This year, once again was a strong year for funk 45s, and as always, it’s tough to narrow it down to just a few records, because there are so many that are so good. Here are ten records we featured on the site (in no particular order), that really got us moving this year. Whether deep funk, boogie, or on the funky side, these records were sides we really dug. We hope that you dig them as much as we did. So let’s do this!
Ernie Hawks and The Soul Investigators: Scorpio Man Theme/ Timmion Records
This record was a strong contender for our record of the year. Timmion had been on the smooth soul tip for a while this year, and well, when this side came out, not only did it sell out quickly, but this side has it all: breaks, funky flute, and those drums that knock we all crave for. Looking for more from this collabo in the ’17.
Teeko Featuring Diamond Ortiz: SFC (Real Ones)
With a sound that derives from great boogie music of the past, this modern banger is everything Mark Ronson wanted to sound like when they swiped Bruno’s new sound on 24 KT. Raw, gritty, and as real as they get, this thing bangs with a capitol B, B. Looking forward to rocking crowds with this one for sure.
Lee Fields And The Expressions: Make This World
New year, new label, butt he same old Lee Fields. Powerful. This record, can make a better world if we all just come together. This is Lee Fields at his very best. Big Crown making big moves with this record.
The Gripsweats: Ziggy’s Walk
The Gripsweats gave us a slice of Nawlins funk, Meters-like goodness on this funky side from the ever reliable Colemine Records out of Ohio. If you have missed this chunk of funk and aren’t driving to Plaid Room Records in Loveland, OH, then point your browser over to the Colemine site and grab one of the funkiest 45s of ’16. Greasy. Gritty. Sweaty. The Gripsweats have it all.
The Du-Rites: Bug Juice
This year was a strong year for Jay Mumford aka J-Zone. One of his many projects he was involved with in the ’16 was a funk band with ex-Tom Tom Club member Pablo Martin called The Du-Rites. Not many of these 45s were pressed up, and of course it sold out rather quickly, so if you missed it, you are SOL. This highlights both of their playing and production, as J-Zone kills the skins on the track and we get transported back to some Chitlin’ Circuit circa bar ’73. Another banger this year,w e salute The Du-Rites for this and their full length.
The M-Tet: Vamp
Back with their strongest effort to date, The M-Tet score big on this 45 and their collaboration with Detroit’s Funk Night Records. Another indie label that is slaying with the releases, this hard hitting record was a favorite for us here from the first needle drop. Continuing on with the tradition of funky ass bands and records out of the Bay Area, The M-tet push forward as one of the best funk bands around. From the first note to the last, this heavy side is just that, heavy brothers and sisters. Dig and play loud.
Dick’s Beat Market: Scorpio
Rich Medina is at it again and with the first in a series from RBMB, this relick of one of the best drum breaks ever and a classic acapella (plus some very good production) yielded another one of our favorite 45s of the year. This gets the crowd jumping every time, no matter where. Small venue, large venue, it doesn’t matter, people go nuts. Thanks for this one Big Rich!
Misha Panfilov Combo: Escalator
Another heater out of Detroit via Estonia, and another nod from Funk Night to say, “hello.” This record was definitely one that flew under a lot of people’s radar, but with its psychedelic feel, creepy organ and steady back beat, this was one we really fancied. Funk Night are a great go to label for solid, authentic funk of all kinds. This is another piece of evidence Columbo.
Re:Crates 001 Pat Van Dyke: Nautilus
A late comer dropping towards the end of the year, drummer, bandleader and composer PVD gave us a stunning cover of one of the classics by Bob James, “Nautilus”. His take on this, no doubt will be heard on radio, DJ sets, and much more throughout the coming year. One for the crate diggers, no matter what you like, you were sure to dig this funky version by Pat and his players. Looking forward to more from this series from the Open Crates Crew. Jersey stand up!
Mayfield: On The Ropes
This sister funk infused track from Melbourne, Australia’s Mayfield is a great mix of the old and the new. Their modern sound is perfect for dance floors, and the blast of funk easily shakes asses around the globe. Another under the radar forty five we instantly fell in love with.
While there may be some forty fives we have missed, we wanted to give our top ten (in no particular order) of the records we covered this year on Flea Market Funk. We are looking forward to what in store for 2017. Thanks for tuning in this year and look for more of our Best Of all this week!