23 Skidoo/Ronin The Gospel Comes To New Guinea / Just Like Everybody Part 2

There's something eerie about listening to these two 23 Skidoo retrospectives. It's not so much the haunting, "deep in the jungle" blasts of tribal funk or the fact that the rhythm section sounds like it is raining nails outside. What's most haunting is how virtually everything they did with their sound 20 years ago has been nicked, all within the past few years. Those rabbit-quick drum beats with the cowbells and the hazy dub sound that form a celebrated mix of punk and funk have been adopted by the DFA. 2002's underground hit singles by LCD Soundsystem, Radio 4 and the Rapture would never have taken shape without 23 Skidoo (listen to "Assassin" and think about how many times that one's been nicked). And when you listen to their track "Coup," it begins to sound very familiar as well. Six years ago the Chemical Brothers sampled the funky bass line for their smash hit "Block Rockin' Beats." Funny how it also sounds like an exact blueprint for Shaun Ryder's Happy Mondays as well. Released on the UK label Ronin, The Gospel Comes To New Guinea is a collection of the band's best work to date. With the sudden reawakening of the disco punk funk scene, the timing of this record is impeccable. Also available as a nice companion is Just Like Everybody Part 2, a separate disc of mainly unreleased material introducing music the band made as the production team Ronin. More along the lines of acts on labels like Mo' Wax and Ninja Tune, this collection again shows how these pioneers seemed to come up with everything first. (Ronin)