Guest Contributor – DJ Music Man Miles (Breakestra)

Yes, yes y’all, I hope today finds you all in good form. I’m delighted that today’s chosen piece of wax is brought to you courtesy of one of the funkiest cats I know, Mr Miles Tackett (aka Music Man Miles). As you know I had the pleasure of dj’ing alongside Miles last year at his weekly funk party Funky Sole. Before I hand you over to Miles, here’s a little bio for those of you who’d like to know a bit more about him.

Miles Tackett

Music Man Miles (aka Miles Tackett) is a Los Angeles native & in addition to being the man behind the Breakestra he is also an all VINYL, funky soul-jazz dj. Yes that’s right, no laptop computer to check facebook on in between mixes or to crash & ruin the party. Too many reasons to list why he will never go that route but suffice it to say it’s mainly about the sound quality & the ideal of keeping the wax alive. Though the early 90s Miles did buy some jazz & funk vinyl & raid his dad’s record collection to sample for hip hop beats he would make, but it was not until the early 2000’s after he had started Breakestra & had fully immersed himself in the L.A. underground hip hop dj community (mainly at his weekly Rootdown party) that he became inspired to try spinning records.

Miles Tackett

Being in the company of djs like Cut Chemist, Dj Dusk & Mixmaster Wolf of Breakestra (a dj as well) he learned the art of selecting & mixing vinyl records old & new. He also learned about a whole world of records that were not easily within a dj or collector’s reach. “Deep funk vinyl” as some folks call it because you have to dig a bit deeper to find the gems being that many are rarer records than most you’d easily find since most of them are 7 inch singles in which only 1,000 or so were ever pressed.

Miles Tackett

Even though Miles had originally started collecting funky, hip hop/beat records to spin at his weekly Rootdown hip-hop party, collecting Funky soul-jazz/afro-latin funk records had taken over as his main passion. Meeting Dj Egon of Stones Throw records (the label that released Breakestra’s first record ) inspired Miles to go to another level since Egon had a knowledge & passion for especially “deep funk” vinyl records that was beyond impressive. Egon also spun deep funk with a certain exciting style influenced by Bronx hip hop style djing that Miles dug & picked up. Cut Chemist, another peer also spun funk sounds with a precision hip hop style that equally impressed Miles. Soon Miles decided to start a party in L.A. for himself, Egon & Cut to spin these sounds at that he named FUNkY SOLE. That was 12 years ago & Miles continues to throw Funky Sole & spin funk sounds from all around every Saturday night in Los Angeles when he’s not out on tour with Breakestra. He released a Funky Sole vol.1 dj mix cd a few years ago & is working on another at present. Sole Travellin’ is what he calls it no matter where he goes..

Gene Faith - Family Man

Gene Faith – “Family Man” B side of “My Baby’s Missing” on Virtue Records (1970) Philadelphia, PA.

I’ve been rotating this uniquely funky & solidly written soul tune up at Funky Sole for many years &
never tire of it. What I noticed the first time I heard it was a very New Orleans thing going on with the drummer’s offbeat syncopation. It’s worth noting that Eddie Bo’s oh so funky off beat classic “Hook n’ Sling” was a fairly big hit on black radio stations in certain regions of the country. I know from having heard “Hook n Sling” on a thankfully recorded & preserved broadcast of Radio Dj Sonny Hopson’s soul show on WHAT from 1969 that it was in the top ten. So likely the local Philly house musicians over at Virtue recording studios were influenced when they recorded “family man” just after hearing Bo’s hit. Gene Faith’s melodic thing & vocal delivery sounds more southern here to me than on some of his other great funky northern soul oriented sides like the flip “My baby’s missing” or “Since I found you girl”.

I don’t know much about the house R.D.M. Band over at Virtue records but my ears tell me that they also recorded under the name of the Belaires (of Tony Alvon “Sexy Coffee Pot” note). The swing of the drums & off beat drum breaks seem to point to it being the same drummer at least. I’m fairly sure this also the same band as the Freedom Now Brothers who did “Sissy Walk” & the surprisingly slept on instrumental funk banger on the flip “It’s our thing”. Another great funky soul Virtue double side featuring the R.D.M. Band is Willis Wooten’s “Your love is indescribably delicious”/ “Do the train”.

For another perspective on Philly funk & possible connections to Virtue check out this Funky 16 Corners blog from years ago.
https://funky16corners.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/.

Guest Contributor – Brian Poust

It’s about time that I passed over the blog to one of my friends to guest publish and so it gives me great pleasure to introduce Brian Poust as the latest in our ever-expanding list of guest contributors. Last year we hung out together during my tour of Texas and I spun some wax alongside Brian at his 45 Friday night in San Antonio which was great fun.

Brian Poust is a San Antonio based DJ and record dealer following 20 years in Atlanta. Brian formerly hosted the Georgia Soul blog (RIP) but still researches and maintains the largest known archive of Georgia Soul recordings. His selection for us this week is one of my personal faves, so without further ado, over to you Brian…

I’d like to start with a quick thank you to Gary for inviting me to write a guest blog for him. Since I “broke” my Georgia Soul blog and left it stranded on the side of the road over a year ago, I’ve let myself slip further away from doing any public writing about music than perhaps I’d care to. As such, I’ve forgotten how much fun it can be. So, while I’m a bit out of practice, let’s see if I can warm up the old typing machine and spit out a few words without causing Gary to regret his invitation. It would have been all too easy to write about a Georgia record (and I very nearly did), but since I now live in Texas, let’s pick a record closer to my current home.

Houtson’s Neto Perez hasn’t received very much attention, very likely due to a very short career in the early 1970s. His recording career is limited to a 1970 album and a couple of singles on Little Joe Hernandez’s Buena Suerte label before a posthumously released 1973 album, “In Memory of Neto Perez” on Capri, which yielded at least one additional single, the subject of this piece.

Bobby Patterson, on the other hand, should need no introduction to any soul music fan. The Dallas native has had a long and well documented career, and his hard-hitting classic “T.C.B. or T.Y.A.” is certainly a song that one may expect to bubble to the top of anyone’s mind when thinking about his biggest hits. That in mind, you may not think that you need to hear a cover version of a song that’s damn near perfect already, but Perez and his band, The Originals, put Patterson’s song into a barely controlled hyper-drive and send it careening through your head like a cannon-shot. The powerful horn section and pounding drums are well-matched by youthful vocal-chord shredding singing from Little Ricky (Treviño). Perez, as a matter of record, also has covers of Juggy Murray’s “Oily” and Dyke & The Blazers “We Got More Soul” in his recording history, so I admit to a bit of confusion over the choice to call his band The Originals. This is not a complaint, mind you, just an observation.
It’s rare to expect a cover version of any classic song to live up to expectations, but going back to Patterson’s original after hearing the Perez version is actually kind of difficult. Outside of the basic rarity of this single (and the album for that matter), I can’t figure out why this one isn’t more well-known than it is.
Cheers to Brian for his great selection – for more info check out agent45 on Discogs, Instagram & Twitter.
DJ Bookings and contact: agent45@gmail.com

Guest Contributor – Pete Isaac

As you know, periodically we here at Gazfunk like to take a little break every once in a while and hand over the blog to one of our friends to write a guest post for us. Over the years we’ve had many djs, bloggers and vinyl enthusiasts give us a little insight into the type of tunes that gets their juices flowing. This year it’s been a little thin on the ground and not as regular a feature as I would have liked, however starting this week I hope to bring you more frequent guest contributions.

So then, on to today’s pop-picker and we’ve got a very special guest digging into their crates for us – Mr Pete Isaac. As some of you are aware, Pete is one half of 45 Live http://www.45live.net/?feed (the other half being Scott Hendy aka Boca 45) which is a collective of some of the UK & Ireland’s top 45 collectors/djs as well as a blog, record label and events organiser.

Pete’s own musical journey started out in 1993 with the launch of Jelly Jazz www.jellyjazz.com – a seminal club night based in Plymouth. The club’s success enabled them to attract guest djs like Gilles Peterson, Mr Scruff, Norman Jay, Quantic, Andy Smith and a whole cast of some of the most respected djs in the U.K. As well as the guest djs, Jelly Jazz also regularly featured many live acts who went on to forge successful careers for themselves some of whom played their first ever U.K. shows at the club.

Well then, I think it’s about time I passed over the baton to Pete. Over to you mate…

The Perfect Circle ‘The Hands Of Time’ (Inner City)

Pete Isaac.jpg

 

Gaz kindly asked me to write a piece about a record in the collection recently, which I did, but I had replicated one that had already been done before, should have checked I guess! The focus of that story was about the journey a piece of music can take you on, how far that might be and of the connections and impact that a humble record can make. It was ‘Acid Jazz Vol. 1’ on BGP by the way.

So take 2, and I’ll keep to the sentiment of the other piece and focus on the way music unites. Way back in my early days as a promoter/DJ in ’94, I used to call up Soul Jazz Records in London every Tuesday morning to buy as many records as I could to drop the following night at Jelly Jazz in Plymouth. On the other end of the phone a young chap called Chris Goss who quickly became my go-to guy to ask for, he got me sussed quickly and was able to play breaks and grooves down the phone that I would invariably buy. He must have sold me thousands of pounds worth of records over those first few months! Naturally I would tell him stories of our midweek club night deep into the SW, and a DJ booking for Chris soon followed. I wasn’t that far out of art college at this time so was living in somewhat modest conditions, i.e. a tiny room in a shared house with loads of muso’s and hippies, and Chris got to stay on some cushions in a rough-as-you-like basement lounge. But anyway, we didn’t care about such conditions, youth was still on our side!

Inner City.jpg

Typically, the club that night was rammed to the rafters with a bonkers mad-for-it collections of hippies, ravers, musicians and students. We enjoyed that rare commodity of an audience that just lapped up everything and anything you threw at them. This was obviously years before the internet so obscure American funk etc etc etc was just not so easily accessible, so those calls to Soul Jazz each week were invaluable. But the best way to discover music was of course to hear it in a club, so when Chris and a few others like Bunny from Acid Jazz came down with bags of records we’d never seen, Wednesday nights were always punctuated with mindblowing moments. One of the comments we most heard from punters at the time was something along the lines of “damn, what is this music? Where the hell do you get it?”, I pretty much said the same myself to those early guest DJs we had! Chris dropped a killer set that night with hip hop, jazz, jazz-rock etc, but when he dropped ‘The Hands Of Time’, it was one of THOSE moments. Both myself and fellow Jelly resident DJ Griff flew up to the decks to find out what it was before rejoining the packed dancefloor to literally go nuts. What a monster of a track, fusing the best of jazz, funk and disco into a relentless groove punctuated with stuttering breaks and spaced out instrumentation, a phenomenal track from a killer LP. (Sometimes, don’t you wish you could hear something for the first time again?) Of course I had to obtain the record and eventually procured an original copy, signed by the main man George Semper too for added niceness!

inner-city-2

Chris pretty much cemented himself as a regular with that drop and set and fast became our favourite guest DJ and played almost every month for years and years, as well as becoming great family friends. Any old school Jelly Jazz fans will well know the regular ‘Goose Fever’ sessions, where Chris would play all night for a few weeks if I was away from town. These days he has of course gone on to run the world’s biggest D&B label, Hospital Records, but for me, he’ll always be the guy that dropped ‘The Hands of Time’! That and our Tuesday morning record purchasing created a lot more than the sum of their parts, a connection through music that became a fantastic friendship and shared passion for records, especially for things like The Perfect Circle, Brian Auger and the like, we both appreciate a damn good red wine too!

inner-city-3

I love the way any record will have it’s immediate story, but you can always consider it’s influence further and be surprised at what direction it ultimately leads you in. Chris and I get to DJ together on the odd rare occasion these days, so next time, through these hands of time, I’ll urge him to drop it again, it will be a perfect circle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0gWfTT0Su8

 

Guest Contributor – Jamison Harvey aka DJ Prestige

DJ Prestige Hot Pants Road 16

Last week I mentioned that I hoped to have my next guest selector ready and I’m delighted to announce that the latest guest to plunder their collections for us is none other than my funk brother (and fellow LFC supporter) Jamison Harvey aka DJ Prestige.

Jamison has earned a reputation as one of the East Coast’s most respected and prolific crate diggers. To this end he details his travels into the world of funk on his excellent blog Fleamarket Funk As well as his blog, he regularly djs around New York/New Jersey and currently holds down a residency at the Leadbelly in New York where he spins all manner of funky 45s. As if that wasn’t enough, he recently gave a lecture to a school in Jersey about dj’ing and record collecting! So with no further ado, I’ll pass you over to the man himself…

Hey-Joyce-Spot

Credit – Elion Paz, Dust & Grooves

 

My whole philosophy about buying records is that you don’t find records, they find you.  So basically, I don’t pay a lot of money for them.  The most I’ve ever paid for a forty five is $38, which was a lot for a copy of Mystic Moods “Cosmic Sea”.  I actually fond a stone mint white label for a quarter a bunch of years later.  But I digress.  The record we’re talking about today was one that I had searched for in the field for a long time.  It could easily be found on ebay, or discogs, or private sales if I had searched.  But I didn’t want to.  I wanted to find it in the field.  So fast forward to some early Saturday morning at a place in Central NJ we called “The Spot”.  I had been digging up gems for years there and writing about the records and the characters who sold them to me.  At this point, the cat was out of the bag and ebay sellers, other diggers, record dealers, and general pains in the asses were flooding the fleamarket.  It was circus like.  No matter how early I got there, there would be people pushing and shoving in front of crates.  I kid you not.  This particular Saturday morning, my friend and fellow vinyl lover Eilon Paz of Dust & Grooves had come along with me to document this circus.  We ended up walking around and finding some decent records.  At one point, I see a dealer who I buy from sometimes.  In short, he is a bell end.  If he didn’t like an offer you made, he would just not sell to you.  However, he always had interesting finds, so I was digging through his boxes of sleeved and unsleeved 45s.  I picked up a few dollar gems, and then I saw a familiar label.  Pink and blue swirls, i always got butterflies and a pit in my stomach when I saw the label.  Usually it would be “Do The Thing”, or The Webs “The Thing Called Love”, both good records in their own right.  But it wasn’t “Hey Joyce”.  The soul banger with the bigger than life drum break.  I never saw it out in the field, ever. Well, that day I did.  Right there in its unsleeved glory.  I scooped it up and put it under some other stuff.  Sarcastically I ask; “Hey how much for the unsleeved records?”  Dude shoots back “$1”.  I paid and couldn’t even get to the end of the row of tables before I call my friend with excitement.  Best part, Eilon got a good shot of me in all my excitement.  This record never leaves my bag.  Ever.  Now to just find another for a buck to rock doubles.  You never know when a record will find you!

Hey Joyce for Gaz Funk 45