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When the funk hits the fan

 

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I see myself as a serious funk fanatic. Hence my nickname. I dig grooves that are funky and seriously compelling. At the same time I like electronic music, especially deep house grooves and lush atmospherics. Tom Middleton, known for his Global communication moniker, more slanted towards ambient, started DJing at Snow patrol’s gigs a few years ago. Although known for his electronic side, Middleton instead began playing at these party’s nothing but cover versions of landmark songs such as The Cure or Funkadelic. The crowd responded amazingly so he decided to gather these songs into a compilation : Cosmotronica : Crazy covers volume I. Although I liked the first volume, the second just completely blows me away. Quite simply of the funkiest record I listened to recently ! These songs, on volume 2, often sound even better than the originals. Like Rachid Taha’s cover of The Clash : Rock the casbah, it manages to display an incredibly tight funky groove that tops the original with a grittier sound. “Get UR freak on” by Missy Elliott gets redone by Ping pong orchestra into what sounds like the sounds of The Ventures in 2009.

Halfway through CD 1, we catch a break but it gets better with British band The Jam covering Curtis Mayfield “Move on up” in a dazzling way. Futro, a Polish band, does a cheeky bastard cover version of Beck’s song, it sounds great and we’re loving every minute of it. Not enough, we get a great funky version of Herbie Hancock’s Rock it redone by Dzhian & Kamien à la Herbaliser. And to round things up, we get the great soul singer Sharon Jones and the Dap kings, making a groovy interpretation of Janet Jackson “What have you done for me lately”.

CD 2 also has a couple of gems : Sergio Mendes making Buffalo Springfield “For what it’s worth” on a bossa-nova mode, ex Stone Roses singer Ian Brown sounding creepy on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller and better yet, Ella Fitzgerald as much fun as Cream on “Sunshine of your love. Let’s not forget “Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher” obviously a delicious nod to Nancy Sinatra, and god knows how he’s manage to that: Paul Anka making Nirvana “Smells like teen spirit” sounding like a cabaret song of the 1950’s.

Those sounds are quite simply a diamond in the rough. They all have character and personality. You can put the whole album while friends are at your place for dinner or partying. There is even a disco version of Star wars title theme! Subtle timeless beauties with a healthy dose of fun, new emotional depths, and all that in 42 cuts in every bit of exotica.

The Jam – Move on up [1983]

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Categories: Funk

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