Various Artists ”â The Detroit Funk Vaults (Ace/Big Beat)
A blistering collection of obscure but prime Motor City funk, recorded between 1968 and 1979 at renowned producer/musician Dave Hamilton’s studio. A follow up to Dave Hamilton’s Detroit Funk, The Detroit Funk Vaults (compiled and noted by Dean Rudland) are overflowing with Hamilton’s thrillingly rough edged and distinctive funky productions.
Most of the recordings collected on The Detroit Funk Vaults are previously unreleased, others have turned up in various forms on Kent albums, sometimes in different takes, whilst others are incredibly rare funk records whose reissue is long overdue.
One case in point is ”ËYou Fool, You Fool Pt1 & Pt2′ by Prophet & The Disciples. A 1972 tour de force of real ghetto funk, it is anadmonitory tale against drug addiction that has never been previously released because no tape copy was in good enough condition to be issued. Chico & Buddy’s catchy ”ËA Thing called The Jones’, an alternative version from the track issued on last years David Hamilton’s Detroit Soul, mines a similar vein (”ËWhat makes a brother steal from his mother?”Â).
The Deacons’ ”ËA Drop in The Bucket’ stands on the edge of becoming dub it contains so much echo, The Bolton Brothers’ dance floor moving ”ËNative Rhythm’ draws upon African Afrobeat, while Dave Hamilton’s own slow grooving, harmonica driven instrumental ”ËGhetto Stride’ channels Quincy Jones’ soundtracks. As promised in the previous volume included Dave Hamilton’s hypnotic, deeply funky instrumental version of ”ËParty Time’ and the fevered instrumental of Billy Garners ”ËBrand New Girl’ are also featured. O.C. Tolbert soulful ”ËHard Times’ is as current as tomorrow’s newspaper, the echoing vocal version of James Carpenter’s ”ËMarriage Is Just) A State of Mind’ tells it like it is with some jazzy vibes as accompaniment, Chico & Buddy’s ”ËLet’s Have A Ball’ does just that, The Tokays’ ”ËClap Your Hands’is proto-funk tumult of the first order,while the Future Kind’s ”ËSimon Says’ (another track accredited to Hamilton, as are most of the compositions on this compilation) sounds like one of the best tracks Funkadelic never recorded. Hamilton’s band The Peppers brings things to a satisfying conclusion with the aptly titled ”ËBringing It Down’.
The funk and soul produced by David Hamilton and his prodigies is as much part of the Detroit sound as Motown, The Stooges or Funkadelic