Category Archives: Funk/ R&B/ Hip Hop

The Dawn of Hip-Hop DJs

From Brooklyn Disco to the Bronx Playground

“The idea of a d.j. making something new out of other people’s music might seem preposterous. But there’s no question that a real d.j. can shape a night of music with his personality, style, and spirit, magically turning a string of records into a spontaneous symphony.”

–Vince Aletti– The Disco Files 1973-1978
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Parliament: Mothership Connection

1976’s Mothership Connection is one of the best albums George Clinton released under the Parliament banner in the five years between 1975 and 1980. During that period the group released an incredible nine records (no greatest hits or live sets, either) and toured relentlessly. When not busy with Parliament, Clinton was busy supervising recording by his other group, Funkadelic, or the P-Funk All Stars, Bootsy Collins, The Brides of Funkenstein, Bernie Worrell, or Zapp. What is incredible is the high quality of all this music. To say, then, that Mothership Connection stands out among the work of this period is high praise indeed.

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David Axelrod/The Edge: David Axelrod at Capitol Records 1966–1970

Read David Axelrod: Soul on the Edge

David Axelrod/The Edge

David Axelrod stands as one of a handful of record producers who created a sound that, regardless of the artist with whom he was working, was recognizable as an Axelrod production. Phil Spector possessed a similar ability, as did Willie Mitchell. But Axelrod specialized in a gritty yet elegant sound that owed a great deal to the black urban experience.

The Edge: David Axelrod at Capitol DRecords 1966–1970 collects some of Axelrod’s production work as well as a selection of tracks from his own albums. Although you’ll have to hit the crates to find a number of Axelrod’s releases, this is a decent introductory CD. 

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