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DESIGNER FUNK


Rummaging through my tape archive I found a live recording of the jazz funk band Shakatak which I produced for radio in 1982. It was from the Glasgow Apollo, recorded before digital had started to make its presence felt. A few years later the band released a live album and comparing the two versions here of their hit record Night Birds I do think mine fares better.


I'm not just being a conceited schmuck saying that. I don't much like my own work either around the later 80s. It's a digital thing. It took a while for the new technology to bed in and for a time music production suffered I think as we grappled with the new possibilities. Shakatak's live album was a product of that transition era.


Despite the excellent musicianship, the band's brand of designer funk hasn't aged terribly well, surpassed as it was by acid jazz and such as the Brand New Heavies - although I think Shakatak is still around, still with a core following. Hats off to them.

     Night Birds (1)

     Night Birds (2)

performed: Shakatak (Glasgow)

produced for radio: CS (1982)

performed: Shakatak (Japan)

produced: Nigel Wright (1985)

Archive Recordings