4 May 2021

underrated gems

A totally great collection of grooves with a real range of material – nearly all fresh to our ears, and the kind of record that really makes us sit up and take notice. The set's got a loose approach to the selections – in that it features tracks from American and European sources, and easily blends together tunes from soul, jazz, funk, and easy records – but that's what makes it so great, and so fresh, as the tracks stand wonderfully back to back, sounding like a hip club night at some far-away place, the kind of all-great set that has you keep getting out of your chair, walking up to the DJ, and saying "Sorry to bother you again, but what's that track you're playing?" -DustyGroove

Florian Keller Presents Various – Creative Musicians Vol. 1 – A Collection Of Highly Underrated Gems From 1963 To 1976

1. Orchester Ambros Seelos - Mabusso 2:42
2. Jumping - Charlie Antolini's Power Dozen 3:30
3. Ju-Par Universal Orchestra - Time 3:05
4. James Reese And The Progressions - Let's Go (It's Summertime) 2:48
5. Orchestra John Barry - Highway 101 2:32
6. Dean Parrish - Skate 5:08
7. Lonette - Stop! (Don't Worry About It) 2:26
8. Leonard King And The Soul Messengers - The Barracuda 2:24
9. The Rhoda Scott Trio - Sha-Bazz 6:07
10. The Lyman Woodard Organisation - Creative Musicians 2:38
11. Leon & The Burners - Whiplash 2:24
12. Lillian Hale - Don't Boom Boom 2:44
13. Barbara Lynn - I'm A Good Woman 2:21
14. Willie Tee - Concentrate 3:47
15. Pat Stalworth - Questions (Part I & II) 6:07


'It's time for round two on this project. Again, this compilation is not only about the rarest of the rare, but about outstanding recordings that weren't appreciated well enough the first time they were released, simply because only very few had the opportunity to hear about the thing: very limited pressing quantities, a release on a spoken work or audiophile record or no commercial release at all. Plus, this was on average thirty years ago! This selection lives of the strong energetic quality and individual charm of each track. What you have here is made for listeners, clubs and dancers worldwide, able to feel the difference between things done with heart and devotion - or without.'

'The 10th anniversary reissue of DJ Shadow’s seminal Entroducing album has been getting a lot of press and five-star reviews lately (including on PopMatters). Shadow’s genius is the way he creates fresh, atmospheric hip-hop entirely from sampled records. And the smart money says that Josh Davis has all of the 7" singles featured on Creative Musicians Vol. 2 in his record collection. Now available as a domestic US release two and a half years after its European debut, German DJ Florian Keller’s second bunch of rare groove classics is a hip-hop producer’s dream. It’s also a treasure trove for aspiring indie film directors and regular ol’ music lovers everywhere.

Most people’s experience with funk, if they have any, comes in several sweeping, major-label-sanctioned forms: the sweaty bump’n’grind of James Brown, the wacked-out psychedelia of Mercury/Polygram recording artists like Parliament and the Gap Band, the electro precision of Zapp & Roger and Cameo. Prince has managed to utilize all these sounds in various permutations. Creative Musicians goes beyond and beneath the familiar forms and reveals funk to be as varied a genre as soul or rock. And tying it all together is rhythm, rhythm, rhythm.

The whole paradigm of hip-hop production can be heard in the drumming alone. The tight, steady breakbeats of Bobby Wayne’s “You’re Blowing My Mind” and Family Affair’s “I Had a Friend” are ripe for sampling, if they haven’t been already. The punchy, stuttering snares and rimshots of Pamoja’s “Oooh Baby” can be heard in everything from Happy Mondays to Swizz Beats. Whether it was limited equipment budgets or prescience, the dry, reverb-free recording still sounds badass decades on. And the basslines are simple yet contagious and command you to dance. One listen to Josephine Jones’ coquettish “Candy Man”, for example, will cement that groove in your head for days to come.

The best thing about Creative Musicians, though, is the variety and quality of the entire songs. Funk can often get repetitive, but this 19-song collection never does. Almost every track is a revelation. There’s the 12-bar blues of Betty Barney’s “Momma Momma”, not to mention her Robert Plant-like vocals. Liz McCall’s “Double Determination” has an almost Motown sweetness. That’s followed by Bo Baral’s haunting, primitive reading of “Light My Fire” (yes, that one), re-titled “No Time to Wallow in the Myrrh”. James Lewis’ “Manifesto” is not a Roxy Music cover, but has the same kind of manic energy — complete with wailing sax. Further down the tracklist, Darling Dears’ dreamy, big-sounding “And I Love You” is almost certainly no stranger to Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs. And keep Prince’s “Get Off” in mind when listening to Jimmy Lynch’s smokin’ “Let a Woman Be a Woman and a Man Be a Man”.

Although no precise dates are given in Keller’s otherwise informative, entertaining liner notes, the variety and consistent quality allow tracks from the ’90s to coexist peacefully with the ’70s-heavy lineup. The album flags only at the end, when Keller shows his DJ stripes by closing with a couple bland soul ballads that suffer from funk deficiency. By then, though, you will have had such a good time that you’ll hardly notice.' -John Bergstrom

Florian Keller Presents Various – Creative Musicians Vol. 2 – More highly underrated masterpieces from the Funk Era

1. Jimmy Lynch - Fucking Up 1:59
2. Faruk Green - Faith 2:14
3. Josephine Jones - Candy Man (Edit) 3:34
4. Betty Barney - Momma Momma 2:39
5. Liz McCall - Double Determination 2:31
6. Bo Baral's Excursionists - No Time To Wallow In The Myrrh 3:23
7. Bobby Wayne - You're Blowing My Mind 2:41
8. Ruff Francis - Give Me Mercy 2:29
9. James Lewis - Manifesto 3:48
10. Pamoja - Oooh Baby 3:47
11. Energetics - You Make Me Nothing 2:38
12. Family Affair - I Had A Friend 3:25
13. The Malcouns - Somethin' Going Wrong 3:52
14. Jimmy Lynch - Let A Woman Be A Woman And A Man Be A Man 1:41
15. David Robinson - I'm A Carpenter (Edit) 4:26
16. Darling Dears - And I Love You 3:29
17. Madeline Bell - Love Is All You Need 2:58
18. Joe Marcinkievicz - Tomorrows Time 4:23
19. Frank Hatchett - Galaxy Medley (Edit) 2:57


Florian Keller Presents Various – Creative Musicians (Digital Edition) (24 Tracks)

'It's amazing how these artists never really blew up back in the day.'

1. Orchester Ambros Seelos - Mabusso 2:42
2. Ju-Par Universal Orchestra - Time 3:05
3. James Reese And The Progressions - Let's Go (It's Summertime) 2:48
4. Orchestra John Barry - Highway 101 2:32
5. Dean parrish - Skate 5:08
6. Lonette - Stop! (Don't Worry About It) 2:26
7. Leonard King And The Soul Messengers - The Barracuda 2:24
8. The Lyman Woodard Organisation - Creative Musicians 2:38
9. Leon & The Burners - Whiplash 2:24
10. Lillian Hale - Don't Boom Boom 2:44
11. Willie Tee - Concentrate 3:47
12. Jimmy Lynch - Fucking Up 1:59
13. Frank Hatchett - Galaxy Medley 2:57
14. Faruk Green - Faith 2:14
15. Josephine Jones - Candy Man (Edit) 3:34
16. Betty Barney - Momma Momma 2:39
17. Liz McCall - Double Determination 2:31
18. Bobby Wayne - You're Blowing My Mind 2:41
19. Ruff Francis - Give Me Mercy 2:30
20. James Lewis - Manifesto 3:48
21. The Malcouns - Somethin' Going Wrong 3:52
22. Jimmy Lynch - Let A Woman Be A Woman And A Man Be A Man 1:41
23. David Robinson - I'm a carpenter (Edit) 4:27
24. Joe Marcinkievicz - Tomorrows Time 4:23