VA: Supafunkanova Vol. 2 compiled by Jeoy Negro & Sean P
Z Records

Arriving eight years after 2007's initial volume, Supafunkanova returns with another collection of funky old-school tracks, overseen as before by curators Joey Negro and Sean P. The material is very emblematic of the party-minded spirit of the ‘70s and ‘80s, with the recording's disco, funk, soul, and boogie tracks inspired by Prince, hip-hop pioneers (like Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five and The Sugarhill Gang), and even Madonna.

Airplay sets a good-time tone for the release with “Drive Me Insane,” a wild funk-boogie jam heavy on squiggly synths, talk box-like vocal effects, and other instruments redolent of the era (e.g., clavinet). Egged on by cheering, The Sunburst Band stokes a block party vibe in the funk-meets-hip-hop throwdown “The Easton Assassin” with an MC indulging in call-and-response with the crowd about heavyweight boxer Larry Holmes. The synth stabs and robo-funk drum groove in Magnum Force's “Cool Out” are clearly indebted to Prince's signature ‘80s sound, while the female singer emoting through Splash's “Sound Reason” (in a Joey Negro edit) calls to mind both Teena Marie and early Madonna (circa “Into the Groove” and Like A Virgin). Elsewhere, the raw vocal delivery in Blackrock's “Hey Roots” oozes a bit of a Rick James vibe, and the crisp funk rendering of “Lets Get High (On The Music)” suggests that the Nice & Tight Band name is aptly chosen, even if the song title itself is grammatically imperfect.

Supafunkanova Vol. 2 is no dour affair, as evidenced by the inclusion of cheeky material like Star Quality & Class's “Betcha Got a Dude on the Side,” and, as the album title indicates, funk is the dominant style, with no cut a better argument for the style than The Blue Denim Band's horn-peppered “Spunk in the Funk.” A body-mover from start to finish, Supafunkanova Vol. 2 has its target audience, specifically those hungry for steamy club funk from the ‘70s and ‘80s, clearly staked out. (Note that the review is based on a seventy-five-minute, twelve-track sampler representative of the full twenty-track CD release and ten-track double-LP version.)

March 2015