Various artists album review
Out On A Funky Trip
Motion Records
January 9 - 2005

Tracking list

  1. Lyn Taitt - Stepping Up
  2. Generation Gap - War
  3. Jablonski - Soul Makossa
  4. Skin Flesh And Bones - Having A Party
  5. The Maytals - Who Knows Better (Version)
  6. Lyn Taitt - Out On A Funky Trip
  7. Tommy Mccook - Bubble Strut
  8. Barry Waite & Ltd - Funky Sting Part 1
  9. King Cole - Knock Three Times
  10. Skin Flesh & Bones - You Haven't Done Nothing (Version)
  11. Skin Flesh & Bones - Reggae Stomp
  12. Skin Flesh & Bones - Reggae Stomp Dub
  13. Eric 'Rickenbacker' Frater - Last Date Part 1
  14. Barry Waite & Ltd - Funky Sting Part 2
  15. Charley Ace - Childhood Days
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5

London based Motion Records has unleashed their latest compilation set "Out On A Funky Trip" which is subtitled 'Soul, Funk and Reggae at Randy's 1970-1975'. Whereas a couple of recent compilations have featured reggae covers of soul tunes, this set primarily features funk and soul, many of the tunes sounding more New York than Jamaica. The cd is part of Motion's 'Funky Trip' project and consists of two 10-inch EPs, this CD album, plus a special collector's LP pressed on 180gm vinyl with a gatefold sleeve. There are slight differences in the tracklists of the CD and LP. Full details can be found on the company's website www.motionrecords.com.
The CD presents a collection of rare funk, soul and soulful reggae cuts, some of them are hugely collectable rarities. The majority of the tracks were recorded at Kingston's legendary Randy's Studio, some produced by the late Vincent Chin and the rest by Clive Chin. The Lynn Taitt cuts were produced by Victor Chin in New York. The studio, also known as Studio 17, was a cornerstone of Jamaican popular music during reggae's most crucial era, the 1970s. It was founded by Vincent Chin, son of a Chinese immigrant. His eldest son Clive started cutting tunes while still at High School. In the early 1970s Jamaica was awash with funk and soul and soon the Jamaican production houses were into covering the most popular tunes. The regular in-house session band was Skin, Flesh & Bones led by drummer Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar. Other influential session bands which played on a regular basis at Randy's were The Now Generation, Soul Syndicate and Generation Gap, the latter being present here with their version of the Edwin Starr classic War. Although reggae was the dominant force in Jamaican music at the time, there was (and still is) a demand for covers of the soul, funk and disco tunes heard at dances and on the radio. But with the 1973 release of Lynn Taitt's wicked funky groovin' instrumental Stepping Up, backed with Out On A Funky Trip, Taitt broke the mould by coming up with two compositions of his own that bear comparison with any American funksters of that time like The Meters or The JBs. With "Stepping Up" Taitt fully shows his craftmanship and his ability to excel in a funk tune. Also included on the album are Jablonski's Soul Makossa, possibly the wildest and most dancefloor friendly version of this classic tune from Manu Dibangu, who fused jazz and African riddims with his funky saxophone. Funk fans Skin, Flesh & Bones provide three of their trademark floor fillers, and Barry Waite & Ltd's Funky Sting (Parts 1 & 2) are sparse wah wah funk gems, from a 7-inch much sought after by collectors. The instrumental take of Toots & The Maytals' lesser known tune Who Knows Better offers Memphis flavoured horn stabs and a tight fat riddim section. Studio One guitar player Eric 'Rickenbacker' Frater is responsible for the (previously unreleased) sentimal instrumental called Last Date Part 1. The closing tune Childhood Days sees deejay Charlie Ace sending up the soulful talk-over genre to fine effect and features Cynthia Richards and Hortense Ellis on harmony.
Worthwhile checking out!

Teacher & Mr. T.