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Preview: Australian jazz, funk, rock and soul records

Aussie Funk



DJ Kinetic's ode to all things Aussie and funky



Updated: 2018-03-06T23:14:37.860+11:00

 



Swingshift

2017-12-24T13:16:44.114+11:00

Alright people, settle down. I know it's been ages since I last posted, but I have this new thing called a life and it needs to be lived. Truth be told, I have done much less record-related stuff (except for DJing, that is) this year than in years gone by. But hey, I'm still about to bring the goods. Enter Swingshift: a little-known band from Perth who released a single or two on the Clarion label in the late 60s. They also, however, got funky on this obscure early 1970s single released on MCA. Check out the soulful vocals of one Joy Mulligan who kills it on this. Shit really gets hot when it breaks down to just the drums and her singing over the top towards the end. This is the B-side I've uploaded for you here, but the A-side isn't too shabby either.

Swingshift - Make It, Break It, Take It / Leaving Right Away (MCA Records, 1970s)













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Back On The Street Again

2017-01-17T19:12:18.707+11:00

So... this is happening. After what seems like an eternity (and was actually at least two years in the making), the first compilation of vintage Australian soul and funk will be released on the only format that matters. Following in the footsteps of the Respect Overdue series, Peter Pasqual and I worked on compiling a stellar array of Australian funk that needed to be released on wax. The result is a predominant foray into the Festival and related label vaults, with a smattering of material sourced from other labels as well. Hopefully the liner notes are OK... I wrote them about 18 months ago and have no recollection of what they say!  Of particular note on this release is the inclusion of two crucial Australian tunes that make this compilation essential: this ridiculous synthy funk tune by Brute Force and His Drum, and perhaps the best disco release ever recorded in this country. Similar compilations released by Warner have been highly limited and are now sold out, so maybe get your pre-order on. For a limited time you can also stream the 2SER radio show where Paris Groovescooter and I talk about and play some great tunes from this album and my collection of rare 7" singles!  Discogs Link  [...]



Terry Hannagan

2017-02-04T21:22:25.718+11:00























I won't front: I won this on ebay from a record dealer here in Sydney that I also buy a lot of stuff from at the various record fairs. When I paid him in person for this tune, I loosely recall him telling me that Terry had won some kind of song competition on Double Jay and got this EP recorded and pressed as a result. Or I might have imagined that. Either way, this 4-track white label release isn't that great except for the song I've uploaded. I have never seen or heard of another copy of this record. I presume it's this guy. Are there any other Aussie 70s tunes that feature slap bass? I can't think of any. Have a listen here.



Coco York

2017-02-04T21:23:04.789+11:00

Coco York – Come On Everybody (Janda, 1981)  
Coco York joins the ranks of Joyce Hurley, David Baker and other Americans that decided, 'hey, if I move to Australia, I can successfully transition from small-fish-in-big-pond to big-fish-in-small-pond.' You following me? Good. The secondary title of this record is “Coco York sings John Saad songs with the Serge Ermoll Ensemble.” And if you're a seasoned Australian jazz fan, then you'll be immediately surprised by how 'not-out' this jazz music really is (Serge was virtually the Sun Ra of the Australian scene). Far from crazy out jazz with no point of reference, the sound here is pretty squarely centred on the dance floor, with cut after cut of what can best be summarised as disco-jazz-funk. Sure there's a ballad and a blusey number, but they're the exceptions. This is quality stuff too, and the title cut wouldn't sound out of place on a 12” single. And clocking in at over eight minutes, it almost is! Great stuff, and still sitting pretty far under the radar of dope Australian records that people are checking for. My advice is, check for it!
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Discogs Link



Meem's Beats In The Depth Re-edit

2016-03-09T10:23:42.936+11:00

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program with this special bulletin. The That's Not An Edit crew are a group of Australian DJs and music producers that have been dishing out their best re-edits for free on the internet for some time now. While the bulk of their output comprises reworked material from overseas, their most recent volume piqued the interest of this blogger for a notable reason: Sydney DJ, producer and all-round nice guy Meem decided he wanted to re-edit an Australian tune this time. Having heard the Hiroshi & Claudia album thanks to the labors of this humble crate digger, he asked if I'd provide him with a suitable recording of Beats In The Depth. Well, provide it I did, and the result is a fantastic subtle reworking of a great and very rare piece of disco-funk. Shouts to Meem for the flattering naming of the tune! Enjoy and download!
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Aussie Funk Megamix

2016-02-08T23:04:57.192+11:00

For those of you who have the attention span of a goldfish AKA all of generation Y, here's five minutes or less of break beat records with a visual aid to keep you sufficiently stimulated throughout.

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DJ Mix - Australian Beats & Breaks

2016-01-28T13:14:10.322+11:00

Privileged to have worked with my man Johnny Bell AKA DJ MK-1 on this mix of funky Australian music. Produced and released fresh for Australia Day 2016! Download or stream it through the link below





Zillanova

2016-03-28T15:05:25.656+11:00
























Ridiculously great soul from the increasingly reliable Hope Street Recordings. The fact that both artist and label are based in Melbourne should come as no surprise by now, as the south-eastern state has cemented itself as the capital of Australian soul and funk. Given this came out three years ago, you might almost be forgiven for thinking I only just discovered this record, but nothing could be further from the truth. Besides, c'mon now: who do you think you're dealing with here? I bought this at the time of release, but every time I listen to the A-side of this 45 I am struck anew and almost overwhelmed by how emotive and breathtaking a piece of soul music this is. It's just epic. Cisco Tavares and the Zillanova Rhythm Combination fit together like hand and glove to deliver what sounds like a lost northern soul classic, helping each other build crescendo after crescendo of soul euphoria. "Who's Cisco Tavares" I hear you ask? And, "did this kid name himself after the American soul group The Tavares?" No actually, he's the son of one of the original members! Well, it certainly explains something.
 
Unfortunately, this is one of those occasions on which the light shines so brightly from the A-side that any interest I might have in flipping this record over is eclipsed. The fact that this record is still available and not sold-out long ago and exchanging exaggerated amounts between collectors is almost criminal. Buy it now if you don't have it. Continuing not to own this record is, dare I say, DJ-suicide.

Zillanova - Suicide / The Time It Takes (Hope Street Recodings, 2013) 

Discogs Link



Moir Sisters

2016-01-03T19:03:21.956+11:00

Jean, Margot and Leslie moved from Scotland to Australia in the early 1960s. In the 1970s they formed their vocal trio, The Moir Sisters, apparently as a bit of a joke to start with. After they won a talent contest they got a bit more serious and released their first album in Australia in 1975. It was recorded in Melbourne at Armstrong’s Studio between November and December the year before. The album was recorded following the chart success of their 1974 hit single Good Morning How Are You. The song is feel-good sugary pop and it sold quite well. What’s significant is that it features their trademark high pitched harmony that’s evident on some of their better tunes. While Wikipedia credits the production of their entire album to Ivan Hutchinson, the album was actually produced by Ian Miler. Hutchinson only arranged their hit single with the rest of the album arranged by Geoff Hales. But it was the sisters who composed all the songs. The musicians featured on the album are a seminal bunch. Phil Manning on guitar, Brian Brown on sax, Andrew Vance on Hammond and the sisters themselves playing acoustic guitar and percussion. The Moir Sisters - Lost-Somewhere Beyond Harmony(EMI, 1975)  Discogs link  The music spans a reasonable range of styles. My first cursory listen to the record didn’t extend much beyond the noteworthy breakbeat intro on one of the songs. It took me a while to go back to this record and listen more carefully, which is when I noticed this brooding soul number called Stop The Music. This song ranks in my opinion as one of the best examples of funky soul produced in Australia during the 1970s. It was also included as the B-side to their 7 inch single Harmony Blues. This 45 remains far harder to find than the already sought-after album. Discogs Link [...]



Jackie Orszaczky

2015-09-24T18:40:01.324+10:00


















Jackie Orszaczky & The Marcia Hines Band - Let's Go And Make It / Friend Of Mrs. S. (Wizard, 1976)
During the mid-1970s, Jackie Orszaczky was the leader of Marcia Hines' backing band. In 1976, Jackie released this 45 on the same label that produced Marcia's first album, with two fantastic tunes. The A-side is a killer bit of disco-funk with male lead vocals and driving horns. As the chorus builds to a crescendo towards the end, Marcia's voice can be heard screaming in the background above the backing singers. The B-side of the single features the break-beat laden jazz-funk tune that is the crown jewel of Jackie's debut solo LP. Friend Of Mrs. S. stutters into existence with a snapping snare-heavy drum break before Jackie's bass draws our attention away. A hard-hitting double sider of Aussie Funk that's very tough to find.

Discogs Link




Brute Force And His Drum

2015-09-24T13:14:45.397+10:00



















Brute Force and his Drum - Weird and Wonderful (Copperfield, 1974)  
Brute Force and his Drum is one of the weirdest Australian singles I have ever come across. The 'group' consisted only of John J. Francis and drummer Jim Yonge. Both sides of this single follow the same basic formula: frenetic percussion, crazy synths and insane mutterings. Go ahead and listen for yourself and you'll see what I'm talking about! The results are utterly fantastic, and it's virtually criminal that they didn't release anything else. I was so convinced of this upon first hearing this single that I tracked down the studio engineer responsible for the recording. After a little back and forth, he mailed me a CD of half a dozen tracks from their one and only recording session. By the time it arrived I was salivating with anticipation, but when I pressed play, it may have been one of the biggest let downs of my life. I'm not sure what accounts for the vast difference between the brilliance of both sides of this single and the utter idiocy of what that compact disc contained, but I think it best not to dwell on it. Check out both sides of this brilliant piece of Australian music on YouTube: Weird and Wonderful, and the flip-side simply titled Strange.




Silver Bump Band

2017-01-17T19:09:26.356+11:00



















Silver Bump Band - Feeling Silver / Feelin' Funky (Candle, 1970s)
Candle was a Tasmanian record label that operated throughout the 1970s releasing numerous records by local artists. Most of the material was rock or folk related. This rare 7 inch is, in my opinion, the funkiest thing released by the label. Both sides are great, but I had to choose one, so I went with the title most aptly named for this blog. This is the B-side to the flip which is entitled Feeling Silver, a tune recorded as an ad for Silvers Disco which was a night club in Hobart. The players are as follows: Ross Sutton on drums, Robyn Moore on vocals, Ian Clyne on piano, and probably Lynn Thomas on guitar since he also composed the tune. Peace to Raimondo for the info on the players! Check out YouTube to listen to the tune!

Discogs Link



Hank Meadows

2015-09-24T12:36:46.496+10:00



















Hank Meadows - Donna's Samba (RCA, 1975)
I picked this little ditty up on a recent record digging adventure. While the A-side adorning this black medallion is awful (how often does that happen, right?), the title of the flip caught my attention and was just interesting enough for me to relinquish the $2 required for purchase. The rule to learn here is this: always purchase records with two-word titles when the first word is a women's name and the second word is a kind of dance. I'm sure there are numerous other example's of great songs that conform to my newly devised formula, but none spring to mind. So, the song starts with a brisk drum break and warm bassline and leads into a rather cheery guitar melody. There's cool little drum breaks in between a bunch of cool solos featuring flute, saxophone and harp. Sounds a little daggy when explained this way, but I like it. Hank was a country musician for the most part, and released an album from which this single was lifted. According to his daughter Donna, the tune was named after her and it is the only original composition featured on the album. Check out this old Sydney Morning Herald. Have a listen on the YouTubez!. Hank is still gigging around the place as a jazz harpist.




RareCollections

2014-09-29T22:52:32.231+10:00


The ABC's RaeCollections radio program has been on the radar of this blogger for some time now. Their amazing in-depth programs detailing the backgrounds and histories of important Australian figures are, quite simply, groundbreaking. Their pioneering programs on lost Australian artists like Leong Lau, Sven Libaek and Peter Cupples are essential listening for fans of Australian music.

More recently, the father and son team that delivers this fantastic program have been delving into the collections of serious record collectors who have been squirreling away the best of this country's musical artifacts for their own purposes. Earlier this year the Jordies raided the crates of legendary Australian hip-hop producer and DJ Katalyst. Now, apparently, it's my turn. 

Check out my RareCollections interview here!
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Kerrie Biddell

2014-09-22T20:23:47.022+10:00

With the passing of Kerrie Biddell only last week, I thought it was high time that she got the props she deserved on Australia’s foremost authority on all things Aussie and funky. Biddell was born in Kings Cross and trained as a piano player. But after crippling illness that forced her to give up the instrument, she found that she could actually sing pretty well too! After some club work she joined the renowned Australian 60s group The Affair who released two singles. One of these sides would find its way into Biddell’s repertoire and is the centrepiece of her first solo album. Her reading of Sly Stone’s Sing a Simple Song stands out as one of the strongest Australian funk cover versions released in the 1970s. The original and much more guitar-driven version recorded by The Affair is distinctly different to the more pop-styled funk interpretation later recorded on her 1973 debut album. Her career blossomed in the early 1970s as she worked seemingly endlessly as a session singer. Her name can be found on dozens of records form the era, including work by Tony Ansell, Rene Geyer and John Sangster to name a few.  By 1975, Kerrie had released a second album. This record delved deeper into funk and soul territory, with a wider range of artists interpreted. Her impressive take on Bill Wither’s Harlem is worth the price of admission, but the album boasts a Frank Zappa tune and two Ashford & Simpson numbers as well. In the same year she featured on The Daly-Wilson Big Band’s best album, with her name emblazoned on the cover and a roaring array of upbeat funk and soul tunes to boot. Two years’ later she released a third record with the jazz-fusion band Compared To What. The record was Australia’s first direct-to-disc recording, and again took strides into new sounds and vocal territories. For me, her signature tune will always be her dynamic delivery of the Sly Stone classic, Sing a Simple Song. The album version should be readily available on YouTube, but here for your listening pleasure is the rare version recorded with her band The Affair. The Affair – Sing A Simple Song allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ljr74cmBtDQ" width="420"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RzlBLHdO4gs" width="420"> Kerrie Biddell LP Discogs Link  Only The Beginning LP Discogs Link  [...]



Cookies!

2017-01-17T19:23:05.797+11:00

Frankie Davidson - Cookies (M7, 1972)
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Frankie Davidson is credited with releasing Australia's very first rock n roll record in the mid 1950s, although at the time it was considered more of a novelty than a serious affair. In fact, most of what I've seen and heard of Davidson's output bears the hallmarks of a comedy act. Even when we fast forward all the way to 1972, the title of the A-side to this single - 50,000,000 Blowflies Can't Be Wrong - doesn't exactly conjure up images of high culture. I have almost zero interest in this guys musical contribution apart from the B-side to this 7 inch single. In a bizarre break from his mostly banal recorded material, Frankie strips it back to guitar, bass and drums and goes pretty hard with the riffing. The result is just shy of two minutes, and the tune is nothing but the aforementioned instruments pitted against intermittent chanting and ramblings about cookies. The voice, clearly meant to reference Sesame Street's cookie-obsessed puppet, is actually pretty cool, although not wholly outside of the comedy vein to which anyone who is into this guy would be familiar. Check it out.
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Discogs Link



Greg Dare

2017-01-17T19:24:53.777+11:00

Well, my comprehensive five minutes of google research has turned up zero useful hits that illuminate the story behind the two recordings I have sitting in front of me this evening. A few years ago I stumbled across a yellow-labelled sleeveless EP in an op-shop. A song title on the obscure EP caught my attention and convinced me to make the purchase: The Dole Bludger’s Blues. When the record found its way to my portable turntable, the musical style was as I had expected: singer-songwriter sounding Country-blues, but the guy had something a bit unique in his sound – a witty and tongue-in-cheek approach to some rather serious issues. All four tunes on the EP have a political edge to them, and while I’m not usually into this kinda stuff, it intrigued me. Have a listen to the tune in question below. The Dole Bludger's Blues allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9DBPrGVrSmk" width="420"> Fast-forward to last week: I’m at a record fair flipping through a box of 45s when a cover catches my attention. It’s my old friend Greg Dare, I thought. And in similar fashion, the cover of this unknown release held another title that meant I just couldn’t put it back: Get Down Funky Disco Bump.  Now, if you’ve already listened to the clip above of The Dole Bludger’s Blues, you may be thinking what I was thinking as I held this new discovery in my hands: how the hell can this guy do a disco-funk tune? My curiosity alone had sold me on this purchase. When I got it home, what met my ears was, of course, a diatribe about the blandness of disco, but over what was quite a catchy little disco-funk riff that reminds me a little bit of Chris Williams’ The Funky Get Down. The lyrics alone are hilarious, particularly when he starts listing the things that break the deal for him! Check it out for yourself! Get Down Funky Disco Bump allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BRH44aX0fOM" width="420"> Apart from being a great example of DIY covert art, the second EP’s cover is useful for the credits it provides. While it’s unlikely that anyone but Greg and his guitar featured on the first release, the second EP features a bassist, a drummer, and none other than Ross McGregor on synthesizer. I guess it’s to be expected, given that this EP was recorded at Axent Studios. And finally, it’s the little ridiculous things that Greg puts in the credits that make it really entertaining: Produced by Sheer Chance and Greg Dare. Unauthorised copying is stingy. Buy your own. We gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of the Australian Department of Social Security. Discogs Link [...]



Peter Beveridge

2015-09-24T12:46:53.969+10:00

Peter Beveridge - Loving Again (Nightlight Music, 1980) And as we slide further down the rock-influenced rabbit hole, here's another obscure offering for your ears. This record found its way into my crates thanks to a Uniting Church Minister who is an old friend of mine. During the 70s, he ran a refuge for recently released parolees. He also let pretty much anyone who was in need move in with him, and over the years, various people left various things behind. Some of those things were records! You can guess what happened when I dropped in for a visit last time. In amongst classical records and few cool psych records sat this odd looking album. The face of the guy on the front cover looks like every kid that I wanted to punch in Year 8 of High School. Look at that smug half-smile and tell me you don't want to lay one right into his glasses, in flagrant disregard of O'Farrell's recently passed anti-violence lock-down laws? Anywoo... what got me slightly less punch-drunk was that on the front cover above his name, Peter Beveridge, is a picture of a beveridge! Genius, right? The gate-fold cover opens to reveal lyrics printed in an eye-piercing bright blue ink, and the fact that the record label that released this oddity was based in Sutherland, of all places. If you're not from the Greater Sydney Region, you're forgiven for not knowing that Sutherland is famous for sweet fuck all. Nothing has ever happened in Sutherland of any significance... well, until now anyway. And by that I mean that the music is pretty awesome. Drink-boy covers quite a vast terrain on his debut release. The opening number, To Hell And Back, catches you off-guard immediately, because this punchable-faced guy does not look like he's about to bust out with a guitar heavy number at the onset, but bust out he does. Listen to the damn YouTube clip already! Further research on the interwebz reveals that this record has been discovered before now (gasp). Ken Scott gives it quite the write-up in The Archivist, the leading resource for collectors of interesting Christian music. While he provides an apt summary of the heavier moments on this record, he mistakes the funkiest cut on this record for smooth jazz (metal-heads just don't appreciate subtleties, do they). Crown Of Thorns is a great jazz-funk number that opens with a nice drum-break. If you beg me, I might get around to uploading a clip of it. Oh yeah, and he did a second album that's crap and he later went on to do music stuff at Hillsong which kinda makes me want to punch him all over again. Buy my spare copy! allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/pElU1XFERw0?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> [...]



Eight Day Clock

2016-01-03T19:53:24.906+11:00

Australia’s relatively tepid answer to Blood, Sweat and Tears can be found within the grooves of this rather obscure mid-70s album. Eight Day Clock appear to have been a band that made a minor splash in the live Sydney scene during the mid-late 1970s. Their sound can be summed up as a game of leap-frog between the guitar and the brass section for supremacy. This isn’t a bad thing, since the tyranny of the guitar is an actual thing in 1970s rock music, so it’s nice to at least see the guitar being given a fight for its rights on at least one occasion. But while the Blood, Sweat and Tears comparison may have some crate diggers frothing at the mouth, ease on back there for a moment Timmy Dig-A-Lot. On my listening, I find an album that seems to want to do something great, but just never quite gets there. All the ingredients are in the mix: guitars, prominent and, dare-I-say, funky drums and the aforementioned brass; but the combination never reaches the euphoric heights that I had hoped for. On my favourite cut from the album, trumpeter Rod Murray throws tradition to the wind and decides to begin his namesake song with a drum solo. I mean, when it’s your time to shine, why begin with trumpet when you can put your best foot forward, right? I maintain that the song should be renamed Ross’s Song (instead of Rod's Song) since no-one else even plays for the first two minutes of this tune. The drums are crisp and heavy too, but there isn’t a lot of drum-break action for those funk fans out there. Check out the YouTube clip below. You can also find some links to other tunes from the album as well as some live recordings of the band on the guitarist’s website here. Eight Day Clock – Clockwork (RCA, 1976) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mFMCNY-zNI4" width="420"> The band released only this album and a single that culled two average tunes from the LP. Both the album and single remain very hard to find, even here in Sydney where the band was based. [...]



King Fox

2016-03-09T10:38:19.059+11:00

King Fox are something of a legendary story in the Australian rock pantheon. Formed by teenagers during their High School years, the band released only two singles before breaking up, essentially because their parents got the shits with them after an article was published about the band in a tabloid. During the height of their popularity, the two singles they released on the independent Du Monde label were very successful in Sydney. The band is best known for their impressive debut Unforgotten Dreams which generated a lot of radio play despite clocking in at almost five minutes – much longer than the typical song length that radio dictated at the time. When High School was over, leading members Paul Radcliffe and Dave King brought the band back together and recorded this final single for the Festival label. It is an epic piece of understated progressive rock with haunting flute work by Paul, heavy guitar work by Dave and excellent drum work by And Evans. Unfortunately, the single did not perform well commercially and remains very rare. The gorgeous and subtle B-side in particular is a fantastic and brooding piece of music, clocking in at only one minute and thirty seconds. Featuring only the instrumentation of Paul and Dave, it feels almost like the last scene of a movie that ends sadly. King Fox – I Think You’re Fine / We’re Gonna Think Of A Name (Festival, 1972) Screw the A-side, here's the amazing and all too brief B-side: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FLlacME8EtM" width="420"> Discogs Link [...]



The Ritz

2016-01-03T22:58:57.830+11:00

What’s great about people that don’t collect soul, funk and jazz records is that when they find them, and have no interest in them, they can trade them to me! This particular single is by a Canberra band called The Ritz. The band was quite popular in Australia’s national capital during their brief existence (1975-77). The band was made up of guitarist Peter Dodson and fellow schoolmate Steve Maughan on bass, an English drummer by the name of George Bennett, keyboardist Alan Cook and lead vocalist Richard Hauser. The A-side of this single was composed by Maughan and delivers a nice breezy rock number that features an almost Police-esque off-key guitar lick. The heavy guitar bridge that appears towards the end hints at the other more progressive rock influences in the band’s style. The B-side is composed by the band’s keyboardist Alan Cook, and has much more of a pop-soul sound. The drum and keyboard intro is reminiscent of cross-over soul singles of the early 70s, but the vocals bring the tune back into focus as an Australian composition. It’s a great song though, and definitely one of the more unique and striking soul-influenced Australian records of the 70s. The Milesago website incorrectly lists the label of this single as RCA, but it is clearly released on the Wolf label, which I doubt released any other records.  Check out the brilliant B-side here. The band released an album in early 1977 and then broke up soon after, with little support from their record label. The Ritz – Pick Me Up / In By Ten (Wolf Records, 1975) Discogs Link [...]



The Claire Poole Singers

2015-09-26T13:04:09.036+10:00




















The Claire Poole Singers - Christmas Cards (RCA, 1975)
I know what you're thinking. Kinetic is really scraping the barrel at this point. Well, just hold up a second there. While the cover of this album is god-awful (no pun intended), It's actually got a pretty good funky track on it. I was put onto this album a few years ago by a fellow Australian crate digger. Even after he assured me there was a pretty good track on it, I was highly dubious of his suggestion until proven otherwise. The track in question is a funky interpretation of the Christmas carol standard Good King Wenceslas. It starts off with the traditional melody, but breaks down just when you think it's about to be another Christmas snooze-fest. Instead, It's another Festivus Miracle. Funky drums and a cute little keyboard riff set the pace, and what can only be described as an electronic tuba carries the tune's familiar melody. Scour the dollar bin for this one kids, 'cause it's still out there!



Claude Papesch

2015-09-24T13:20:15.529+10:00

Claude was a New Zealand-born, blind multi-instramentalist. Claude played in countless groups across New Zealand and was a fixture of the live music scene. In 1959 he toured with a group he started called The Devils and stayed a while in Australia after the tour. After returning to New Zealand, he continued to work between Australia and New Zealand. By the late 60s he was involved with several Australian groups and had pretty much settled there. Amongst other heavyweights in his company at this time was legendary New Zealand drummer Bruno Lawrence. Throughout the 60s and 70s Claude played on numerous records, but he only released two albums under his own name. In 1973, he released Hammond Spectacular for the Drum label, a budget arm of EMI-Columbia. The album is a mix of instrumental cover versions of the hits of the day. Amongst the dross is a fantastic up-beat cover of the Blood, Sweet and Tears tune Lucretia MacEvil. The following year Claude released his second and last full-length release, simply entitled Hammond Electrique (yeah, they clearly got pretty creative with the album titles). In similar style, the album features Claude's inimitable take on popular tunes of the time... except for the inclusion of one original tune, and it's the pick of the bunch. Trini Baby is a great Hammond funk tune with lots of cool soloing and even a bit of fuzz guitar. But it is, of course, Claude's Hammond playing that shines through on these two albums. Listen to Lucretia MacEvil Listen to Trini Baby Hammond Spectacular - Discogs Link Hammond Electrique - Discogs Link [...]



Melbourne State College Big Band

2015-09-30T18:32:55.008+10:00

So, there was this dude named Peter Clinch, and he did a whole heap of stuff. He played in various orchestras including the ABC Symphony Orchestra, and was generally pretty awesome. Later on, he headed up the Music Department at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education. When the College amalgamated with the University of Melbourne in 1989, Clinch moved to the University of Melbourne. During his time at the Melbourne College (70s-80s), he conducted a little outfit called the Melbourne State College Big Band, better known to record nerds like me as the M.S.C. Big Band. This Big Band released two pretty damn good records that I know of, but there is precious little information about the band on-line Having said that, I found out about the MSC Big Band from a fellow record collector who posted about the record on the interwebz. The name of the album and the vague expectation that it was good were all I had to go on. At a record fair some time later I pulled a copy out of a dollar bin and instantly recognised the title.  M.S.C. Big Band – M.S.C. Big Band – conducted by Peter Clinch (Griffin Records, 1981) The playing throughout this record is top-notch, and it is matched by great mastering and production. The back cover sports some Big Band University braggadocio that you’d expect on such a release. Composed mostly arrangements of well-known tunes, the brass and rhythm section really shine throughout the whole session. Side two in particular is where the heat is at for me though. The Raven is a great funky big band tune with great horn lines and a driving rhythm section. Towards the end, and seemingly out of nowhere, the band breaks down into this amazing horn blast drum break that is incredibly funky. You can hear it looped up a little on my second Aussie Funk mix. There’s also a great Latin-inspired jazz track at the end of side two called Tambo. It opens with a mile-a-minute percussion and pretty much doesn’t let up until the end. Check out these two numbers below. So, for a long time I had assumed that this was the only record that the M.S.C. Big Band released. Until very recently, when a fan of the Aussie Funk blog got in touch to propose a trade. He offered up a copy of an EP by a band whose name I instantly recognised This EP is ostensibly an instructional record for people who want to play the trumpet, like, really, really good. Peter Clinch is a totally great musician, so who better to teach people than a guy who ran the Music departments in some of Melbourne’s most prestigious educational institutions. The A-side features some solo trumpet playing during the verse of each number, while the flip still has trumpet, but not in the verse of the tunes, allowing Timmy-play-a-lot to join in on his Fisher Price my-first-trumpet. Due to some pretty poor mixing the trumpet is way up in the mix, even on the play-along side. However, what the title doesn’t imply is that there is an insane B-boy stylin’ drum break midway through the first cut. I’m talking long, heavy and pounding, like... you know. Alright but seriously, check it out. [...]



Ric Herbert

2017-01-17T19:27:38.888+11:00

Ric Herbert – Blame It On The Boogie (Southern Star, 1979) So, this guy Ric Herbert put out this pretty cool cover version of The Jacksons’ Blame It On The Boogie that I feel compelled to share. Ric is actually quite the triple threat, with his acting, singing and, I presume, dancing. He’s got a website that details his many exploits, including being in the well-known Aussie drama Sweet & Sour. My parents totally loved that show, but I remain fairly meh about it. But back to the single. So, a couple of weeks ago, a well-known record aficionado and dealer posted on Facebook about this single and asked me what it was worth. This was a fair question, and not one that I could easily answer. This single remains widely unknown, even in collector circles. It was released on the Southern Star label, the output of which is almost exclusively relegated to Doug Parkinson’s first album and various singles lifted from it. And it’s because this single was recorded on such a well-regarded label, that its obscurity is surprising. The single’s label is instantly recognisable because of Doug’s sought-after releases, and yet this single still lingers in obscurity. Yes, it’s pretty rare, but the prices it gets sold for still aren’t that high because people don’t know it. Well, hopefully this blog post can mess that up for everyone. Kidding, of course. File under: criminally slept on. Discogs Link [...]