ROB ‘ROB: Funky Rob Way’ LP/CD (Mr Bongo) 4/5

Funky funky funky Rob. Funky funky funky Rob, yeah.

It’s FUNKY ROB WAY time. “Make It Fast, Make It Slow” was the first Rob Way track I heard. It immediately elevated him to legend status in my house and gave me a dirty catchphrase to throw out at every inappropriate opportunity. This album, “Rob: Funky Rob Way” was originally released in 1977 in a run of 500 copies on an Essiebons imprint. It’s the first album from Ron and his fierce backing band, Mag-2, led by songsmith, and aptly named, Amponsah ‘get your’ Rockson.

If you want to know why he’s called FUNKY Rob then let the title track happen to you. It’s a mercilessly ferocious slab of Ghanaian funk. Rhythmically tight as hell with punchy horns, warbling keys and Rob barking how it is. James Brown wouldn’t be fining anyone here.”Forgive Us All” immediately turns it on its head with a soulful Black Moses/Funkadelic, Moogtastic, wah guitar, wide-open-spaced epic.

“Boogie On” is a direct command. Its fierce horns and circular guitar are relentless, burning a path to the rhythmically-similar but less intense and more hypnotically schmoozy “Just One More Time”. The feeling of “Forgive Us All” is revisited in the soul ballad “Your Kiss Stole Me Away”; this time delivered with a tinge of zoned-out, narcotic space exploration. Rob, you funky, romantic so and so, you.

Final track “More” galaxy-trips us into Rob’s futuristic funky town. Tight rhythm section, hot horns and guitar/Moog taking us where no man has gone before. Prowling Ghanaian Space Funk!

There’s something warmly iterative about this album. If it was expanded to a 3 vinyl set you could imagine it becoming more and more of what it is; even tighter, hotter, spacier, funkier, dirtier, more soulful. It’s kinda overt but manages to creep up on you too. Whatever. At its core, it’s raw and funky. Funky Rob Way style. “Funky music is in my blood,” explains Rob. “What you hear is the coming out of my mind.” Funky Rob. Funky mind.

Ian Ward