Wednesday, February 28, 2007

C.D. Review; Soulshaker Volume 3 (Record Kicks)

The is the third installment of new funk cuts to be compiled by Milan-based label Record Kicks. Some European labels have shown at least as much dedication to carrying the funk torch into this millennium as American labels-of-love like Daptone and Ubiquity.
There is a variety of funk on this collection, but happily there are fewer House-inspired moments than other discs covering new funk. The English singer Alice Russell is the hottest voice on this volume in the Soulshaker series. The disc's opening cut, "Transcend Me" (with The Bamboos) has a hot Marva Whitney influenced delivery, but her controlled singing on "Pushin' On" (backed by the Quantic Soul Orchestra this time) shows Alice is not a skilled copy-cat, but an inspired singer in full control of her powerful voice.
A couple of these songs like "La Valla" by Bronx River Parkway and the Sweet Vandals' "Do It Right" have already popped up on other recent compilations, but Soulshaker Volume 3 still contains a solid hour of funk culled from enough singles that aren't the easiest to find, and which require a turn table to enjoy. At an hour in length, this could have been a little longer, but there is still enough funk on here to go around. There are a few new acts brought to my attention on this compilation, which alone makes this volume worthwhile.
"Ratpack" by Big Daddy Moochin' features some Eddie Harris style honking over a solid rhythm. The Soldiers of Twilight's "Believe" has some nifty, almost Latin-sounding piano licks, and there are a few other pleasant surprises on here. There are also a couple of dependable purveyors of new funk, by way of The Budos Band and Breakestra. Soulshaker Volume 3 is a strong collection which might not be indispensable, but if you are on the look-out for new funk, this is a great disc to check.

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