This past year we had quite a bit of other records that were funky but didn’t fall under the funk or soul genre. They were influenced by a whole lot of other things: afro funk and soul, Brazil, cumbia, space jazz, and more. Here’s 10 of the best records we covered that fell into that category. Dig!
World Funky Jams
Jungle Fire: La KossaWhat we love about this jam, is that not only are Jungle Fire back, but they continue their Journey into afro funk and soul tinged Latin rhythms as the year closes and we get into 2017. Definitely a band to grab up what you can of, these cats are going places.
Dem JuJu Poets: Barabara
The side project of David Hanke from Renegeades of Jazz, this forty five packs a punch. Conjuring up the spirits of African funk and soul. This one may have flown under your radar this year, but has etched its way into our ears permanently this year.
Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orchestra: Cafeteando
This Chicago outfit had everyone moving and grooving with their latin influenced, sometimes dubby, salsa, psychedelic cumbia jams. Electric Cowbell is known for making music on the edge, and Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orchestra are right there in their own lane.
Brazilian Singers/ Los Belkings Split 7″
Hungarian label Budabeats gave us a lava rock of a &’ with this split from Brazilian Singers/ Los Belkings. With one side a cover of a Brazilian classic from Jorge Ben and an obscure Peruvian surf track. Funky in their own right, both of these tracks are gas to get you going.
Combo Chimbita: Chimbita Theme
The always consistent Names You Can Trust label, who are on the forefront of latin induced music of all kinds, put this lava rock para los discos out in 2016. Combining the “roots of the African diaspora” and drawing inspiration from their native Columbia as well as other Caribbean music, this forty five with a psychedelic shot, big guitars, and a punk rock attitude is funky in so many ways. NYC Trust for the win once again.
El Metate: Fatwas
The San Francisco Collective known as Ell Metate have been tearing up stages and dropping heat for a minute. Their own brand of space funk with heavy guitars and latin influences draws inspiration from Santana as much as it does from Ivan “Boogaloo” Jones. We premiered the track “Fatwas” this past year, and feel these cats most definitely deserve to be on this list.
Kind & Kinky Zoo: Wonder Zebra
Rocafort Records released this worldly bomb of a joint this past year. Kind & Kinky Zoo move all over the map with flashes of psychedelia, afrobeat, garage rock, good old rock and roll, and more. What we love is the flute, which is all over this track. Take a rocket ride with Rocafort on this seven inch, won’t you?
Joe Tatton Trio: Bang Bang Boogaloo
Want to go back to the Bronx when boogaloo was king? Well if you do, then the Joe Tatton Trio can transport you back there with this piano and percussion heavy side on ATA Records, “Bang Bang Boogaloo”. This was a sleeper for us in ’16, but every time we hear it we can’t help but smile. This is a funky latin heater we can get behind for sure.
Breakdown Brass: Nautilus (Hijacked)
Mr. Bob James is a tough act to live up to, but so far this year two artists have done a bang up job with interpretations of his classic “Nautilus” track. This band was one of them. Combining the track with an Enoch Light classic as well, these cats with plenty of horns and percussion rip both tracks to combine it into one funky jam you will play over and over. We did! Released on the Kept label, who have a knack for putting out the eclectic, look for more treats in the ’17.
Saturn’s Children: Cosmic Patterns
When we say world funky jams, we even mean out of this world. Saturn’s Children blasted off into deep space with their Soultronica Sessions Volume 1. A trip to the outer edge of the universe that reminds us of The Cosmic Twins, Roy Ayers, and Sun Ra among others. Synthy, spacey, and even some cool R & B, Cosmic Patterns is one you need to explore.