Quango Compilation To Include 'West London' Tracks

Cosmic Funk,a compilation of recordings by several architects of the "West London" sound, will be released for the first time in the U.S. on June 5, marking the return of the Quango label. Known in the mid-'90s as a meeting place for world music and dance beats, Quango returns from several years' hiatus. Cosmic Funk is notable for its inclusion of the emerging genre known variously as broken beat, future jazz or the West London sound. Now a sub-label of Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures, in the 1990s the Island imprint was one of the first domestic labels to release material from downtempo dons Kruder and Dorfmeister, Asian Underground innovator Talvin Singh and ambient junglist Alex Reece.

Compiled by Los Angeles DJ Bruno Guez, Cosmic Funk features eight tracks of off-beat house and funk from producers like Migs & Jelly, Funky Lowlives and East Village Headz. Most remarkable, though, is the appearance of Neon Phusion, Kaidi Tatham, SK Radicals and New Sector Movements, all members of a loose collective of West London-based musicians merging the sounds of deep house, breakbeat funk, Detroit techno, Roy Ayers' soul-jazz and Herbie Hancock's electric fusion. Aside from Planet E's compilation The Good Good (licensed from Dego McFarlane's label 2000Black), none of these artists' work has been released in the U.S. until now; they've recorded only for UK artist-run independents such as Main Squeeze, People and Laws of Motion.

Three more compilations to be released in June and July — Mystic Groove, Brazilified, and Space Jazz — will round out Quango's aesthetic, featuring a number of artists only now attaining visibility before U.S. audiences — dZihan and Kamien, Nitin Sawney, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Modaji, Solid Doctor, and Love TKO — alongside more established performers like Jazzanova and Trüby Trio. — Philip Sherburne [Thursday, May 17, 2001]

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