• Soul Shack: Time & Place - Various Artists

The Soul Shack manifesto is stark - let your body take the place of your mind Pt 1/Pt 2 (and let’s add in an unreleased Pt 3 for the sheer fatback-drum-funk of it).

Soul Shack fave 45 “Keep The Groove” by Bostonian captures the mantra: ”Just remember in everything you do the bottom line is you’ve got to keep the groove”. That lovely Detroit 45 sold the not so grand total of 25 copies on release. In contrast the legendary Edwin J. Bocage (Eddie Bo) had a huge hit with his Crescent City anthemic call-to-dance “Hook And Sling”, another Soul Shack winner. So, to be clear to make our playlist a record does not have to be stupid rare, although as this tough-as-nails compilation confirms obscurity is not discouraged.

The Soul Shack sessions in the Midlands are a homage to mind-blowing and spine-tingling black music gems. They encompass the cerebral jazz fusion preciseness of Larry & Fonze Mizell’s peerless productions, the simple rawness of New Orleans funk (check out “Dap Walk” by Ernie And The Top Notes for quintessential Soul Shack), NuYorican Latin Strut frenzy, the rhythm driven angry polemics of Gil Scott-Heron, the sheen of Philly Soul, the Big Apple Soul Disco genius of Patrick Adams, and, inevitably, the Soul and Funk of Detroit’s many music alchemists.

The soundtrack is a potpourri of blistering horns, splintering percussion, haunting flutes, discordant trumpets, metronome beats, emotions-tearing and goosebumps-inducing so-Soulful drenched vocals, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, (and often both), extravagant 12-inch remixes segueing into primitive street beats and dancing in outer space Brit Funk grooves designed to trip your mind. They are all integral parts of a time and place called Soul Shack.

The schizophrenia of the music selection is an essential part of the master plan. That is, perhaps, best summed up by skin-tight fetish funkateers The Ohio Players (maybe the best live band I have ever witnessed, but that’s another story) being somewhat perversely represented here by the quintessential Northern Soul perfection “Love Slipped Through My Fingers”.

1) I'm a Bad Go Getter - Jean Shy
2) Our Love (Will Never Falter) - Eddie Bo
3) Two Fools - Francine King
4) Little Boy Blue - Little Buck
5) Cut You Loose - Ricky Allen
6) Funky Drop - Soul Suspects
7) The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson
8) Love Slipped Thru My Fingers - The Ohio Players
9) Get a Good Feeling - Brief Encounter
10) Not Too Young - Continental Showstoppers
11) Number One - Uncle Remus
12) Time and Place - Lee Moses

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Soul Shack: Time & Place - Various Artists

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