Saturday, 29 December 2018

The Meters - Look-Ka Py Py (1969)

Funky miracle....


Released in December 1969


1. Look-Ka Py Py
2. Rigor Mortis
3. Pungee
4. Thinking
5. This Is My Last Affair
6. Funky Miracle
7. Yeah You're Right
8. Little Old Money Maker
9. Oh, Calcutta!
10. The Mob
11. 9 'til 5
12. Dry Spell                                                  

This is the second album of largely instrumental funk from the New Orleans foursome, head by Art Neville. There are a few sort of chanted backing vocals but it is pretty much a cooking, organ, drum and guitar-driven album of red hot early funk. It has been very influential subsequently.

Look-Ka Py Py is beautifully bass heavy and backed up with catchy guitar licks and infectious organ swirls. It is pretty much irresistible. The same applies to the crystal clear percussion and sixties-style psychedelic organ on Rigor Mortis. The tracks pretty much follow the same pattern, remnants of the sixties are kicking around in the "fat" organ breaks but there is a resonant bassiness and clever use of guitar breaks that make for a funky brew. The drumming is staccato, rhythmic and intoxicating. Unlike with vocal tracks, it is more difficult to go through each number, track by track, particularly here when they all get into the same funky groove. It is just an excellent, uplifting instrumental album. When The Meters got more soulful and added vocals on their seventies albums the sound and product was more fulfilled and polished, but there is a raw, funky edginess to these early recordings that render them pretty essential in the development of funk.

This Is My Last Affair must surely have influenced Elvis Costello when writing songs for Get Happy!!, just check out the rumbling bass, melodic organ riffs and drums. You almost expect Costello to start singing. Funky Miracle has a captivating shuffling beat, as does Pungee. Also, the vibe on Yeah You're Right is just so captivating. Perfect.

All this material just sound like perfect funky backing tracks and all have a pre-blaxploitation upbeat urban, down 'n' dirty groove to them. I have to say, also, that the sound quality is truly outstanding throughout, particularly considering it was recorded in 1969. Highly recommended.


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