Wednesday 18 January 2012

Weird Jam Project Album Review

So while my own album seems to be taking forever to put together, I thought I'd do some reviews of synth funk albums which I have been listening to lately. Firstly there are some awesome new-wave old school 80s style funk artists out there at the moment who deserve some exposure and appreciation:

A great place to start is with an amazing compilation album featuring some rare talents on the french label Funky Size Records.

Various Artists - Weird Jam Project
Funky Size Records 2011

A truly amazing compilation with some absolute gems and a great introduction to some of the best synth funk artists around today.

1. Intro.
The album opens with a Zapp style intro by Amadeo & Midet Touch. The intro in it's self is a funky little track which sets the mood for the whole record.

2. Enois Sgroggins - You Saved Me.
Next up we have a smooth modern soul funk groove from the Old School Brother himself - Enois Scroggins ft. Wadz. Great production and perfect soulful vocals from Enois

3. Nickee B - Baby Be Mine.
This track from Nickee B has a real electric 80s sound, great production and really nice use of auto-tune vocals.

4. Marabunta - Sexy Lady.
The song opens with a playful boy/girl flirty vocal exchange leading into a fusion of organic/electronic groove. When the vocal come in, you know that this tune is real class. Understated vocals, bass, guitar, synth effects, drums and tight claps fuse together to create a sexy funk groove that grows on you with every play. Marabunta is a class act.

5. Amadeo - Guerila Funk.
Opening with a rally style voice sample, the tune kicks into some electro space funk with robotic vocoder and more rally vocals. It's like a cross between b-boy electro, B-Movie Sci-Fi and The Running Man. A cool original vibe from Amadeo.

6. Fanateek One - 10#1 ( dance )
Fanateek One is the reason that I found this album. This track is a laid back affair with vocoder vocals.

7. Funkmaster Ozone - When You Walk & Talk
Wicked big electronic drums which seem to have some authentic 80s shuffle or drifting sync coupled with some cool scratching, talk box vocals and sweet lead synth grooves make this track funky fresh.

8. M.A.D. Ft YassL'objet du delire
To be quite honest, this is my least favorite of the tracks on this album. In it's self this is a solid funk record with organic horns, guitars, keys, vocals etc, but this is the main reason it doesn't quite fit with the electric feel of the rest of the tunes. From a technical point of view, the song is seriously over compressed, to the point that I find it hard to listen to.

9. Enois Scroggins - Love Ain't Only Promises
Another super smooth modern soul joint from Enois. The man and his songwriting team can do no wrong. A review of some more of Enois Scroggins' albums will follow soon.

10. The Funky Drive Band - Lost Generation
Now we're groovin. This track is not in your face but it has something that makes you move. It might be the excellent drum programming, the funky guitar, the warped synths, the groovy bass, the hypnotic street soul vocals, the ghostly sax, the filtered pads or just the message. An anthem for us 80s Funk Soldiers - We Are The Lost Generation!

11. 3 Times Of Funk - Funkatised
Some sweet slap bass drives this little funky jam which is pretty much an instrumental track with some processed vocals used as a sort of pad sound.

12. Marabunta - Need Music
Another solid classy track with excellent lead male vocals & female backing vocals. This one has a real disco vibe.

13. Nickee Be - 1984
This is a four to the floor electro track which has a real open feel although it feels a little cold as it is so mechanical with no organic elements, this is also it's appeal. I suppose it's one of these those tracks that you have to be in a certain mood to really enjoy.

14. Fanateek One - Weird 1986
This does give me the 1986 feeling. Some synth & bass lines in this one that remind me of Beverley Hill Cop - that is a very good thing in my book.

15. Amadeo Ft. Midet Touch - Clap & Dance
A drum machine & talkbox groove that expands and retracts with synth lines, guitar solos, key changes & robots.

16. Funkmaster Ozone - Dance Y'all
The beat and guitar sounds remind be of Prince's Batman album. The synths & vocals make this track fun & really funky.

17. M.A.D. - Funky Fresh
More synths in this one from M.A.D. and an altogether more funky affair. Again I'm not a fan of the overall compressed sound but it's tight & groovy.

18. Ameega - Pretentious
Now this is a little different. I really like this, more with every listen. More of a pop vibe - reminiscent of Prince.

19 Dee Nasty - Prison
Analogue Electronic Vinyl Synth Funk medley - like the funkiest bits of the soundtracks to 10 movies mixed directly to 12" - cool.