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Instrumental Explosion: Incendiary Funk And R&B Instrumentals 1966-1973, LP (£15.60)
KEPOW! The record hits the deck, a syncopated drum beat fills the speakers and suddenly a screaching saxophone comes in. The DJ has nailed the dancefloor and he's done it with that much used but underappreciated tool, the instrumental.BOOM! And he's not stopped there, with a Hammond organ and a James Brown rhythm always a JB rhythm. He's kept the instrumental theme going and there is no way that it's going to anyone is going to leave the dance floor. It is actually a European Union rule that funk DJs need to play 25% instrumentals in their DJ set (eu. Reg. 1475 funk), but as anyone with an iota of experience on what some of the younger sorts may call "the wheels of steel" will tell you, reckless experimentation can take that mix up into the high 80s and sometimes beyond for a completely rapt dancefloor. At BGP we are inveterate risk takers (amongst other things) so, give or take a few mumbled words, grunts, and asides, we have decided to bring forth a 100% instrumental set that should set your pulses racing.
I'd like to say it was a tough decision finding the tracks, but it wasn't. In fact what we did was grab some three figure rarities, some classic floor fillers and some wonders from the more obscure areas of my record box and the tape locker, sequence them nicely and then turned on the finished master for a quick check What can you say? The Detroit City Limits' 98 Cents + Tax has always been a big record with the mods, but its late 60s recording date has always made it more suited to a funk floor. Pretty [Bernard] Purdie's amazing Soul Drums is also one that will be familiar to those who have spent too much of their adult life in night clubs, and Hank Jacob's Elijah Rocking With Soul has had a club life from Wigan to Soho that has defied not only the years but categorisation. A recent club discovery has been the wonderful single by the Joe Tex Band, Chocolate Cherry, which is a gritty R&B groove. A still-to-be discovered one is the amazing and possibly rare Miles Grayson 45 Stuck In The Mud. Remember Miles produced Brenda George's I Can't Stand It so knows quite a bit about funk.
From the rarity pile we have pulled the second Ron Buford 45 on Camelot More Soul a splendid JB-influenced groove, and the Filmore Street Soul Review's Put Your Weight On It, a cut that they also did backing comedian Rudy Ray Moore. Whilst talking quirky and rare we'd like to draw attention to the Jackson 5 sounding cut by the Fans; the break-beat laden Roly Poly Mickey Lolich, a tribute to a Detroit-based baseball player who struggled with his weight.
But the thing about this album is that every cut is a star, from the warped take on Bullitt by Louis Jordan, via the wah-wah funk of the Machine Shop and on to the organ stroking of Leon Ferguson or Frank Armstrong.
Why bother with the box of 45s? Just drag along a copy of INSTRUMENTAL EXPLOSION and watch the whole world take off.
Bang! I'm out of here!
By Dean Rudland