Various Cinemaphonic

As the '70s continue to be strip-mined for every last ounce of funk, it is increasingly rare to find new sources of the good stuff. Lately, compilation producers have turned their attentions to stock music libraries, as evidenced by the Beat at Cinecitta series, documenting the finest Italo-porn grooves. Cinemaphonic goes one better, utilising undiscovered breaks from the American stock music production resource of Major Records. Almost all the artists on Cinemaphonic are ultra-obscure, with the exception of Walter Murphy (of "A Fifth of Beethoven" from Saturday Night Fever and Xena fame). Their James Brown meets Deodato grooves are simple (as befits their background role), although imaginatively orchestrated. A harpsichord pops up over here, an ARP synth there and all the glissando strings you'd ever need for a "sneaking up behind you" scene slither out of the speakers. Few of the cuts truly stand out as great songs, although I have a soft spot for Nicholas Flagello's "Wailing Wail" and Richard C. Sanders' "Electro Soul." In the end, there is no getting away from the notion that Cinemaphonic is soundtrack music and is best experienced along with some other distraction - like a wild party where you and your friends are drinking heavily and doing the Monkey. (Emperor Norton)