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Various – Fresh Out The Box review

Compiled by one of the lynchpins of the British funk scene, Fresh Out The Box is a 13 track collection of some original and remixed rarities. As well as being in charge of the Jazz Cafe, Adrian Gibson also runs his Freestyle label in order to break new talent in the world of jazz, funk, soul and Latin music. This latest collection is stuffed to the gills with quality spanning all those genres and more.

Funk fans will immediately revel in the cover of The Blackbyrds classic “Rock Creek Park” by Beggar & Co which stays faithful to the glorious original whilst also adding some club-friendly kicks and percussion. On a more organic live funk tip, Lack of Afro’s “I Can’t Dance With You” delivers plenty of Hammond-driven thrills and some huge drums to boot. The Jezebel Sextet’s “Mr Hot Pants” is another nu-funk bomb, with brass spilling out all over the track yet all held together with some precision bass and drums.

Bennson’s remix of “No I Can Do” however is more produced and sounds like prime 80’s boogie, in a similar vein to Junior or Jocelyn Brown. The Mo’ Horizons mix of “Life Is A Trip” also shows off their studio skills, looping parts of Gypsy Brown’s original and adding some bouncy broken beats into the fun. Mop Mop also does wonders with Valique’s “Where Is The Love”, building an intriguing mood with some vibes and thumb-pianos before dropping the beats and vocals for maximum impact.

Review: Oliver Keens