This collection of early Defunkt mostly features their arguably classic line up. Kim Clarke's wonderful, unique, wide-freqeuncy sound on bass (Music Man Stingray?) slipping seamlessly from finger to slap can only be described as 'riotous' - it sounds like improvisation to me with endless ideas woven around a rock solid funk riff. Kelvyn Bell's guitar likewise has this impro feel about it and yet is funk solid - his hard sound and jazz-modal solos add to the overall 'angular' sound of Defunkt and is no surprise he went on to play in Steve Coleman's Five Elements. Kenny Martin on drums - well, it takes something very special to simultaneously add to this riot of a thousand-riff's-a-minute rock funk and still keep a bed rock groove (this man has eight arms surely)! All this is the perfect underpinning for Joe Bowies' proclamation vocals and strident, explosive, modal brass.
It's common knowledge that from the late sixties through the seventies, jazz musicians crossed over to dance music but commercial pressures kept their 'jazz' on a leash - unleash a modal, angular, style of jazz, add a hard, rock edge, root it in 'the-spaces-are-as-important-as-the-notes' pure funk, and you've got Defunkt - don't hesitate to buy this, their eponymous CD, and 'In America' if you can find it. Russell