Various Artists

The Funk Project: How Good Is Good? Vol. 2

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The quality of the music on this comp is high, and had there been a real package to go with the contents, How Good Is Good? The Funk Project, Vol. 2 would deserve an even higher rating. In other words, in uncharacteristic fashion, Goldmine Soul Supply offers absolutely no information about any of the artists presented here. Usually, there are more artists' blurbs and song session details than one can shake a stick at on Goldmine Northern soul compilations, but when it comes to Northern funk, apparently it's a different story. All you can do is praise this record for the consistent quality of its songs and wonder in aggravating mystery as to how many (if any) other cuts these artists are responsible for. As it stands, there are 16 illustrious tracks on Vol. 2. Many of them -- Walt Jenkins' "Funky Walk," Good Time Charlie's "Rover or Me," Clarence Jackson's "Party Time" -- are dyed in the James Brown and the J.B.'s methodology of a hypnotic rhythm with over-the-top effects such as high, echoplexed guitars, slippery yet constant basslines, and grooved-out punchy horns. Others, however, were influenced by the "soul brother" movement of the 1960s, such as the killer, Meters-like funk of "Get Down Brother" or the Sly Stone-inflected "Trust Your Child, Pt. 1" by Patrizia & Jimmy. In all, though, derivative or not, there isn't a weak cut in the bunch. It's all slam, all stomp, all the time. A killer set of grooves for whatever your next occasion is.

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