IG Culture

Inspirations

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As one of the founding practitioners of the U.K.'s broken beat movement, IG Culture is one of the few artists who actually merits an influences compilation. After all, with broken beat drawing influence from many esoteric sources of soul and funk, the true roots might not always be too obvious. The most stunning surprise of this compilation is how much fun it is. Most artists, if asked for their inspirations, would try to preset a heady mix of "serious" music. But the proto-rap of Natasha King's "AM FM," the cutesy aliens of Tilt's "Arcade Funk," and the Kraftwerk-ian robo-voice of Special Request's absurdly titled "Salsa Smurf" (which comes complete with a barking and meowing sample exchange) let you know right off the bat that compiling this disc was a good laugh. The intricate jazz-funk of Crown Heights Affair and Oneness of Juju makes a more obvious connection to the broken beat sound that has given IG Culture his predominant status, but it is much easier to believe that as a British youth, he got off on hip-hop jams like Boogie Down Productions' "Jack of Spades." Not to imply that IG Culture didn't have a diverse musical upbringing. The closer, Dennis Brown's "Wolves & Leopards," is a classic reggae-ska groove that gives nod to the Jamaican immigrant community where he was raised. Rick Holmes' "Remember to Remember" takes care of the mandatory canon of soul legends, name-dropping Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Pharoah Sanders, and others throughout the cut's spoken-word verses. A bit of a cheat on the part of IG Culture, but one that leaves more room for unique selections, like Trouble Funk's remake of "Trans Euro Express," while still covering all of the necessary bases.

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