Kon & Amir / Various Off Track Vol. III: Brooklyn

Off Track Vol. III is the latest in DJ duo Kon & Amir's series of rare funk compilations. Vol. III offers 29 unheard gems largely drawing on salsa, disco and African music from the late '70s and early '80s. Not every song here was worth preserving, but when it's good, Vol. III is exceptional. "Come Fly With Me" is effortless, bongo-driven funk reminiscent of prime Earth, Wind & Fire. On "Tin Top Pt.1" features clipped hi-hats, exuberant horns and surging group vocals playing off hilarious dialogue between two clueless party seekers. The ESL/Sugar Hill Gang cadence of Dizzy K's "Saturday Night Raps" is worth the price of admission alone. Vol. III demands a voracious appetite for cowbell, bouncy bass lines and goofy "lover man" raps, but anyone with a passing interest in late '70s dance music would be well advised to pick this up. Squares need not apply. (BBE)