Various Artists

Give Peas a Chance: 21 Obscure Hits & Jazzy Gems

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As if the title weren't great enough, the music's even better -- compiling rare, little-heard material from the seemingly infinite vaults of the European sound library scene, Give Peas a Chance could be the soundtrack for the best blaxploitation film never made, evoking the sexy swagger and pulpy energy of '70s black cinema in vivid detail. These 21 songs don't just absorb the influence of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, and Willie Hutch -- they push their chicken-scratch guitars, cavernous basslines, and airtight grooves to ridiculously funky extremes, virtually to the point where it's impossible to tell where tribute ends and satire begins. Highlights include Paul Kuhn's "Gateway to Crime," Simon Park's "Big Mouth," Klaus Wuesthoff's "Jet Clipper Suite," and Boris Jojic's "Knock Out."

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