Saturday, 30 March 2013

Cassette experiment day 41 - Funkapolitan 'Funkapolitan'

I always find it interesting when people say one thing but clearly mean another. One example being ‘economical with the truth’, which as we all know, means ‘lying’. Or how about ‘not conventionally beautiful’ which simply means ‘not beautiful’. Or, in the case of our cassette today, ‘of its time’, which of course translates into ‘terribly dated’.
‘Funkapolitan’ by Funkapolitan is one such album that is absolutely ‘of its time’ – but, if you, like me, were listening to music in 1982 then I’m sure, also like me, that you’ll find something to enjoy here.
Funkapolitan’s record label, London, obviously thought this was an album that deserved the full ‘pulling out all the stops’ treatment, so Production is courtesy of August Darnell (of Kid Creole and The Coconuts) and for the cover/insert the band have been given a helping hand by no less than Peter Saville. Wonderfully designed it is too, although obviously with an LP sleeve rather than a fiddly little cassette insert in mind.
Musically there are similarities to a number of other (predominantly) white artists of the time who were having fun with jangly guitar-based funk with a bit of (at times clumsy) rap thrown in. Haircut 100 did it (their second album will be featuring soon!), Perry Haines did it rather more pleasingly and obscurely with ’What’s funk?’, Blue Rondo a la Turk did it with the brilliant ‘Klacto Vee Sedstein’ and Wham crashed the whole party with their similarly jangly/funky ‘teeth-on-edge’ ‘Wham rap’.
The best known tune on ‘Funkapolitan’ is ‘As the time goes by’ (which I have on 7” single too!) and it is pretty much the best of what’s on offer. There are some other good tracks too – although if anything the album suffers from that fatal flaw that can sound the death knell for any collection; starting side 1 with the weakest and keeping everyone waiting until the last track on side 2 for the best. ‘In the crime of life’, another single, is also entertaining in a 1982 kind of way.
So that, ladies and gents, is ‘Funkapolitan’. Funky and cosmopolitan, presumably.
And just in case you’re wondering, the cover shows an experimental Sunbeam alloy head.
Label – London
Year - 1982