VARIOUS: Kon and Amir Present Off Track III, Brooklyn (Label: bbe)

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VARIOUS: Kon and Amir Present Off Track III, Brooklyn

For their third bbe compilation those redoubtable crate diggers – Kon and Amir have scoured Brooklyn and come up with a strong, soulful and funky collection that is both eclectic and accessible. The selections (and mixing) on the first CD in the pack is down to Kon and he kicks things off with one of the album’s strongest cut – the hypnotic ‘From The Heart’ by Donny McCollough. It’s simple yet effective via its insistence and I don’t really know why, but it reminds me of the Fatback Band’s ‘I Found Loving’ even though it’s not like it all! Other goodies on the Kon set include the almost disco sounds of Taxie’s ‘Rock Don’t Stop’ and the bright and brassy ‘I Want Your Loving’ from Backyard Construction. Randolph Baker’s ‘Next to You’ is fab too – a big ensemble piece that the Eddie Kendrick’s era Temptations would have been proud of. Amir’s selection is even more eclectic and features African disco and soul and though the name’s aren’t familiar the enthusiasm and joy of the music brings it own familiarity. Sure, the artists have eschewed some of their native music forms to create their own brand of soul and disco but there’s a huge joy throughout. Harry Mosco’s ‘Step On’ is a delight (little touches of Hi-Life here) while Doris Ebong’s ‘Boogie Trip’ is just that. All ten tracks on Amir’s disc prove that underproduction (leaving thing s out)is often a better way forward than the kitchen sink school of recording. All irresistible and hugely recommend for all those who are fed up with formularised and predictable soul compilations.
(BB) 4/5