More than any other major label, the sheer depth and scope of the Atlantic vaults never fail to impress -- though best known for its legendary soul and jazz output, the company also generated some truly mind-bending funk and fusion sides, particularly on the short-lived Vortex and Embryo subsidiaries. Compiled by DJ and BGP label honcho Russ Dewbury, Vibrafinger: Get Hip to the Trip assembles 14 gorgeously transcendent and tripped-out explosions of sound and sensibility -- informed by the hippie counterculture, radical politics, and African rhythms and spirituality, this music is an otherworldly marriage of wah-wah guitars, celestial keyboards, sinuous drums, and basslines thicker than blood. Highlights include Air's "Baby, I Don't Know Where," Yusef Lateef's "Live Humble," Manu Dibango's "New Bell," and Eugene McDaniels' "Cherrystones."
Vibrafinger: Get Hip to the Trip: Funk, Jazz, & Afro-Beat Classics from the Atlantic Va Review
by Jason Ankeny