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Preview: monkeyfunk


this is southern audioblog containing the finest funk, hip hop, breaks, beats and samples..check

Updated: 2018-03-06T13:10:11.625+00:00


under the influence mix, may 2008



I've set up a monthly mixtape over at my new blog, ultra-colour.

This is a little sidestep away from posting up individual tracks which I found a little wearing, and also because I'm hooked on long-players at the moment. In these distracted times, and in the iTunes zeitgeist, bitty individual songs are littered everywhere, and I for one really miss the structure and discipline of mixes and albums. I'll still post up occasional tracks here though.

here's the first mix of hopefully many - good for your sunday morning : some gospel, folk, jazz, psyche and a little rocksteady. tracklisting to follow.

click the links below to download.

mp3 file

stuffit file
105mb, will download straight to your computer, but you'll need the latest stuffit to here for windows free expander and here for mac

feedback is everything !

Jimmy Reed - Christmas Present Blues



Well, a little seasonal sign off by the mighty Jimmy Reed for you, the incomparable and utterly shitfaced flip of his tough blues, "Crying Blind".

Happy Christmas all.

I've got a little compilation waiting in the wings for 2008, plus a Jazz collection, and some really heavy jump blues that is currently causing a redhot dancefloor down here.

Jimmy Reed - Christmas Present Blues mp3

Still Listening ?



An enforced absence due to some heavy work, but we're almost back...Thankyou for your patience, and the charming emails asking for some more.

Post up a note if you want early notification of a couple of new mixes we're prepping up - because one they're gone, they're gone. or drop me a line - h u g o at m o n k e y f u n k d o t n e t

Incidentally, what do you reckon about me putting up a mix once a month instead of a track once a week ? Good, bad, indifferent ?




James Brown - World mp3

The devil now really has got all the best tunes.

Happy Christmas



Monkeyfunk Winter Mix mp3

Album Cover PDF

A little mix designed for the long Christmas drive...Happy Christmas, safe journey.

If you like it, I'd appreciate it if you could sling a few dollars or pounds into this paypal account :

It's a paypal fund for the family of Gloucester-based funk and soul DJ and fan, Simon Bendle who was tragically murdered a week ago.


Blog Roll (of Honour)


It's been awhile since I let you know who I tune into. Blogs come and go so fast, sometimes it's hard to know who's left, or for that matter who you're missing. Apologies therefore to those I've left out.Let's start with the grandaddy's, the hardest working people out there, who certainly influenced me to set this up. These three rule supreme :Soul Sides : Oliver Wang continues an extraordinary run that for many years has been the benchmark for music bloggers everywhere : great music, tight liner notes, sharp contributors, and ever-regular posting. Chasing top soul and fine hiphop, we wish him well for his recent move across the West Coast, and would still like to prise the Mary Lou 45 out of his hands.Funky 16 Corners : Larry Grogan knows music. If you put him and Martin Soulgeneration together in a room armed with a bunch of their New Orleans 45's, then my friend you would have a ton of knowledge...Home Of The Groove : ...and if you added Dan Phillips, then you would have one hell of a party. Again, favouring that supertough New Orleans R&B sound, Dan's blog continues to open ears with killer sounds.Moving to a more diverse sound, these bloggers continue to surprise :Number One Songs In Heaven : Lee's dual interests of music and design come together in one of the prettiest of blogs, and always has an interesting range of musical styles. Plus he's a Chelsea boy.Aurgasm : Paul Irish brings us "your favourite music you've never heard" - a mix of everything from popcorn soul, edgy electronica, Norwegian folk, French pop. Prepare to be surprised.Freemotion Hiphop : Oustanding hiphop blog, and again scores major points on looks, let alone sounds. Currently thinking about chucking it all in, head over, and try to convince them otherwise.Earfuzz : A fine example of a collective of conbtributors making a blog work - not only do you hear the most diverse of sounds, but also ensures the blog's survival. Heads up for the hard workers, Maru, Junior, Matt W, Still Life et al.Diddywah : Adam has killer taste in music, tracing strong 60's rock and soul, including fellow postee Tim Rose. So good you can even forgive his recent diversion into Yacht Rock.Funk & Soul : A label scan, the track , maybe a cursory comment from contributors Pete Beaver, Nick Cope, Euan Fryer, Brent Goodsell & Others. But with music this good, and often rare, you should be grateful for scraps. The Of Mirror Eye : Currently hosting some wonderful gospel funk from Numero Group's recent releases, and has a keen ear for some leftfield soul, jazz and psyche. One to watch.Soul Shower : AK's blog maybe veers a little close to the mainline for me, but there's some good knowledge and sounds being dropped here.The B Side : Red Kelly's blog is all about the flip, charting the best flips of the greatest records, and favouring more of that soul and funk we love, including recent posts on Barbara George, The Meters, Charles Brimmer and the mighty Bennie Spellman. Great concept, great music, terrible banner.[...]

Thanks all


...For your generous comments both on this blog and privately re. the summer comp. Glad it hit the spot, and full respect to The Singleman Affair who have garnered many intrigued customers, and who's forthcoming album promises great things, if you're a fan of that fuzzy acoustic Tim Hardin soaked sound.

I'm out for a few weeks : a rough, torrid summer that has seen my father go into intensive care, and thankfully re-emerge has meant less posts for you lucky people. Meantime, you might want to head to Moistworks, who have posted consistently interesting tracks for many a year now, not least Miriam Makeba's heavyweight Quit It.

See you in a fortnight. Meantime this is what the last of my summer will sound like.

1. Quit It - Miriam Makeba
2. An Earthquakes Coming - Black Velvet
3. Head And Heart John Martyn
4. Sirata Habib Koite
5. In The Name Of Love Kenny Rankin
6. No Expectations The Rolling Stones
7. Helpless Buffy Sainte-Marie
8. Didn't I Darondo
9. Midnight Confessions Phyllis Dillon
10. 10. Jitterbug Waltz Dizzy Gillespie
11. Reasons Minnie Ripperton
12. Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause For Your Stepmother! Sufjan Stevens
13. Eyelids in Light The Singleman Affair
14. The Lamb Ran Away With the Crown Judee Sill
15. The One I Love Ken Boothe
16. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right [Demo-Version] Bob Dylan
17. Jewel of the Evening Kelley Stoltz
18. Sinner Man Annette Clarke
19. The Queen's Suite: The Single Petal of a Rose Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
20. Moonshiner -Tim Hardin

Summer Comp !



Some fuzzy jazz, soul and good Monday morning stuff. All Gone.

Johnny Jenkins RIP



mp3 removed

Johnny Jenkins, left-handed guitar ace, close friend of Otis Redding, and inspiration to Jimi Hendrix died on the 30th of June. 

Obit, from bluebytes :

"Jenkins' band, the Pinetoppers, was the stuff of local legend during the late 50s and early 60s and featured a young Otis Redding as lead vocalist. Otis, who was also serving as Johnny's valet, recorded his first hit, "These Arms of Mine" (with Jenkins on guitar), using the remainder of a Jenkins session for Stax Records in 1962.

Stax first envisioned Redding and Jenkins as a duo (Otis on vocals, Johnny on guitar), but Jenkins declined, ironically, because he didn't like air travel.Jenkins' guitar work and showmanship also left a lasting impression on a young Jimi Hendrix, who caught his act while visiting relatives in the Macon area.

In 1970, Jenkins recorded Ton Ton Macoute, accompanied by assorted members of the Allman Brothers (some of the tracks were originally intended for a Duane Allman solo effort). It received rave reviews, but Capricorn was shifting it's focus to the suddenly successful Allmans. Jenkins recorded another album in 1975 which was never released and, frustrated by the music business, he returned to Macon to be with his family. In 1996, Jenkins resurfaced to record Blessed Blues on the newly reformed Capricorn label. This effort, more blues-based than his first, was nominated for a Handy Award. Several other albums followed."

I Walk on Gilded Splinters, his dark voodoo funk from the afore-mentioned Ton Ton Macoute features the heavy slide guitar from a young Duane Allman, and is his masterpiece. Memorably covered by Paul Weller, and sampled for Beck's breakout hit "Loser". RIP

Farewell to the Black Stars



mp3 removed

Ghana were finally knocked out of the world cup yesterday by a lacklustre Brazil, despite spending what felt like 70% of the game in their half. Lacking their midfield general Michael Essien, and suffering Asamoah Gyan's sending-off they still showed that it is only a matter of time before an African team will win the tournament, and I cannot wait for that day to come.

Ghana's proclaimed "King of Highlife" ET Mensah was the superstar of the Ghanian music scene for the best part of 35 years, eclipsing all in his wake, and memorably performing with Louis Armstrong at the ceremony for Ghanian independance form British rule. 

By the early 60's, US soul and R&B had wildfired around the world, hotwiring with mento and calypso to spark the birth of Ska and nascent Reggae in Jamaica, and defibrillating the skiffle and folk scenes in Britain to ignite the rhythm and blues scene.

Washing up on the shores of Africa, it's snapping breaks, insistent riffing and crafted Western structures would in turn add to the already potent mix of hot jazz, afrocuban rhythm's and tribal folk songs that formed the basis of highlife, to form a whole new sound of funk, fusion and soul - afrobeat.

I'm only starting to find my way into this sound, and at times it's like standing on the precipice and staring into an abyss. However, with a couple of decent guides, you can start to get the picture.

Many thanks to Duncan Brooker for this one. And see you in 4 years, Black Stars.



I'm prepping a summer compilation at the moment - some jazz, dub, soul and other indefinables, perfect to accompany a hot day with a cool breeze.

Like the last comps, it'll be on a first come first served basis, as I've only got 20 GB of bandwidth a month. But if you want an early head-up on it, drop me a line (hugo at, replace the at with @), and I'll give you advance warning for when to expect it. I'll use the email for this purpose alone, unless you want to opt on for periodic updates....

RIP Billy Preston - It's Alright Ma...



mp3 removed

Billy Preston died yesterday. A master of driving keyboard and fierce hammond, Billy's early breaks with Ray Charles and Little Richard brought him into contact with George Harrison, who promptly signed him to Apple, and then hired him for the Beatles' Let It Be album sessions, and rooftop gig.

Preston recorded a bunch of albums in the years following, often a long way from his R&B roots, and often struggling to catch up with the changing sounds of black music ; just the man, then, to be hired by the Rolling Stones for their honky take on disco, "Miss You", on which Preston's boozy Rhodes lights the fuse.

A familiar tale of drink, drugs, fraud and moral charges through the late eighties and nineties wound up with some kind of redemption recently. Preston recently toured with Clapton, The Funk Brothers, Steve Winwood, and even recently appeared on the US TV's show Pop Idol, before signing off on the sessions for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers' recent album, and Neil Diamond's Twelve Songs.

Preston's mean take on "It's Alright Ma" is taken from his otherwise expendable "Everybody Likes Some Kind Of Music", though I'm a huge fan of his "Billy's Bag" 45, available for peanuts, and sporting a tremendous sprawling hammond take on John Barry's flip on the reverse.

Oscar Sulley - Bukom Mashie



mp3 removed

And if you don't know this, then my friend you are in for some serious thrills.

Ghana Soundz 1& 2 available here
Afro Rock vol 1 available here
Benn Loxo Du taccu's perennially excellent African blog here

Photo : Malick Sidibé's "Fou De Disque", 1973, all rights reserved by the photographer.

Carl Dawkins - Satisfaction



mp3 removed

Christopher Porter's excellent blog The Suburbs Are Killing Us ran a post on Carl Dawkins last year, singling out his tracks "Dr. Rodney" and "Pluggy Brown".

He quoted from Colby Graham's Vintage Boss reggae fanzine, which had an interview with Dawkins from 2002 :

"I'm a user but not an abuser of no substance that society tends to push people aside for, when they are users too...My father [Joshua Dawkins] was a drummer with Sonny Bradshaw Big Band, and I used to go with him to help pack up the drum set when he played at Shady Grove and Glass Bucket. At that time he was based in Spanish Town. My Daddy eventually left for England and then to Germany..... I remember I was living in Allman Town when we had the 1951 storm [Hurricane Charlie], and my closet friends were the Sterling brothers [including the Skatalites' Lester]. I went to Allman Town Primary and then to Senior (Kingston) School where I would sing at school concerts along with the likes of Slim Smith, Marcia Griffiths, and Samuel Barton.

"I used to play football and cricket, and I was very close to Slim Smith [later of the Uniques], Fredrick Waite [the father of bassist Patrick and drummer Freddie Jr. of Musical Youth], Winston Riley [of "Stalag" riddim fame], and Franklyn White. That group eventually became the Techniques. I wasn't a member of the group, but we were all close and I helped to choreograph their stage act in the mid-'60s.... Slim Smith was my idol, and whenever the group finished doing their thing at the end of each day I would take the guitar and go off on my own and play. As boys we used to go down to Hunts Bay by the sea, and one evening when we were returning home the group went to audition for J.J. [producer Karl Johnson]. While there Slim Smith said to him that I have some 'hit songs.' He laughed at me like Santa Claus: ho ho ho! I sang my first songs, one called "Run Your Shoes Off," then "Baby I Love You' and 'Hard Times.' Man! J.J. loved the songs and they became hits."

"I went to Richmond Farm Prison, and lots of other artists were there, too, for smoking the weed. You had Lord Creator, Toots Hibbert, Bunny Wailer, and more. At Richmond we had celebrity status, and we wrote lots of songs while there."

"One day we played some football and smoked weed, and I felt nice. I had a guitar and I started playing with my friend Milton. I said to him that my heart was beating fast and Milton started making a beating sound. So I said to the weed man, 'Boy, mi satisfy, tell you the truthfully, you weed good yu see.' I then put words to the event and came up with 'Satisfaction.'"

Tim Rose - Morning Dew



In the rock pantheon, two of the most covered songs remain "Hey Joe", and "Morning Dew". And Tim Rose claims he wrote both.

He didn't. "Hey Joe" was probably penned in the early 60's by Billy Roberts, but when Rose performed his edgy, lethally slowed down version at the Cafe Wha? in New York to an impressionable Jimi Hendrix, and subsequently watched as Hendrix sold buckets of a similarly slowed down version, Rose made an audacious claim as author : he re-recorded Hey Joe in the 1990s, re-titling it Blue Steel .44 and again claimed he wrote it, influenced by similar folk songs from his childhood.

Morning Dew was originally penned by Bonnie Dobson. She leant it to Fred Neil, who took it round the New York circuit - and Rose snapped off the smooth folky melancholic edges, replacing it with a snarling, apocalyptic, reverb saturated blast. He somehow managed to secure a writing credit through this appropriation, and the song went on to be covered ad nauseam till the present day. Worthy mentions go to the ever dependable Nancy & Lee.

For our purposes, there's one big detail here. It's a great song, but it's the breakbeat drumming and colossal chops that counts : stand up one Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.

mp3 removed

Mandingo - Black Rite



mp3 removed

In the 1970's, a bunch of no-nothing money-grabbing exploitationist executives from EMI sat around and took a long look at where the tidemark was. Back then bands like Osibisa, artists like Manu DiBango and Fela were at the vanguard of an African diaspora, that was being latched onto in the mainstream. Not in any grand way -this was really just an extension of the 50's exotica scene, a quick plunder of a sound in response to a vogue, incongruosly perpetrated by middle-aged jingle writers in leafy North London suburbs.

Keen to capitalise, the EMI boys pulled in a large stash of the prodigiously talented session musician scene, threw them in Abbey Road, locked the doors, and told them and their ringleader Geoff Love to knock out some African ripoff schtick. The result was four albums, respectable sales, and a monumentally badly packaged "Best Of", pictured.


Out of this misguided nonsense came the monstrous "Black Rite". Snarling fuzz guitar, reams of percussion, huge horns and a downright nasty groove. Who's playing here is unclear - but Martin Denny, Alan Hawkshaw and others have largely been fingered by the estimable Vinyl Vultures.

Ten or so years ago this stuff had a huge resurgence - the Easy scene saw records like this dusted down, sold for healthy sums, and consequently clutched to many a grown man's chest. First and foremost amongst those was Martin Green, who featured this on the seminal compilation The Sound Gallery. For anyone interested in this sound, this is the touchstone compilation.



Sorry for the total lack of posting here. My bandwidth was exceeded 20 days ago, so I've just been holding out till next month's allowance kicks in. 

if you're not already, you should be keeping a close eye on Mr Grogan's magnificent 
Funky 16 Corners Blog. There's none finer, and right now he's hosting one of the killer 70's funk 45's, Johnny Otis' Watts Breakaway.

See you soon.


There, all gone now. 20GB in 36hrs flat. You sure move fast - but did you like ?

For those that missed it, it may reappear phoenix like, if come through with the goods, or if any nice person out there wants to donate space.

Till then

The Next Installment : Monkeyfunk March compilation



All Gone
Download album artwork

Thanks for all your comments, and notes on both the quality of the music, and of the sound. Duly noted.

So here's some psych, french pop, R&B, soul, and other bits and pieces...bundled into over an hour long mix, 192 kbps MP3, with a few clips and spoken pieces bridging the gaps.

Again, my bandwidth is probably only as good as it lasts, so if in doubt, stream it, rather than downloading it.

Always appreciate the feedback, so pass 'em on.

jacques dutronc - le responsable
chris farlowe - moaning
kaleidoscope - lie to me
rosco gordon (with dewey phillips intro) - booted
baby ray - there's something on your mind
fats domino - if you don't know what love is
wynonie harris - lovin' machine
happyland singers - swingin' on the golden gate
little willie john - leave my kitten alone
ernie k. doe - gotta pack my bag
dale hawkins - tornado
beverly pitts - up and down
george benson - footin' it
jj cale - let me do it to you
grant green - windjammer
jerry coombs band - i've been there
percy mayfield - louisiana
the apostles - six pack
radio city (feat.bajka) - the hop
veneice - 18 days
blues busters & byron lee - i won't let you go
lucille borden - a tribute to the men of the sixties
chick carbo - two tables away
crescents - come back baby
champion jack dupree - strollin
carl dawkins - satisfaction
junior parker - tomorrow never knows
the revells - midnight stroll
toussaint mccall (with wolfman jack outro) - nothing takes the place of you



Last Orders for the warmup


Thanks all for the feedback - for those that missed it, here's the mix in full again, now that the bandwidth has eased up a bit...

Fresh music coming at the end of the week...

Mix ?


So, 60 of you downloaded the mix, and yet not one piece of feedback ?

Monkeyfunk : The Warmup album



All Gone

Thanks for your patience. Thought I'd try a little something for you, it's a warmup CD I did for a friend. Easy, langurous soul, a bit of lazy jazz, and some other aural goodness.

In order to stave off bandwidth detonation, it's on a first come first served basis, so help yourself. Feedback is important on this, as i'll only do this again if you all want it, so let me know.

Enjoy. And oh, I put the wrong version of "Sneaking Up on You" on - it should have been Elaine Delmar's.

Wilson Pickett - Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9 & RIP



Wilson Pickett - Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9 (Pts.1&2) mp3

Wilson Pickett sadly died of a heart attack last Thursday, January 19th, aged 64.

This giant of the soul scene was born in Alabama. Raised in gospel, he picked up early work with the Falcons, before signing as a solo artist with Atlantic Records in 1965. Nicknamed "Wicked" Pickett by Jerry Wexler, he moved to detroit, and then Memphis, where he was one of the foremost front men for the Stax sound, backed by the MG's. Co-writing "In The Midnight Hour" with Steve Cropper brought him overnight fame, and his sessions with both the Stax and Muscle Shoals studios developed a roster of gritty, sweaty out-and-out soul shouters that blazed a trail for contemporaries and those who tried to follow.

Live performances garnered equal fame for the same level of intensity and hord working showmanship. With a catalogue that now included "Land of 1000 Dances," "Mustang Sally," and "Funky Broadway", Pickett soared, until an ill-advised signing with RCA started a dwindling of hits, and consequently fortunes.

Before that happened, Pickett worked with Gamble & Huff at Sigma Sound Studios, where Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9 was laid down in all it's sweat-drenched, dirty glory in 1970.



Serge Gainsbourg - Requiem Pour Un Con Video



link removed

Bit of a treat for you, and for a limited time only, it's from the Serge Gainsbourg DVD that's out at the moment - little more than a collection of his music videos, or at least disc 1 is. This is a clip taken from the 1968 movie Le Pacha, and it is magfuckinificent.