Various – Party Keller Vol. 3 review

The range of funky nuggets at Florian Keller’s disposal is quite extraordinary. Off the back of his Party Keller club night in Munich, he’s made a name for himself as a peerless selector of old and new funk and boogie across Europe. But this compilation on Compost really pushes the boat out – a staggering collection of rarities that will instantly become firm favourites in your collection.

The slow proto-rap of Peter Giger’s “Here Come The Family” kicks off the compilation in style – a head-nodding beat embellished with a variety of percussion sounds from the Swiss legend – everything from steel drums to thumb pianos. Some incredible covers dominate this mix though – two from Gino Dentie, his version of B.T. Express’ “Express” and a version of Brass Construction’s epic “Movin'”. Both of these were recorded direct-to-disc (as was common in the ’70s to ensure hi-fidelity sonics) and hearing the incredible tightness captured in these single take recordings will make you gasp. Both versions get a Latin disco makeover, and both are primed to shake butts. Elsewhere, the BA Baracus Band’s version of “Mama Said Knock You Out” is stripped to the bone but ideal party fodder, with a pitch perfect vocal that matches LL’s intensity.

Another choice cut is Rahmlee’s “Down in Storyville” – recorded by former Earth, Wind and Fire hornman Rahmlee Michael Davis for his classic jazz-fusion album “Rise Of The Phoenix”. Fans of Donald Byrd and the SOS Band will go nuts for this mellow, trumpet-led belter. Keller also keeps an unlikely version of a classic staple of funk fans for the last tune – an acoustic-led vamp around Archie Bell and The Drells’ “Tighten Up” by psych-rockers The Nazz. It’s a fittingly fun end to a collection that’s stuffed to the gills with rare yet rewarding funk both new and old.

Review: Oliver Keens