Various Super Cool California Soul 2

While California’s contribution to the world of funk and soul can be summed up by well known artists like Sly & the Family Stone, War or Tower of Power, the golden state has also housed a thriving underground scene of funky, which is captured well on Super Cool California Soul 2. Spanning from 1966 to 1982, Super Cool California Soul 2 is an eclectic mix of jazz-fusion, hard funk and disco. Shifting into gear with Gow Dow Experience’s masterful take on Roberta Flack’s "Compared To What,” with a slow churning groove that builds to a blistering climax of soul jazz, it sets the stage for the melange of genres that follow. Spanky Wilson’s "Fancy” is an uber-funky yet poignant snapshot of a poor Southern teenager trying to make a name for herself, while Darondo’s "Such A Night” is laid-back, narcoticised disco led by a spacey synthesiser and a falsetto that recalls Ron Isley in his ’70s prime. What makes Super Cool California Soul 2 so compelling is not the obscurity of these tracks but the organic cohesiveness that holds them together. (Ubiquity)