Monday, October 08, 2007

Brit Funk  

I'm not from San Francisco, I'm from Sheringham in North Norfolk, England. Several cultural centres are located near the Victorian era seaside town of Sheringham, these include Norwich (the epicentre of the region), Kings Lynn and North Walsham.

A common preconception that I hear when talking to other dance music historians and urban culture historians that I encounter on my travels throughout the world is that no disco, rare groove, electro soul or boogie of any note whatsoever ever came out Norwich and its surrounding areas. Sadly, after much time and study of the subject it would appear they were right. Norwich was more of a post punk art school town in those days, a genre in which it punched slightly above it's weight (lightweight), but I still ask around and look through the local record bins when I'am back, in hopes that I will find something by Norfolk's one forgotten underground electro disco act that disbanded unheralded in 1983, leaving it's members disolusioned and heading back to the pig farms or mustard factory never to speak of their failed efforts again.
(a singing farmer from where I grew up)

Yet, where Norwich was lagging other parts of the United Kingdom had plenty to offer.

Britain has always done a lot with black American music, boogie was no exception and the 12" electronic soul and disco singles that came out of early eighties London fetch fair whack now, probably due to the low number of pressings as compared to their US counterparts and subsequent relative rarity, plus they are mostly good.

Ease Your Mind by Touch Down was produced by a guy called Nigel Wright who went on to become world famous for his sound and scoring work for west end and broad way musicals, I think he did sound production for phantom of the opera with Sir Andrew Loyd Webber, and the song was written by another guy from Bedforshire (not far from Norfolk but almost as rural if that counts), called Steve Vincent, who went on to have hits well into the ninties as a sort of hip house act called 'The Adventures Of Stevie V.' . This can be a pricey record on the used market, and like most Brit Funk records as popular with the acid jazz set as the electro collectors:

Touchdown - Ease My Mind

Posted by Black Shag | 5 comments

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5 comments: to “ Brit Funk

  • October 9, 2007 at 4:58 PM  

    great song. reminds me of Freeez's "Southern Freeez". i'm assuming you've heard the British Hustle comp on soulJazz or Strut? good stuff.

  • October 10, 2007 at 6:04 PM  

    I haven't heard that comp, although I have seen it around, I miss Strut dearly. Brian told me that Strut has been purchased and is going to be revived, and that there may possibly be another installment in the Disco Not Disco series on the way. Lets hope.

  • March 23, 2008 at 5:26 AM  

    Hi Folks,
    i've put together a BritFunk Blog for the BritFunkateers in You.

    Have Fun, Eric

  • June 23, 2008 at 5:03 AM  

    I had forgotten about this track until I heard a cover version by Los Amigos Invisibles on their album "The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 ". Which I think was the Producers Louie Vegas influence.

  • March 23, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

    nice groove!