Tag / Funk

I so had another post in mind for today, but Kunio Muramatsu’s Green Water spoke to me and said: “hold that powder for some other day, the sun’s still shining!”. From the first song on it’s not hard to see why. A flooring collection of meticulously crafted Pop songs screaming “SUMMER!” merit, at least this […]

Read More

There’s an appeal to Katsutoshi Morizono’s 4:17 p.m. that can only be heightened, or fully appreciated, during summer, our current time of the year. Cycling from truly elegant compositions – a frequent, recurring theme lately on the blog – 4:17 p.m. mixes jazz fusion, post-bossanova, reggae, light mellow/City Pop, and even experimental bits of New Age […]

Read More

/ July 21, 2017 / Comments Off on Mike Francis: Let’s Not Talk About It (1984)

Mike Francis: Let’s Not Talk About It (1984)

Now this, this right here, is the promised boogie wonderland. The late Michele Francesco Puccioni’s (aka Mike Francis) 1984 debut is that unheralded statement piece of funk and R&B music that once you have your chance to get your hands on you’ll never forget. Let’s Not Talk About It was the product of some hard-earned […]

Read More

Power can manifest itself in many ways. Power isn’t always in the density of something but in the lightness of it. Kenji Omura’s spirited take on funk, sophisticated pop, and so many other smooth genres comes together into one powerful album: Gaijin Heaven. The late, great Kenji Omura, one time or some time YMO guitarist, […]

Read More

What’s this? Just some sweet, sweet Lusophonic magic, from the great African island nation of Cabo Verde. Music fitting that jaw-dropping album cover. The self-titled debut from brothers Gérard Mendés (also known as Boy Gé Mendes) and Jean-Claude Mendés displays the intriguing combination of Creole Portuguese-African polyrhythms, American boogie, and Brazilian samba the duo became huge stars among the Cabo Verde diaspora […]

Read More

/ May 16, 2017 / Comments Off on Sonia Rosa: Samba Amour (1979)

Sonia Rosa: Samba Amour (1979)

Heady, windswept, gauzy saudade that could only come from someone like Sonia Angelica De Carvalho Rosa, are things that don’t quite reveal themselves when you hear Samba Amour. Sonia Rosa had an unlikely musical career. Although she was born in São Paulo, Brazil it wasn’t there where’d she stake her claim to fame. A precocious child, she taught herself Joao Gilberto’s songs when […]

Read More

/ May 12, 2017 / Comments Off on Imagination: Night Dubbing (1983)

Imagination: Night Dubbing (1983)

“Forget your sorrow let’s start livin’ for today” those are the sublime spliced verses that kick off this monumental piece of house music. Before such a word “house music” even existed only a few people were hip to the possibilities inherent somewhere deep in the mind of English soul band Imagination. Night Dubbing was the sound of Imagination stretching to […]

Read More

/ May 10, 2017 / Comments Off on Sly and Robbie: Language Barrier (1985)

Sly and Robbie: Language Barrier (1985)

I’m looking at the liner notes to Sly & Robbie’s Language Barrier right now. Performances by Afrika Bambaataa, Bernie Worrell, Mikey Chung, Manu Dibango, Wally Badarou, Herbie Hancock (!), Bob Dylan (!?!?), and production by Bill Laswell…I keep asking myself why in the world did this not make a dent in anyone’s memory? By the looks of their […]

Read More

/ March 6, 2017 / Comments Off on Marju Kuut & Uku Kuut: Zuke (1992)

Marju Kuut & Uku Kuut: Zuke (1992)

Funk can sometimes come from the unlikeliest of places. Take for example: Hollywood. Hollywood, and America’s West Coast one could argue, has always been a haven for all sorts of groove maestros…but Tallinn, Estonia? Estonia, that’s where the creators of Zuke hail from. From an ex-Soviet country that barely has a record industry one would be hard-pressed to […]

Read More

/ February 10, 2017 / Comments Off on Melon: Do You Like Japan? (1982)

Melon: Do You Like Japan? (1982)

assively influenced by American R&B, Do You Like Japan? holds that rare thing for us as listeners: it’s a question posed in the title. Was ex-Plastics frontman Toshio Nakanishi asking us if we liked Japan or was he asking himself that same question? The answer would be hard to tell after you listen to the album. Created after his breakup […]

Read More