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Appreciation Of The Unknown 12″

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dancin_cover.jpg J.R.cover.jpg

Henderson & Whitfield : Dancin’ To The Beat
taken from the 12″ on Park Place (1981)

J.R. Funk and The Love Machine : Feel Good, Party Time
taken from the 12″ on Brass (1980)

Ever heard of Henderson & Whitfield? What about J.R. Funk? Didn’t think so. Not many have. Those who, at one point in time (probably 20 years ago), knew these names (and perhaps even loved them?), have now undoubtedly discarded almost all the remnants of importance once dedicated to these groove aficionados. A brief moment of exuberant hedonistic brilliance, and then once again into the ether of the mundane. Maybe J.R. is turning 50 this year, saving up for a trip to the Bahamas. Wherever you are, lost samurai of the skating rinks, we thank you. Your funk is not forgotten.

I may be exaggerating a bit about the obscurity factor, clearly cats as notable as Joey Negro are still down. But in the grand scheme, a spot on a comp is merely a blip on the pop-life screen. This Henderson & Whitfield 12″ is a catch. Gotta love those flying disco space laser sounds: shooting stars above that sticky liquid slap bass groove. The obligatory claps and whistles pierce just as they should, the horn stabs, bongos and clavinet building the overall sound to something that approaches frenzy, but never loses its cool.

As for J.R. Funk, I guess there was another single and an album to accompany “Feel Good”, but definitely he didn’t leave much of a legacy behind. A man of the SYNTH, his sensibilities have definitely come back in style – what with Sa-Ra, Spacek, Outkast, Pharrel and other cats doing their George Clinton appreciation thang. Perhaps we can help him live on in the future by freaking the fat open drum breaks that were captured during his shortlived glimpse at stardom.

BIG NEWS! Do not sleep on the new mix from regular Crate contributor Murphy’s Law: it’s called “Stone Cold Soul” and it’s up in the Loose Tapes section right now! All that new shiz that we love right now plus some oldies, re-edits and remixes for your DOME!