Funk Factory - Funk Factory - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Funk Factory - Funk Factory

by Kevin Orton Rating:8 Release Date:2016-08-12

Cut in 1975, Funk Factory is another one of those hard to find cult classics collectors with deep pockets fork over the filthy lucre for. A Psychedelic Jazz- Funk extravaganza. Here’s the kicker, they’re Polish. Led by violinist and saxophonist, Michael Urbaniak, Funk Factory was his response to American colleagues that Eastern Europeans couldn’t funk it up. Well, he spectacularly proves his point.

‘Watusi Dance’ is a horn driven call to arms featuring some demented sax from Urbaniak worthy of Captain Beefheart. But the band is only just warming up. The breezier, ‘Horsing Around’, features vocalist, Urszula’s Dudziak, who throughout the album manages to be both earthy and ethereal. Elsewhere, fans of the Beastie Boys will notice that 'Car Theif' off Paul’s Boutique borrows heavily from the irresistible groove of ‘Rein Na Va Plus’. Dudziak getting her "Yoko" on with unhinged yelps at one point. This tune is worth the price of admission alone. A thing of rare, funky beauty.

‘After the World Goes Home’ keeps up the groove, all tripped out keys, funky guitar, baked synths, fat bass; Urbaniak wailing away on sax, never missing a step and never straying into indulgence. ‘Next Please’ is one of the jazzier numbers with some male scat reminiscent of the likes of Al Jarreau or Bobby McFarrin.

Things slow down for the ballad, ‘Music In Me’, Dudziak doing her best Dionne Warwick. It’s the kind of thing you’d hear in the cocktail lounge on the Love Boat. Without a doubt the cheesiest, most dated number on the album. Suffice it to say, it probably isn’t the reason collectors have been laying down top dollar all these years. ‘Funk It’ is more like it. And boy, do Urbaniak and his cohorts live up to the title. Here the band really strut their stuff with some dizzying guitar and zoned out synths. The rhythm section couldn’t be any tighter or in the pocket. On ‘Lilliput’ the ensemble flirts with the experimental but never once lose the groove. The album concludes with the dizzying and hallucinatory funk of ‘Sinkin’ Low’.

Without a doubt Funk Factory lives up to the hype. Fans of Herbie Hancock and George Duke, won’t be able to resist this long, lost treasure. Samplers and DJ's won’t be able to keep their mitts off it.  A crate digger’s dream. 

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