Various ‘The Breaks’ 2CD (Harmless) 4/5

A second compilation of selection from Dean Rudland carries on from the above with a slightly more up-tempo representation of grooves which is even more diverse than the first and covers old school funk, the alternative side of disco, organ-groove jazz, early rap and even some blues. Thus Instant Funk’s epic ‘Got my mind made up’ sits next to the Mohawks skinhead reggae-funk classic ‘The champ’ and Cymande’s ‘Bra’ rubs shoulders with the Last Poets’ ‘Run nigger’. Rare groove discoveries include the surprisingly good 1980 Philly magic of ‘Hurry up this way again’ from the Stylistics and Aaron Neville’s New Orleans soul on the Allen Toussaint penned ‘Hercules’. The left-side of disco gets a look in with Liquid Liquid’s underground hit ‘Cavern’ and the Salsoul heaven from Gaz on ‘Sing sing’. Smoother grooves from Philly International and Hi are showcased as on the previous compilation and they include Al Green’s wonderful ‘Love and happiness’, the O’Jays laid back ‘Cry together’ and Jean Plum’s seminal ‘Here I go again’. Even more esoteric is the pared down funk-blues of Lowell Fulsomn on ‘Tramp’ and some instrumental jazz-dance magic from Funk Incorporated on ‘Kool is back’. The majority of these originals have been sampled by contemporary hip-hop and rap artists and the rhythms will be instantly recognisable to most. Again terrific value for money with informative sleeves notes and all the basic details you require on the individual tunes.

Tim Stenhouse