Northern soul boy, crate digger and tastemaker, Keb Darge is a name which needs no introduction to lovers of rare music the world over. His ‘Legendary Deep Funk’ night at Soho’s seminal strip club turned music venue Madame Jojo’s introduced obscure dance-floor soul music to an eager London club crowd, sparking a global appetite for raw, visceral funk.
Keb’s search for rare ‘45s took him across the globe, obsessively searching dollar bins, private collections and in some cases, artists homes to discover hidden gems recorded by local bands on regional record labels and pressed in tiny quantities. The rarity of the music combined with Keb’s exquisite ear and DJ ability meant that these records quickly became highly collectible (not to mention expensive) and even made ‘deep funk’ a recognized genre all its own. Keb’s passion paved the way for the modern funk revival, spearheaded by bands like The New Mastersounds & Quantic, even hitting the pop charts with the likes of Mark Ronson.
In 1997 BBE released the first of three compilation albums of ‘Legendary Deep Funk ’, among the first LPs issued by the label. Equally loved by fans and loathed by vinyl price-gougers, the music contained on these albums took the world by storm, offering a refreshing change from the same old well-loved funk tunes endlessly re-issued on cut-price comps. The music felt fresh, exciting, full of energy and more authentic than anything all but the most dedicated collectors had heard before.
Fittingly enough, to celebrate BBE’s 20th year, we’ve asked Keb to select his greatest hits from the ‘Deep Funk’ series, presented on heavyweight vinyl, CD and digital formats. The compilation contains edits by Keb’s deep funk contemporaries Ian Wright & Kenny Dope, as well as standout tracks from over 20 years of ‘Legendary Deep Funk’.
2LP vinyl track listing:
King Tutt – You’ve Got Me Hung Up
Harris and Orr – Spread Love
Cross Bronx Expressway – Cross Bronx Expressway
Soul Drifter – Funky Brother (Re-Edit)
Zebra – Simple Song
Record Player – Free Your Mind
Fabulous Mark 3 – Psycho
The Chefs – Mr Machine (Re-Edit)
Dee Edwards – I Can Deal With That
Leon Gardner – Natural
Family Of Eve – I Wanna Be Loved By You
Total Experience – Contradiction
Joe Washington – Blueberry Hill
Ronnie Keaton – Going Down For The Last Time
Fabulous Originals – It Ain’t Fun (Re-Edit)
Sons Of The Kingdom – Modernization
Ramsey & Co – Love Call
Rickey Calloway – Tell Me
Golden Toadstools – Silly Savage
Sandi and Matues – World
Carleen & The Groovers – Can We Rap