braces and Dr. Martens boots. Their style borrowed heavily from the Jamaican rude boy look, which included cropped hair, short-hemmed trousers and very narrow brimmed Trilby hats (commonly referred to in the UK as pork pie hats). Their shorter hair may have also come about for practical reasons; long hair can be a liability in industrial jobs and in streetfights. The 1960s skinheads kept some of the original mod music styles alive; specifically ska, soul, rocksteady and early reggae. These first skinheads had no association with any political movements, and mostly represented working-class pride. Mods also made up a notable proportion of the northern soul scene, a subculture based on obscure 1960s and 1970s American soul records. Revival and later influence - Main article: mod revival The 1979 film Quadrophenia, based on the 1973 album of the same name by The Who, celebrated the mod movement and partly inspired a mod revival in the UK in the late 1970s. Many of the mod revival bands were influenced by the energy of British punk rock and New Wave music. The revival was led by The Jam, and included bands such as Secret Affair, Purple Hearts and The Chords. This was followed by a mod revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in Southern California, led by bands such as The Untouchables. The mod scene in Los Angeles and Orange County was partly influenced by the 2 Tone ska revival in England, and was unique in its racial diversity.’


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... Youth Subculture!

February 19, 2012

Wikipedia says: ‘Youth subculture is a youth-based subculture with distinct styles, behaviors and interests. According to subculture theorists such as Dick Hebdige, members of a subculture often signal their membership by making distinctive and symbolic tangible choices in, for example, clothing styles, hairstyles and footwear. However, intangible elements, such as common interests, dialects and slang, music genres and gathering places can also be an important factor. Youth subcultures offer participants an identity outside of that ascribed by social institutions such as family, work, home and school. Social class, gender and ethnicity can be important in relation to youth subcultures. Youth subcultures can be defined as meaning systems, modes of expression or lifestyles developed by groups in subordinate structural positions in response to dominant systems — and which reflect their attempt to solve structural contradictions rising from the wider societal context. The study of subcultures often consists of the study of the symbolism attached to clothing, music, other visible affections by members of the subculture and also the ways in which these same symbols are interpreted by members of the dominant culture. The term scene can refer to an exclusive subculture or faction. Scenes are distinguished from the broad culture through either fashion; identification with specific (sometimes obscure or experimental) musical genres or political perspectives; and a strong in-group or tribal mentality.The term can also be used to depict specific subsets of a subculture, habitually geographical, such as the American drum and bass scene or the London Goth scene. A quantity of scenes tend to be volatile, imprudent to trends and changes, with some participants acting elitist towards those considered to be less fashionable, or oppositional to the general culture although others do endow with mutual support in marginalized groups. In-group behavior can sometimes elicit external opposition. Subcultures that show a systematic hostility to the dominant culture are sometimes described as countercultures. Features of youth subculturesYouth subcultures are often defined or distinguishable by elements such as fashion, clothing, hairstyles. Vehicles—such as cars, motorcycles, motor scooters, skateboards, surf boards—have played central roles in certain youth subcultures. For example, in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, mods were associated with scooters, while rockers were associated with motorcycles. Many youth subcultures are associated with specific music genres, and in some cases music has been the primary characteristic of the group, such as with punk rockers, ravers, metalheads, hip hoppers, goths, emo kids, Indie, and Hippie High school subcultures A high school subculture is a group of students in a secondary education setting that shares a distinct set of behaviors, beliefs or interests that differentiates itself from the dominant culture. These groups, sometimes called cliques, often identify with a larger subculture in the out-of-school world. Stereotypical behaviors in high school subcultures have included: associating socially with other members of the same group; eating meals together; wearing similar clothing styles (where uniforms do not exist); using distinct dialects and slang; and participating together in a specific extracurricular activity. Theories of youth subcultureEarly studies in youth culture were mainly produced by functionalist sociologists, and focus on youth as a single form of culture. In explaining the development of the culture, they utilized the concept of anomie. Talcott Parsons argued that as we move from the family and corresponding values to another sphere with differing values, (e.g. the workplace) we would experience an “anomic situation.” The generalizations involved in this theory ignore the existence of subcultures. Marxist theories account for some diversity, because they focus on classes and class-fractions rather than youth as a whole. Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (1993) describe youth subcultures as symbolic or ritualistic attempts to resist the power of bourgeois hegemony by consciously adopting behavior that appears threatening to the establishment. Interactionist theorist Stan Cohen argues youth subcultures are not coherent social groupings that arise spontaneously as a reaction to social forces, but that mass media labeling results in the creation of youth subcultures by imposing an ideological framework in which people can locate their behavior. Post-structuralist theories of subculture utilize many of the ideas from these other theories, including hegemony and the role of the media. Dick Hebdige describes subcultures as a reaction of subordinated groups that challenge the hegemony of the dominant culture. This theory accounts for factors such as gender, ethnicity and age. Youth can be seen as a subordinate group in relation to the dominant, adult society.'


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... The Funk!

February 19, 2012
‘Funk is an American musical style that originated in the mid- to late-1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, soul jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony, and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground. Unlike R&B and soul songs, which had many chord changes, funk songs are often based on an extended vamp on a single chord. Like much of African inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, Hammond organ, and drums playing interlocking rhythms. Funk bands also usually have a horn section of several saxophones, trumpets, and in some cases, a trombone, which plays rhythmic “hits”. Influential African American funk performers include James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, The Meters, The Funk Brothers, Bootsy Collins, and Prince. Notable 1970s funk bands included Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, The Commodores, and Kool & the Gang though many of these most famous bands in the genre also played disco and soul extensively. Funk music was a major influence on the development of 1970s disco music and funk samples are used in most styles of house music and hip hop music, and it’s also the main influence of Go-Go. Funk even left its mark on New Wave, and its pulse was evident in post punk as well. Characteristics : Funk creates an intense groove by using strong bass guitar riffs and bass lines. Funk was built on Motown recordings, which put bassists such as James Jamerson to the forefront. Like Motown recordings, funk songs used bass lines as the centerpiece of songs. Notable funk bassists include Bootsy Collins, Bernard Edwards, George Porter, Jr., Louis Johnson and Larry Graham of Sly & the Family Stone. Graham is generally credited with inventing the percussive “slap bass technique.” Slap bass’ mixture of thumb-slapped low notes and finger “popped” high notes allowed the bass to have a drum-like rhythmic role, which became a distinctive element of funk. Some of the best known and most skillful soloists in funk have jazz backgrounds. Trombonist Fred Wesley and saxophonist Maceo Parker are among the most notable musicians in the funk music genre, with both of them working with James Brown, George Clinton and Prince. Sometimes 1970s funk bands are divided to “hardcore funk” and “sophisticated funk”, former concept referring to earthy sound in a vein of James Brown or Funkadelic while “sophisticated funk” refers to artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire or Brothers Johnson who use softer sounds and fill their albums with soul ballads. Funk utilized the same extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths. However, unlike bebop jazz, with its dizzying and complex rapid-fire chord changes, funk virtually abandoned chord changes, creating static single chord vamps with little harmonic movement, but with a complex and driving rhythmic feel. The chords used in funk songs typically imply a dorian or mixolydian mode as opposed to the major or natural minor tonalities of most popular music. Melodic content was derived by mixing these modes with the blues scale. In the 1970s, jazz music drew upon funk to create a new subgenre of jazz-funk, which can be heard in 1970s recordings by Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. In funk bands, guitarists typically play in a percussive style, often using the wah-wah sound effect and muting the notes in their riffs to create a percussive sound. Guitarist Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers and Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic were influenced by Jimi Hendrix’s improvised solos. Eddie Hazel, who worked with George Clinton, is one of the most notable guitar soloists in funk. Ernie Isley was tutored at an early age by Jimi Hendrix himself, when he was a part of The Isley Brothers backing band and lived in the attic temporarily at the Isleys’ household. Jimmy Nolen and Phelps Collins are famous funk rhythm guitarists who both worked with James Brown. History: Origin of funk - Look up funk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.The word “funk”, once defined in dictionaries as body odor or the smell of sexual intercourse, commonly was regarded as coarse or indecent. African-American musicians originally applied “funk” to music with a slow, mellow groove, then later with a hard-driving, insistent rhythm because of the word’s association with sexual intercourse. This early form of the music set the pattern for later musicians. The music was slow, sexy, loose, riff-oriented and danceable. Funky typically described these qualities. In jam sessions, musicians would encourage one another to “get down” by telling one another, “Now, put some stank (”stink”/funk) on it!” At least as early as 1907, jazz songs carried titles such as Buddy Bolden’s “Funky Butt.” As late as the 1950s and early 1960s, when “funk” and “funky” were used increasingly in the context of soul music, the terms still were considered indelicate and inappropriate for use in polite company. The distinctive characteristics of African-American musical expression are rooted in West African musical traditions, and find their earliest expression in spirituals, work chants/songs, praise shouts, gospel and blues. In more contemporary music, gospel, blues and blues extensions and jazz often flow together seamlessly. Funky music is an amalgam of soul music, soul jazz and R&B. James Brown and funk as a genre: By mid-1960s, James Brown had developed his signature groove that emphasized the downbeat – with heavy emphasis “on the one” (the first beat of every measure) – to etch his distinctive sound, rather than the backbeat that was familiar to many R&B and soul musicians. Brown often cued his band with the command “On the one!,” changing the percussion emphasis/accent from the one-two-three-four backbeat of traditional soul music to the one-two-three-four downbeat – but with an even-note syncopated guitar rhythm (on quarter notes two and four) featuring a hard-driving, repetitive brassy swing. This one-three beat launched the shift in Brown’s signature funk music style, starting with his 1964 hit single, “Out of Sight” and his 1965 hit, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” Brown’s innovations pushed the funk music style further to the forefront with releases such as “Cold Sweat” (1967), “Mother Popcorn” (1969) and “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine” (1970), discarding even the twelve bar blues featured in his earlier music. Instead, Brown’s music was overlaid with “catchy, anthemic vocals” based on “extensive vamps” in which he also used his voice as “a percussive instrument with frequent rhythmic grunts and with rhythm-section patterns … [resembling] West African polyrhythms.” Throughout his career, Brown’s frenzied vocals, frequently punctuated with screams and grunts, channeled the “ecstatic ambiance of the black church” in a secular context. Although “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “Cold Sweat” were widely credited as the prototype songs that launched the funk genre, “Out of Sight” was the breakthrough hit that signaled the shift in Brown’s sound to establish funk as a distinct genre. In a 1990 interview, Brown offered his reason for switching the rhythm of his music: “I changed from the upbeat to the downbeat … Simple as that, really.” According to Maceo Parker, Brown’s former saxophonist, playing on the downbeat was at first hard for him and took some getting used to. Reflecting back to his early days with Brown’s band, Parker reported that he had difficulty playing “on the one” during solo performances, since he was used to hearing and playing with the accent on the second beat. Other musical groups picked up on the riffs, rhythms, and vocal style developed by James Brown and his band, and the style began to grow. Dyke & the Blazers based in Phoenix, Arizona, released “Funky Broadway” in 1967, perhaps the first record of the soul/rock n’ roll era to have “funky” in the title. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band were releasing funk tracks beginning with their first album in 1967, culminating in their classic single “Express Yourself” in 1970. The Meters defined funk in New Orleans, starting with their Top Ten R&B hits “Sophisticated Cissy” and “Cissy Strut” in 1969. Another group who would define funk in the decade to come were The Isley Brothers, whose funky 1969 #1 R&B hit, “It’s Your Thing”, signaled a breakthrough in African-American music, bridging the gaps of the rock of Jimi Hendrix and the upbeat soul of Sly & the Family Stone and Mother’s Finest. 1970s and P-Funk: In the 1970s, a new group of musicians further developed the “funk rock” approach innovated by George Clinton, with his main bands Parliament and, later, Funkadelic. Together, they produced a new kind of funk sound heavily influenced by jazz and psychedelic rock. The two groups had members in common and often are referred to singly as “Parliament-Funkadelic.” The breakout popularity of Parliament-Funkadelic gave rise to the term “P-Funk,” which referred to the music by George Clinton’s bands, and defined a new subgenre. “P-funk” also came to mean something in its quintessence, of superior quality, or sui generis, as in the lyrics from “P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)” a hit single from Parliament’s album “Mothership Connection”: ‘I want the bomb. I want the P-Funk. I want my funk uncut’. The 1970s was probably the era of highest mainstream visibility for funk music. Other prominent funk bands of the period included Stevie Wonder, The Brothers Johnson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, The Meters, Tower of Power, Ohio Players, The Commodores, War, Kool & the Gang, Confunkshun, Slave, Cameo, the Bar-Kays, Zapp, and many more. George Clinton also played a masterminding role in Bootsy’s Rubber Band and several other bands he put together, including Parlet, the Horny Horns, and the Brides of Funkenstein, all part of the P-Funk conglomerate. Already, in late 1960s, many jazz musicians — among them Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock (with his Headhunters band), Grover Washington, Jr., and Cannonball Adderley, Les McCann and Eddie Harris — had begun to combine jazz and funk. Sometimes this approach is called “jazz-funk”. Additionally, in the late 1960s work of Miles Davis (with girlfriend/wife Betty Davis) and Tony Williams helped to create Jazz fusion and influenced funk. Funk music was exported to Africa in the late 1960s, and melded with African singing and rhythms to form Afrobeat. Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician who is credited with creating the music and terming it “Afrobeat”. In the early 1970’s, when funk was becoming more mainstreamed, artists like Parliament Funkadelic, the Isley Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, Ohio Players, Confunkshun, among others, were successful and getting radio play but according to Billboard Magazine, only Sly & the Family Stone had singles which made it to #1. In 1970 ‘Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin’ hit # 1 as did ‘Family Affair’ in 1971 affording Sly and Funk crossover success and greater recognition unlike some of their equally talented but moderately popular peers before the onslaught of Disco around the middle of that decade which remained hugely popular thru the early 80’s. Disco music owed a great deal to funk. Many early disco songs and performers came directly from funk-oriented backgrounds. Some disco music hits, for example “Le Freak” by Chic, included riffs or rhythms very similar to funk music. 1980s and stripped-down funk: In the 1980s, many of the core elements that formed the foundation of the P-Funk formula began to be usurped by electronic machines and synthesizers. Horn sections of saxophones and trumpets were replaced by synth keyboards, and the horns that remained were given simplified lines, and few horn solos. The classic keyboards of funk, like the Hammond B3 organ and the Fender Rhodes piano began to be replaced by the new digital synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7. Electronic drum machines began to replace the “funky drummers” of the past, and the slap and pop style of bass playing were often replaced by synth keyboard bass lines. As well, the lyrics of funk songs began to change from suggestive double entendres to more graphic and sexually explicit content. Rick James was the first funk musician of the 1980s to assume the funk mantle dominated by P-Funk in the 1970s. His 1981 album Street Songs with the singles “Give It To Me Baby” and “Super Freak” resulted in James becoming a bit of a rock star, and paved the way for the future direction of explicitness in funk. Prince used a stripped-down instrumentation similar to Rick James, and went on to have as much of an impact on the sound of funk as any one artist since James Brown. Prince combined eroticism, technology, an increasing musical complexity, and an outrageous image and stage show to ultimately create a musical world as ambitious and imaginative as P-Funk or The Beatles. The Time, originally conceived as an opening act for Prince and based on his “Minneapolis sound”, hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, R&B & new wave. They went on to define their own style of stripped-down funk based on tight musicianship and sexual themes. Bands that began during the 1970s P-Funk era incorporated some of the uninhibited sexuality of Prince and state-of-the-art technological developments to continue to craft funk hits. Cameo, Zapp, The Gap Band, The Bar-Kays, and The Dazz Band all found their biggest hits in the 80s, but by the latter half of the 80s, funk had lost its commercial impact. Afrika Bambaataa, influenced by Kraftwerk, created “Electro Funk”, a minimalist machine-driven style of funk with his single “Planet Rock” in 1982. Also known simply as Electro, this style of funk was driven by synthesizers and the electronic rhythm of the TR-808 drum machine. The single “Renegades of Funk” followed in 1983. Recent developments: While funk was all but driven from the radio by slick commercial R&B and New Jack Swing, its influence continued to spread. Rock bands began adding elements of Funk to their sound, creating new combinations of “funk rock” and funk metal. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour, Jane’s Addiction, Prince, Primus, Fishbone, Faith No More, Incubus and Rage Against the Machine spread the approach and styles garnered from funk pioneers to new audiences in the mid-to-late 1980s and the 1990s. These bands later inspired the underground mid-1990s funkcore movement and current funk-inspired artists like Outkast, The Black Eyed Peas, and Van Hunt. In the 1990s, artists like Me’shell Ndegeocello and the (predominantly UK-based) Acid jazz movement including artists and bands such The Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Omar and Jamiroquai carried on with strong elements of funk. However, they never came close to reaching the commercial success of funk in its heyday, with the exception of Jamiroquai whose album Travelling without Moving sold about 11.5 million units worldwide. Meanwhile in Australia and New Zealand, bands playing the pub circuit, such as Supergroove, Skunkhour and The Truth, preserved a more instrumental form of funk. Since the middle of the 80s hip hop artists regularly sample old funk tunes. James Brown is said to be the most sampled artist in the history of hip hop. while P-Funk is the second most sampled artist; samples of old Parliament and Funkadelic songs formed the basis of West Coast G Funk. Original beats that feature funk-styled bass or rhythm guitar riffs are also not uncommon. Dr. Dre (considered the progenitor of the G-Funk genre) has freely acknowledged to being heavily influenced by George Clinton’s psychedelic funk: “Back in the 70s that’s all people were doing: getting high, wearing Afros, bell-bottoms and listening to Parliament-Funkadelic. That’s why I called my album The Chronic and based my music and the concepts like I did: because his shit was a big influence on my music. Very big”. Digital Underground was a large contributor to the rebirth of funk in the 1990s by educating their listeners with knowledge about the history of funk and its artists. George Clinton branded Digital Underground as “Sons of the P”, as their second full length release is also titled. DU’s first release, Sex Packets, was full of funk samples, with the most widely known “The Humpty Dance” sampling Parliament’s “Let’s Play House”. A very strong funk album of DU’s was their 1996 release Future Rhythm. Much of contemporary club dance music, drum and bass in particular has heavily sampled funk drum breaks. Funk is a major element of certain artists identified with the Jam band scene of the late 1990s and 2000s. Phish began playing funkier jams in their sets around 1996, and 1998’s The Story of the Ghost was heavily influenced by funk. Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Galactic, Soulive, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe all drawing heavily from the funk tradition. Since the mid 1990s the nu-funk scene, centered around the Deep Funk collectors scene, is producing new material influenced by the sounds of rare funk 45’s. Labels include Desco, Soul Fire, Daptone, Timmion, Neapolitan, Kay-Dee, and Tramp. Bands include Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Soul Destroyers, The Grits, Chris Joss, Speedometer, The Poets of Rhythm, The Neapolitans, Quantic Soul Orchestra, The New Mastersounds and Lefties Soul Connection. These labels often release on 45 rpm records. Although specializing in music for rare funk DJ’s, there has been some crossover into the mainstream music industry, such as Sharon Jones’ 2005 appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In the early 2000s, some punk funk bands such as Out Hud perform in the indie music scene. Prince, with his recent albums has given a rebirth to the funk sound with songs like “The Everlasting Now”, “Musicology” and “Black Sweat”. ‘


This Week I've Been Mostly Reading About... Soul!

February 19, 2012
The first of a few treats from the world of wikipedia: 'Soul music has some of its roots in gospel music and rhythm and blues. Many consider soul music to be a genre of music created by African Americans in northern United States inner cities, particularly Chicago.[citation needed] Other areas, such as Detroit and Memphis, Tennessee quickly followed and created their own regional soul music style, due to their gospel roots. Some of the elements from Chicago and other parts of the United States, such as the south, brought some raw unpolished funky talent to heavily-populated inner cities, where soul became polished and perfected. Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Jackie Wilson, and Etta James were early popular stars of the music genre, and other soul forerunners include: Mahalia Jackson, Louis Jordan, Louis Prima, and Big Joe Turner. Some of the earliest soul artists included Ray Charles, Little Richard, Fats Domino and James Brown, although all were happy to call themselves rock and roll performers at the time. During the 1960s Beatles boom, both Charles and Brown claimed that they had always really been R&B singers. Little Richard proclaimed himself the “king of rockin’ and rollin’, rhythm and blues soulin’”, because his music embodied elements of all three, and because he inspired artists in all three genres. Solomon Burke’s early recordings for Atlantic Records codified the soul style, and his early 1960s songs “Cry to Me”, “Just Out of Reach” and “Down in the Valley” are considered classics of the genre. Peter Guralnick writes, “it was only with the coming together of Burke and Atlantic Records that you could see anything resembling a movement.”[citation needed] In Memphis, Stax Records produced key soul recordings by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Don Covay (who also recorded in New York City for Atlantic Records). Joe Tex’s 1965 “The Love You Save” is a classic soul recording. An important center of soul music recording was Florence, Alabama, where the Fame Studios operated. Jimmy Hughes, Percy Sledge and Arthur Alexander recorded at Fame, and Aretha Franklin recorded in the area later in the 1960s. Fame Studios, often referred to as Muscle Shoals (after a town neighboring Florence), enjoyed a close relationship with Stax, and many of the musicians and producers who worked in Memphis contributed to recordings done in Alabama. Another notable Memphis label was Goldwax Records, owned by Quinton Claunch. Goldwax signed O.V. Wright and James Carr, who went on to make several records that are considered essentials of the genre. Carr’s “The Dark End of the Street” (written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn) was recorded at two other important Memphis studios, Royal Recording and American Sound Studios, in 1967. American Studios owner Chips Moman produced “The Dark End of the Street”, and the musicians were his house band of Reggie Young, Bobby Woods, Tommy Cogbill and Gene Chrisman. Carr also made recordings at Fame Studios, utilizing musicians David Hood, Jimmy Johnson and Roger Hawkins. Aretha Franklin’s 1967 recordings, such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect” (originally sung by Otis Redding), and “Do Right Woman-Do Right Man”, are considered the apogee of the soul music genre, and were among its most commercially successful productions. During the late 1960s, Stax artists such as Eddie Floyd and Johnnie Taylor made significant contributions to soul music. Howard Tate’s recordings in the late 1960s for Verve Records, and later for Atlantic (produced by Jerry Ragovoy) are another notable body of work in the soul genre. Motown Records also contributed to the soul canon, although at the time, the Detroit-based label described itself as a manufacturer of pop music. Music by Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Marvin Gaye did much to popularise the style, and the overall Motown sound did much to define what later became known as northern soul. In Chicago, Curtis Mayfield created the sweet soul sound that later earned him a reputation as the Godfather of northern soul. As a member of The Impressions, Mayfield infused a call and response style of group singing that resembled the gospel style, and influenced many other groups of the era. By 1968, the soul music movement had begun to splinter, as James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone began to evolve both soul and rhythm and blues into other forms. Guralnick argues that, “More than anything else, though, what seems to me to have brought the era of soul to a grinding, unsettling halt was the death of Martin Luther King in April of 1968.”[citation needed] 1970s: Later examples of soul music include recordings by The Staple Singers (such as I’ll Take You There), and Al Green’s 1970s recordings,done at Willie Mitchell’s’ Royal Recording in Memphis. Mitchell’s Hi Records continued the Stax tradition in that decade, releasing many hits by Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, O.V. Wright and Syl Johnson. Bobby Womack, who recorded with Chips Moman in the late 1960s, continued to produce soul recordings in the 1970s and 1980s. In Detroit, producer Don Davis worked with Stax artists such as Johnnie Taylor and The Dramatics. Early 1970s recordings by The Detroit Emeralds, such as Do Me Right, are a link between soul and the later disco style. Motown Records artists such as Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson contributed to the evolution of soul music, although their recordings were considered more in a pop music vein than those of Redding, Franklin and Carr. Although stylistically different from classic soul music, recordings by Chicago-based artists such as Jerry Butler and The Chi-Lites are often considered part of the genre. By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres. The social and political ferment of the times inspired artists like Gaye and Curtis Mayfield to release album-length statements with hard-hitting social commentary. Artists like James Brown led soul towards funk music, which became typified by 1970s bands like Parliament-Funkadelic and The Meters. More versatile groups like War, the Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire became popular around this time. During the 1970s, some slick and commercial blue-eyed soul acts like Philadelphia’s Hall & Oates and Oakland’s Tower of Power achieved mainstream success, as did a new generation of street-corner harmony or city-soul groups like The Delfonics and Howard University’s Unifics. By the end of the 1970s, disco and funk were dominating the charts. Philly soul and most other soul genres were dominated by disco-inflected tracks. During this period, groups like The O’Jays and The Spinners continued to turn out hits. 1980s and later: The emergence of hip hop culture in the late 1970s greatly influenced the soul music that followed in the 1980s. With Afrika Bambaata & The Soulsonic Force enjoying huge hits with beat-heavy tracks like “Planet Rock” and “Looking For The Perfect Beat”, soul music-makers realised they would have to make their beats bigger, and also find a way of fusing soul and hip hop music. Production teams like James ‘Jimmy Jam’ Lewis and Terry Harris (former members of The Time), L.A. (Reid) and Babyface created a harder but also lusher almost epic soul sound, providing endless hits for Janet Jackson, Alexander O’Neal, The SOS Band and Bobby Brown. Writer/producer Teddy Riley and others created something called new jack swing (also known as swingbeat), which fused soul and hip hop. This sound provided hits for acts like Guy, Boyz II Men, Wreckx-n-Effect and Bell Biv DeVoe. After the death of disco in the early 1980s, soul music survived for a short time before going through another metamorphosis. With the introduction of influences from electro music and funk, soul music became less raw and more slickly produced, resulting in a newer genre that was called R&B, (often known as contemporary R&B), which sounded very different from the original rhythm and blues style. In early 1980s Chicago, a new dance genre called house was heavily influenced by soul, funk and disco. This was mainly made using synthesizers and other electronic equipment. House and techno rose to mainstream popularity in the late 1980s and remained popular in the 1990s and 2000s. Also starting in the 1980s, soul music from the United Kingdom become popular worldwide, with artists such as Soul To Soul, Loose Ends, Imagination, Mica Paris and Sade. British soul music became very popular in the 2000s too with artists such as Joss Stone, Terri Walker, Beverley Knight, Corrine Bailey Rae, Adele, Duffy, Amy Winehouse and the Brand New Heavies achieving great success. The United States saw the development of neo-soul around 1994. Mainstream record label marketing support for soul genres cooled in the 2000s due to the industry’s re-focus on hip hop. Soul subgenres - Detroit (Motown) soul: Dominated by Berry Gordy’s Motown Records empire, Detroit soul is strongly rhythmic, and influenced by gospel music. The Motown Sound often includes hand clapping, a powerful bass line, violins, bells and other untraditional instruments. Motown’s house band was The Funk Brothers, and singers included: Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Four Tops and Stevie Wonder. Songwriters included: Holland-Dozier-Holland, Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, Smokey Robinson, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, Ivy Jo Hunter, Roger Penzabene, and Stevie Wonder. Deep soul and southern soul: The terms deep soul and southern soul generally refer to a driving, energetic soul style combining R&B’s energy with pulsating southern United States gospel music sounds. Memphis, Tennessee label Stax Records nurtured a distinctive sound, which included putting vocals further back in the mix than most contemporary R&B records, using vibrant horn parts in place of background vocals, and a focus on the low end of the frequency spectrum. The vast majority of Stax releases were backed by house bands Booker T and the MGs (with Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, and Al Jackson) and the Memphis Horns (the splinter horn section of the Mar-Keys). The label counted Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, William Bell, and Eddie Floyd among its stars. Memphis soul: Memphis soul is a shimmering, sultry style of soul music produced in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records and Hi Records in Memphis, Tennessee. It featured melancholic and melodic horns, organ, bass, and drums, as heard in recordings by Hi’s Al Green and Stax’s Booker T. & the M.G.’s. The latter group also sometimes played in the harder-edged Southern soul style. The Hi Records house band (Hi Rhythm Section) and producer Willie Mitchell developed a surging soul style heard in the label’s 1970s hit recordings. Some Stax recordings fit into this style, but had their own unique sound. Philadelphia soul: Based primarily in the Philadelphia International record label, Philadelphia soul (AKA Philly Soul) had a lush orchestral sound and doo-wop-inspired vocals. Thom Bell, and Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff are considered the founders of Philadelphia soul, which was dominated by artists such as The Spinners, The Delfonics, The O’Jays, The Stylistics, The Intruders, Patti LaBelle, MFSB, The Three Degrees, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, McFadden & Whitehead and, for a time, The Temptations. Psychedelic soul: Psychedelic soul was a blend of psychedelic rock and soul music in the late 1960s, which paved the way for the mainstream emergence of funk music a few years later. Principal figures included multicultural band Sly & the Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield, The Fifth Dimension, and (with producer Norman Whitfield) The Temptations and The Undisputed Truth. Blue-eyed soul: Blue-eyed soul, (also known as white soul) is a term used to describe R&B or soul music performed by white artists. The term doesn’t refer to a distinct style of music, and the meaning of blue-eyed soul has evolved over decades. Originally the term was associated with mid-1960s white artists who performed soul and R&B that was similar to the music released by Motown Records and Stax Records. The term continued to be used in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly by the British media to describe a new generation of singers who adopted elements of the Stax and Motown sounds. To a lesser extent, the term has been applied to singers in other music genres that are influenced by soul music. Notable blue-eyed soul artists include George Michael, Hall & Oates, Righteous Brothers, Boy George, The Action, The Rascals, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, The Soul Survivors, Dusty Springfield, Average White Band, Duffy,B.J. Thomas, Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone. Neo soul: The term neo soul is a marketing phrase coined by producer and record label executive Kedar Massenburg to describe a musical blend of 1970s soul-style vocals and instrumentation with contemporary R&B sounds, hip hop beats and poetic interludes. The style was developed in the early to mid 1990s by artists such as Omar Lye-Fook, Maxwell, D’Angelo and Soul II Soul. Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott and Angie Stone helped popularize the sound. Other notable performers include Rahsaan Patterson, Cody Chesnutt, Jaguar Wright, Eric Benet, Amel Larrieux, Adriana Evans, Raphael Saadiq, India.Arie, Lalah Hathaway, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq, Amp Fiddler, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Floetry, Vivian Green, Leela James, Frank McComb, Goapele, and N’dambi, as well as newcomers Conya Doss, Ledisi, Maysa, Maya Azucena, Rachael Bell and Eric Roberson. A key musical element in the Neo Soul artist/producer’s arsenal is typically a heavy dose of Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano pads over a mellow, grooving interplay between the drums (usually with a rim shot snare sound) and a muted, deep funky bass. The Fender Rhodes piano sound gives the music of this sub-genre a “vintage”, warm, organic character, reminiscent of the 1970s-era recordings of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, as well as the work of Roy Ayers on his Mystic Voyage and Everybody Loves the Sunshine albums. Modern soul: Modern soul developed when northern soul DJs began looking in record shops in the United States and United Kingdom for music that was more complex and contemporary. What emerged was a richer sound that was more advanced in terms of Hi-Fi and FM radio technology ‘

Check Out The Old School!

February 19, 2012
 Hey kids, just gonna be using this page as a kind of online diary and place to rant and rave about anything and everything!
Posts may be a little as and when so don't expect the same kind of consistency you get from professional bloggers. I'm not entirely sure where this will lead us but I figured the site could do with something new and I could do with somewhere to vent spleen from time to time!

Right, introduction over and back to the point.... I was recently asked by a friend for a list of bands from the glory days for him to check out as there is no online A to Z! This led me to starting the other new page on the site 'Artists'. It's probably gonna take the rest of my days to get that list finished but it keeps me off the streets. Anyway, I remembered the old MySpace page from 2005 and before the site was started so here it is for you all. All these bands are seriously worth checking out and most can be found on the early mixes I made over on the players.


 'WHAT IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' ------- THE VERY FINEST FUNKY SOULBRUTHAS AND SISTAHS: The Bamboos, The Sound Stylistics, The Mohawks, Breakestra, The New Mastersounds, Earl Van Dyke, The Bar-Kays, Ann Sexton, Ohio Players, Danny Woods, Freeman &; Blackrock, Gladys Knight &; The Pips, Bettye Swan, Otis Redding, Al Greene &; The Soul Mates, Archie Bell &; The Drells, Phil Upchurch Combo, The Artwoods, Lonnie Lester, Aaron Neville, Dave Pike &; His German Set, Rasputins Stash, Sam &; Dave, Eddie Purrell, The Meters, Sir Mack Rice, Patti Austin, The Last Poets, Eloise Laws, Lefties Soul Connection, Act III, The Endeavors, Charles Wright, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Smith, The Whatnauts, Willie &; The Mighty Magnificents, Rosey Jones, The Originals, The Frank Popp Ensemble, The Showstoppers, The Cherry People, Greenfinger, New Jersey Kings, Mother Earth, Corduroy, Galliano, James Taylor Quartet, New Jersey Kings, Simon Bartholomew, Parliament, Talbot &; White, Young Disciples, Spirit Of Atlanta, Jamiroquai, The Temptations, Lord Large, Lonnie Liston Smith, Joe Tex, Anglo, Johnny Harris, Del Larks, The Blackbyrds, Mr Floods Party, JadesBooker T &; The MG's, Milton Floyd, Velvet Hammer, Tom Scott &; The LA Express, Bobby Womack, Curley Moore &; The Cool Ones, Eddie Floyd, The Showmen, Andre Williams &; The Out Of Sighters, William Bell, Betty Wright, Billy Butler &; The Enchanters, Baby Huey &; The Babysitters, The Commodores, Richard ‘ Groove’ Holmes, James Knight &; The Butlers, The Drapels, Fabulous Originals, The Isley Brothers, Jeanne &; The Darlings, Larry Williams, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, The Mar-Keys, Rufus Thomas, The TSU Tornadoes, Bobby Byrd, Little Richard, The Dynamites, The Fantastics, George Carrow, Jimmy McGriff, Lou Courtney, The 24 Carat Black, Della Reese, Marvellows, Freddie King, The Gaturs, Joe Quarterman &; Free Soul, Lou Edwards &; Todays People, Van McCoy, Virginia Wolves, Bill Withers, Denise Laselle, James Brown, Sly &; The Family Stone, The Brand New Heavies, Sharon Jones &; The Dap Kings, Billy Paul, Marvin Holmes &; The Uptights, Young Holt Trio, The Chi-Lites, David Batiste &; The Gladiators, Harold Melvin &; The Blue Notes, Eddie Bo, Joe Thomas, Lightnin’ Rod, Betty Harris, Darondo, Maceo &; All The Kings Men, Moody Scott, Earths Delight, J Hines &; The Boys, Captain Hammond, Mr. C &; Funck Junction, A.A.B.B, Juggy, Little Royal, Willie Hobbs, The Impressions, James Boys, David Newman, Jimmy Smith, Al Robinson, Lee Dorsey, Merryweather, Soul Tornadoes, Woody Herman, Little Hooks With Ray Nato &; The Kings, Chuck Edwards, Gil Scott Heron, Accents, Andy Lewis, The Naturall Band, Willie Mitchell, Excuses, Sugarmen 3, World Column, Geraldo Pino, Barry White, Wendy Rene, Shirley Ellis, The Admirations, Earth Wind &; Fire, The Second Amendment Band, King Curtis, Bobby Taylor &; The Vancouvers, Betty Wright, Billy Preston, Unlimited Four, Floyd Newman, Jerry O, The Hit Pack, Eddie Floyd, The Flamingos, Grant Green, 100 Proof, The Stealers, The Woo Woo’s, Junior Walker &; The All Stars, Lee Bates, Turley Richards, C.L. Blast, Jackie Wilson, Sugar Billy, Johnny Copeland, The Blackbyrds, Don Covey, The Brothers Johnson, Gi Gi, Linda Lyndell, Delia Gartrell, Linda Jones, Barbara Lynn, Marie Queenie Lyons, Honey Cone, Monica, Laura Lee, Betty Moorer, The Staple Singers, Vicki Anderson, Nina Simone, Donnie Elbert,The Players, Jimmy Frazier,Johnny Teupen, Derek Martin, The Monitors, Lee Moses, Bobby Lester, Melvin Sparks, Babara Lynn, Jon Lucien, John Gary Williams, Shane Martin,The Artistics, Vontastics, Ricky Hodges & The Vibrations, The King Bees, Frankie ‘Love Man’ Crocker, The Crusaders,The Temptations, Mistura, The Vibrations, Frankie & The Spindles,Alvin Cash & The Scott Bros Orchestra, Manu Dibango, Junior Mance, Sunny & The Sunliners,Johnny Jones & The King Casuals, Mayfield Players, Mighty Flea, Lonnie Smith, Willie Mitchell, Wendell Harrison, Baracudas, Leon Haywood, Mongo Santamaria, The JB’s,Charles Wright & The 103rd St. Rhythym Band, The Backyard Heavies, Barma The Village Poet, Merryweather, Funkadelic, Jackie Lee, Jimmy Caravan, Herbie Hancock,Birtha, Nuyorican Soul, Sod, Tim Maia, Masters Of Ceremony, Snoop Dogg, Soul Set, Urban Quest,The Apples, Incognito, Bootsy Collins, Cyamande, Guru, Erykah Badu, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, War and many many more... plus.......................................................... THE ALL IMPORTANT MODMOTHERS AND FATHERS: Lord Briscoe,Lynn Tait & The Jets, Alton Ellis, The Ethiopians, Derrick Morgan, The Minstrels, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Symarip, The Reggae Boys, Dave & Ansil Collins, Alton Ellis, The Pioneers, Harry J All Stars, The Upsetters, The Pioneers, Barrington Spence, The Slickers, Junior Murvin,The Times, The Jolt, Small World, Montana’s, The Teenbeat, Moving Sidewalks, Shots, Jimmy Smith, Scene,Curtis Mayfield, The Four Tops, Arthur Conley, Geno Washington, James Brown, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Marvelettes, The Supremes, Dean Parrish, Wilson Pickett, Freda payne, The Kingsmen, The Isley Brothers, The Velvettes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Eddie Floyd, Small Faces, The Kinks, Paul Weller, The Beatles, The Killermeters, The Who, Kick, The Creation, The Moment, The Jam, The Quik, The Kravin A’s, The Chords, The Spencer Davies Group, Mood Six, Makin’ Time, Back To Zero, The Bird, The Sapphires, The Paramounts, Kim D, The Zombies, Secret Affair, The Lambrettas, Scarlet Party etc.etc.etc...and....... a lot of swirley psychedelical interesting types!


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