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  • Islands funk

    Right then fellas, having had very little luck on the vinyl front lately (but perversely finding a lot of good CDs in charity shops - go figure), I went to Nottingham Record Fair on Monday and maintained this current run of form. I got:

    Rose Royce 'Stronger Than Ever' ('Still In Love' always blows it up - especially if there's a lot of girls present)
    Crowfoot 'Find The Sun' (bought cos it's on Probe and I like Probe, it's shite though)
    Tabou Combo '8th Sacrament'
    Boo & The Tru-Tones 'S/T'

    The first two were in the £2 box, the others were a bluey each. The last two were quite interesting. Not much on the Tabou Combo except a nice percussion break at the start of one track, but the Boo & the Tru-Tones one was well worth investigating. Comes from St Lucia and googling reveals Boo Hinkson to be one of the Caribbean's foremost jazz guitarists. It's a decent LP all in all, OK, there's Soca and Reggae tracks and I'd rather pour boiling Marmite into my ears than listen to reggae, but there are two great funk tunes on there. One of which is like a Caribbean JBs track and if it was a 45 would have the Deepfunk lot weeing themselves. Can't remember the titles here and now (both had drug references though), but will update this post later tonight.

    It just made me wonder whether anyone's ever comped the best of the funk stuff from the Islands? Or what folk should look out for with output from the Caribbean? What should be avoided etc etc. We all know that there are several steel band LPs that have great tracks and that in the early/mid 90s that St Vincent's Latinaire's LP with 'Hot Pants' and 'Broasted and Fried' used to hit 3 figures all the time, but what else is there? There must be more. And not just Jackie Mittoo.

    I'm sure this board could come up with a definitive list of what folk should try and find.

    Then maybe we can badger someone with connections on here to comp a load of it?

    And yes, back in work and bored - hence the meandering post!!
    Jet Boy stole my baby.

  • #2
    There is always 'the Invaders' which i'm led to believe is from the caribbean and is funky tuff...
    In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

    Eclectic Mud


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    • #3
      Amral's Trindidad Cavaliers Steel Band 'Steel Vibrations' LP (Calypan) - Has a solidly rocking b-boy take on 'Oye Como Va', which featured on my '57 Minutes Of Badness' VV Easter mix CD, and got jacked by Beastie Boys for 'Body Movin' to boot. I have a spare for trade if anyone wants some of that goodness..
      Let him have the lot for £2.00 - we were only going to throw 'em out anyway...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by someblokecalledfuz
        There is always 'the Invaders' which i'm led to believe is from the caribbean and is funky tuff...
        And talking about the Invaders. Can someone enlighten me on the portuguese connection with this band? I was told by someone who normally is well informed that there is a portuguese element to it, although i cannot remember which one. Maybe the producer or someone from the record label...
        Last edited by Digga; 30-03-2005, 11:42 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Benicio Del Toffo
          We all know that there are several steel band LPs that have great tracks
          Oops, my bad. Still, it's some good shit!
          Let him have the lot for £2.00 - we were only going to throw 'em out anyway...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vibra
            Oops, my bad. Still, it's some good shit!
            Nowt wrong with that champ.

            It might help other people to know which steel band LPs are worth having cos there's a lot more crap ones than good out there.

            Still thing the Original Tropicana Steel Band is by far the best I've heard.
            Jet Boy stole my baby.

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            • #7
              Anything by Blue Rhythm Combo on Wirl.
              www.thesoundlibrary.net <- Changed URL

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Benicio Del Toffo
                Nowt wrong with that champ.

                It might help other people to know which steel band LPs are worth having cos there's a lot more crap ones than good out there.

                Still thing the Original Tropicana Steel Band is by far the best I've heard.
                Though that GTE Sylvania one from Trinidad is close. With the 'Hot Pants Road' and 'Black Man's Cry' on there.
                Jet Boy stole my baby.

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                • #9
                  nice find on the Boo and the Tru-Tones. Great LP that I've seen pretty expensive on some lists.
                  We know when a mate buys it for you too.

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                  • #10
                    T.N.T. - The Night Train.

                    Has some excellent funk tracks & a monster breakbeat.
                    I'll tell you what............. What.
                    What ?

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                    • #11
                      Lever Brothers/Gay Flamingoes 'Secrets Of The Pan' (Antillana) - Black Man's Cry
                      Let him have the lot for £2.00 - we were only going to throw 'em out anyway...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey All, this is carved from something I did for the exotica list... might have some relevance...

                        "I've always liked the sound that steel drums make and over the years have picked up every record that I have found that has the sound in an effort to banish the grey rainy days from my mind and life. I wouldn't dare call myself an expert, or even an arbiter of taste, but for what it's worth hear is my experience...

                        General rules of thumb concerning Steel band records...

                        Usually when they start singing it is all over... Sometimes singing doesn't even describe the sound they make.
                        The Bigger the record label, the blander the music within and more of the "standard songs" are rehashed. Yellow bird, wings of a dove etc.
                        Many steel bands take on versions of classical music, for what reason remains a mystery to me... To receive more respect ? To appeal to white middle class tourists ? Because they dig classical music ? Whichever, for me as I am not a big fan of classical music yet, and it doesn't usually work for me.
                        Although as with all these general rules there are exceptions.
                        Generally "live" albums are poorly recorded.
                        You may find steel band records with a number of different bands on them, recorded at competitions to become the island / counties / regions best. These seem to be taken really seriously and can be less "fun" than others in the genre... Golden years ? Well for me, it's '67 - '75, but don't rule out the later 70's...

                        There could be no finer point for starting an interest in this sort of thing with a FUNKY edge by tracking down 2 Volumes of "Steel Funk". I'm not even sure that they are proper releases, as there is precious little information on my copies...
                        These records are great and very danceable, you could get both of these and no others and you would have the majority of really good beaty funky steel band music that I'm aware of.

                        Track listings....
                        Funky stuff - The Dutch Rhythm & Steel band.
                        Hold on I'm comin' - Sapodilla punch.
                        Do your thing - Trinidad & Tobago All Stars.
                        Cissy Strut - Trinidad Steel drummers ( One of my all time favourites ).
                        Funky Abbey Road - Original Tropicana Steel band.
                        Ain't no sunshine - Carl McKnights Sweat & Steel drum Band.
                        Calypso Rock - Original Tropicana.
                        Midnight man - Earl Rodney.
                        Heaven & Hell is on Earth - 29th century Steel band T.S.O.P - Nite blues steel band.
                        The devil is out tonight - Carl McKnight.

                        Sunshine of your love - Steel Image.
                        Steel funk - John Gibbs & the steel orchestra.
                        Spanish Hustle - Original Tropicana.
                        Juck Juck - Earl Rodney.
                        Mas que nada - Fred Burnett.
                        The Special - Carl McKnight.
                        Shango - Steel image ( Fabulous madness, another all time fav. ).
                        Yellow bird - Original Tropicana Watermelon man - Roltos Tabanka Rhythm.
                        Feet Mover - We eye re.

                        Also along this funky steel band line is a record that has been re-released recently is Spaced out by the invaders, but more funk than steel, still worth seeking out though.

                        What follows from this point is a list of Steel band records, grouped under two headings but in no other particular order, with outstanding tracks listed...


                        The unmissables

                        Barbados Steel Orchestra - Live, Endless Vibrations, Constant Jamming & Amazing grace reggae style.

                        The Buena Vista Steel band - Rhythm in Steel, - Magnificent 7, and I love her, hard day's night, Africa jump up.

                        Caribbean Heatwave - Mr Silvertone Show, - Calypso merengue.

                        The Bermuda Steel band live at the 40 thieves club, this one breaks most of my rules but I love the version of watermelon man and there are others too.

                        Steel Appeal - The Trinidad old oak Casablanca steel orchestra, Bongo man, footsie, the lizard. This one verges on disco !!! But it is still worth it.

                        The steel bandits play, this one is an example of a steel band record that was aimed at the tourist, but I love it. I wouldn't be surprised if it was recorded far from the Caribbean, but I love the versions of downtown, a taste of honey and Spanish flea.

                        Amaral's Trinidad Cavaliers, Oye come va, la bamba, JC superstar, caterpillar, Trouble in '72.

                        Les Caraibes avec le steel band de la Trinidad, great haunting version of Comin' home baby and Calypso Jazz Improvisation ( This is loosely based on freedom jazz dance originally by Eddie Harris... My all time hero ).

                        Steel drums - The native steel drum band, this ones slides towards the voodoo end of this sort of music, and the cover is amazing.

                        The Red Stripe Ebony Steel band present popular Beatles songs. Do not pass up at any cost it is amazing many highlights, mull of Kintyre, imagine, and perhaps the highlight for me here comes the sun. The Break hunters won't be disappointed on this one either...

                        Tropicana - Original Tropicana steel band, a source for the compilations mentioned above and well worth owning...

                        Trinidad oil company - The calendar song, Another one you can't let go by... Teansfield, stoned out of my mind, shaft and Feelin alright which made it on to a bluenote compilation.

                        The Sunjet serenades Steel band - The sound of the Caribbean, sundance, Artists life, Donkey serenade, Polonaise

                        The Lever Brothers Gay Flamingoes, as good as you hope it to be, with a name like that.

                        Jamaican All stars, Mambo #5, 007, Hernando's hideaway


                        Pick up cheap only

                        Little Joe's Steel Pan at the royal Victoria, Merengue.

                        The Despers Steel Orchestra - William Tell Overture.

                        D'Arcy's Rising sun Steel band - Something, Spanish Harlem, Festival '71.

                        Hell's gate steel band - This is Antigua, Handel's messiah, Blowin in the wind.

                        Heartsville Benjamin virgin island steel band, Johnny cake, when the saints go twistin in.

                        Steel band des Caraibes, I shot the sheriff.

                        Igniters explode, Theme from the Godfather, Killing me softly.

                        The mighty fire steel band, beatles covers...

                        The new sound crusader steel band, British ? Soft pop...


                        Slightly off the subject but in the same geographical region... I highly recommend the Merrymen, for bright, poppy, harmonised calypso that from time to time utilises steel, whistling and other stuff. Stand out track for me is 'Soul Calypso' The early stuff seems to be best from 60's through 70's, although there 80's stuff is where I draw the line... The record covers can be pretty good too, slinging guitars down on the beach..."

                        Hope it interests some of you...
                        In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

                        Eclectic Mud


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                        • #13
                          Russ Henderson 'Carribbean Carnival' (Allegro) - 'West Indian Drums'
                          Let him have the lot for £2.00 - we were only going to throw 'em out anyway...

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                          • #14
                            WHAT A GREAT THREAD!!!

                            wowzers!!! Didnt know anyone who had the Boo and the Tru-tones LP besides me...it's great but the pressings one of those bloody flexible almost styrene ones..plays great though...and i always wondered the same as you...what's out there as well...Steel Band stuff i know, but Trinidad Funk???
                            Wonder if they did anything else cos it's a mighty fine LP which hints on a scene over there...Lets hope there's more to come eh?
                            Country be dyin like poor people do
                            Hospitals be closing...doors to me and you (Lopazz - Blood)

                            And here's some other stuff that i get up to...

                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Serio...796469?fref=ts

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                            • #15
                              When it comes to Caribbean Funk, how about The Organisation LP with "Smokey Feeling" on it - still goes for proper wedge...

                              .. I'm at work and can't remember the title.. Is it "It's Been A Long Time Coming"..??

                              ( 1997, Billingham Age Concern Charity Shop, 50 pence. Result! )
                              If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

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