on 23 June 2008
The team at 'Mastercuts' must have felt that upon issuing this cd, they would reap the rewards of immediate success, as they had experienced with other 'Mastercuts' titles - but posterity may not accord with this initial estimation.
As a collection of 12 tracks from the genre properly known as 'Electro-Funk' this collection would appear to offer a number of gems, many of which undoubtedly hold particular nostalgic resonances for individuals of a certain age. Some of the records are acknowledged classics of the genre - Hashim's 'Al Naafiysh (The Soul)', Herbie Hancock's 'Rockit' and Time Zone's 'The Wildstyle'. But somehow, in my humble opinion, this collection just fails to gel, with the combination of tracks failing to work as a coherent presentation.
Some of the inclusion's are to be particularly welcomed for UK fans of Hip Hop - Newtrament's 'London Bridge is Fallin' Down' and Whodini's 'Magic's Wand' (produced in the UK), but Tyrone Brunson's 'The Smurf' isn't an essential record, and for reasons unknown the instrumental mix of 'Wildstyle' is included - which really isn't the best possible choice to showcase this record or period. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, Grandmsaster Flash's 'Adventures on the Wheels of Steel' is included - perhaps to indicate that Electro Funk has it's roots in Hip Hop - BUT this record isn't 'Electro Funk' (although it is undeniably one of the seminal Hip Hop / DJ records).
And so the collection is uneven, imbalanced and fails to engage with the listener seeking to find out more about this musical sub-genre. The collection also suffers because of the obvious omissions which are made - where is Afrika Bambaataa's 'Planet Rock', or Kratwerk's 'Numbers'? Of course this can be explained by licensing restrictions, but for a label which excelled at providing exceptionally well balanced and considered compilations this title stands out for lacking those attributes.
For listeners looking to explore Electro Funk I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere, and I would urge you to consider finding Streetsounds' 'The Best of Electro Volume 1' (which I have reviewed elsewhere), which offers a broader and more satisfying appraisal of the genre than is to be found here.
A disappointing release from the original 'Mastercuts' stable.