Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Digital Underground ‎– Sex Packets (1990)

Genre: Hip Hop, Rap
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Sony, Tommy Boy, TNT Records

01.   The Humpty Dance
02.   The Way We Swing
03.   Rhymin' On The Funk
04.   The New Jazz (One)
05.   Underwater Rimes (Remix)
06.   Gutfest '89 (Edit)
07.   The Danger Zone
08.   Freaks Of The Industry
09.   Doowutchyalike
10.   Packet Prelude
11.   Sex Packets
12.   Street Scene
13.   Packet Man
14.   Packet Reprise

Bass – Randy Brooks
Keyboards – The Piano Man
Piano, Synthesizer – The Piano Mar
Sampler (Sampling), Sequenced By – Shock-G
Turntables – DJ Fuze, Goldfingers
Vocals (Guest) – Maverick
Vocals – C.M.J., Humpty Hump, M.C. Blowfish, Money B, Schmoovy Schmoov, Shock-G, The Computer Woman

Sex Packets is a vibrant, wildly funny record that transcends any attempt to dismiss it as mere novelty. Novelty records are throwaways -- cheap gags that are funny once, but never pay off with repeat plays, something that Sex Packets certainly does. Sex Packets is layered like any good story. Corny jokes, gross-out tales, flights of fancy, and sheer absurdist humor co-exist comfortably, usually within the course of one song. Take "The Humpty Dance," their breakthrough single and timeless party anthem. Within that one song, Humpty Hump spills out countless jokes, spinning between inspired allusions and thuddingly obvious cut-ups, which are equally funny because of the irrepressible, infectious nature of his rap. And he's so confident in his skills, he's sexy, which is kind of what the album is about -- it knows that sex is funny, and sexier because of it. But the very name of the album should be a clear indication that Digital Underground doesn't take any of this stuff all that seriously while creating elaborate, fantastical settings that reveal boundless imagination. The showiest number, of course, is the "Sex Packets" suite that concludes the album, built around their idea for a drug that creates full-blown sexual fantasies (virtual reality before it was in vogue), but their skill at creating distinctive worlds is just as apparent on the endless party of "Doowutchyalike." These are the things that are buried beneath the band's jokes and an enormous amount of George Clinton samples. Much of the music on Sex Packets uses the P-Funk canon as their foundation (a notable exception being a swinging interpolation of a Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys cut on "The New Jazz (One)," a cracking showcase for their team vocal skills). It's so strong an influence, it may seem easy to reduce Digital Underground to the status of mere Clinton imitators, but they take his blueprint, expand it, and personalize it, creating a record that is as loose and funny as anything in the P-Funk empire, and in some ways, easier to access, since the party feels wide open. Few hip-hop albums sound as much like a constant party as this, and years later, it's still impossible to resist.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine / AllMusic

The Fatback Band ‎– Yum Yum (1975)

Style: Soul, Funk, Disco
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Southbound, Polydor, Event Records Inc.

1.   Yum Yum (Gimme Some)
2.   Trompin'
3.   Let The Drums Speak
4.   Put The Funk On You
5.   Feed Me Your Love
6.   (When You Wanna Boogie) Boogie With The Fatback
7.   Got To Learn How To Dance
8.   If You Could Turn Into Me
9.   (Hey) I Feel Real Good

Backing Vocals – Elaine Clark
Keyboards – Gerry Thomas
Engineer – Eddie Karvin, Jim Rothbun
Producer – The Fatback Band

Bugz In The Attic ‎– Back In The Doghouse (2006)

Style: Broken Beat
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: V2

01.   Intro
02.   Move Aside
03.   I'm Gonna Letcha
04.   No More
05.   Once Twice
06.   Redhanded
07.   Doghouse (Interlude)
08.   Knocks Me Off My Feet
09.   Consequences
10.   It Don't Work Like That
11.   Sounds Like
12.   Happy Days
13.   Don't Stop The Music
14.   Inna Row
15.   Worla Hurt
16.   Booty La La

Mixed By – Toni Economides
Producer – Bugz In The Attic

For their long-awaited debut album, London collective Bugz In The Attic have replaced the wildly syncopated excesses of yesteryear with a collection of cuts that compound their many influences into a tight, bright signature sound. 
Recent single "Move Aside" and "Knocks Me Off My Feet" highlight a compliance with the sassier side of US r & b, featuring vocal hooks that wouldn't be out of place on a Missy LP, though the wide variety of (live and programmed) rhythms, buzzing synths and punchy bass sounds stem directly from the deeper side of the UK underground. 
Those who heard Bugz recent Life:Styles compilation wont be surprised to hear elements of 80s soul here, notably on their floor-stomping revamp of Yarbrough & Peoples' "Dont Stop the Music" and "Consequences", which features long-standing collaborator Bembe Segue. 
Phusionistic tracks such as "Once Twice" and "Redhanded" (also featuring Segue) hark back to the posse's more classic broken beat sound, though for the most part the team have successfully crystallised their love of funk, dub, hip hop, Afro-sounds, soul, house and jazz into an immaculate - and highly accessible - tapestry of catchy grooves without losing any artistic integrity.
Jack Smith / BBC Review