Florian Keller has indulged his love of rare funk 45s by running Munich club nights since the early ’90s. He has the collector’s lust for the quirky or offbeat, but unlike some aficionados he isn’t rooted in the past.
This selection is a mixed bag of old and new, ranging from classic rare grooves to exuberant neo soul from the likes of newcomer Gizelle Smith.
Keller is interested in the genesis of hip hop, opening the album with a kind of proto-hip hop track featuring Archie Shepp on flute and spoken word. The album isn’t, however, limited by language or geography, as revealed by the Spanish vocals on La Valla by Bronx River Parkway.
At times Party-Kellerleans towards the oddball, with what’s supposedly Nigeria’s first rap record: Dizzy K Falola’s rather weird, disco-inflected Take It To The DJ. The BA Baracus Band’s cover of LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out also belongs in the oddball category — a kind of funk-hip hop hybrid sung in the manner of Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine.
Some songs have certainly been chosen more for their curiosity value than their quality, but there are still plenty of gems in this idiosyncratic collection. – George Mitton