Various Bay Area Funk

You would never believe that these amazing cuts from the Bay Area funk scene were recorded between 1967 and 1976, because the re-mastering of this compilation sounds like these jams were laid down in a modern studio just last week. Definitely an impressive feat to make rare grooves like these sound so fresh, but the recording process doesn’t mean a thing if it wasn’t for the fact that the majority of these numbers are fantastic. With the innovative hip-hop scene blowing up in the Bay Area, it should be no surprise that this part of California was a hotbed for underground soul and funk. In fact, it’s possible that this overflowing talent from the ’60s and ’70s is what fuelled the likes of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. There are numerous high points on Bay Area Funk, including a 12-year-old Little Denise getting down with her bad self on “Check Me Out” in which the pre-teen manages to deliver a tiny funk explosion in a mere two minutes. Rodger Collins lays down an interesting blend of blues and funk with “Foxy Girls in Oakland” where he manages to serenade the women of Oaktown with the accompaniment of slide guitar and even yodelling. The real treasures lie in the instrumental jams such as “What It Is” by Apollis — a New York band that recorded this two-part ditty in San Francisco and essentially capturing the Bay Area vibe in the process. This compilation is just an example of the dedication that current DJs (in this case DJs Riddim and Gabe) put into literally tracking down these original artists through the phonebook and family members and putting out the highest quality in classic material. (Ubiquity)