funk aid for africa (review)

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June 10, 2009 by DJ Elroy

Courtesy of funkaid.com and dubSpot.com

Courtesy of funkaid.com and dubSpot.com

words by DJElroy~

Being charitable never sounded so good!

Dubspot’s Funk Aid for Africa is the debut mix for this philanthropic music project working with the humanitarian organization NextAid. Dubspot founder Dan Giove explains it is all about the “ethics of altruism and selflessness [and] much of the musical community shares in this feeling; it’s just not about the individual. It is in this spirit that all of the musicians involved with the Funk Aid mix have generously donated their art and their time in deference to a greater cause.”

And just as impressive as the hard work and sacrifice of the musical community is the promise by Dubspot: everything goes to the cause. No asterisks or fine print here. Straight from their mission statement: “100% of the proceeds from the sale of this compilation are going directly to charity. These funds will aid in the construction of a ‘green’ environment, including a playground and nursery school, for the children of Youth with a Vision (YWAV), a South African organization that runs AIDS prevention programs in Dennilton, South Africa. These facilities are part of NextAid’s and YWAV’s 20 structure childrens village that will house 30 children orphaned by AIDS, an after-school center for hundreds of children living off site, and an economic hub for the surrounding community.”

As worthy as the cause is, without good music it just wouldn’t have the legs to reach its goal. Not to worry; this compilation is a top-shelf collection of jams epitomizing the sound of summer. DJ OBaH is the musical mastermind behind the mix, and true to form this album is a melting pot of sound and culture, bringing together elements of funk, urban, afro-beat, house, dancehall, Latin, and tribal.

In this age of digital instruments, sometimes the music loses its humanity. That is definitely not the case here, as Funk Aid has more soul than the late, great, James Brown, and the music is more diverse than a United Nations potluck. You won’t only hear a blue-ribbon playlist; listen closely and you’ll hear the compassion, love, humility, and humanity of the artists in each and every track.

The album opens with a nice funky vibe, and the slap bass, horns, and wah guitar of “Jungle Struttin” get things heated up early. The Pimps of Joytime crack the mix wide with their soulful vocals on “San Francisco Bound” and over the next several tracks the subtle change from inner-city life to tropical beach relaxin’ is a great way to get a taste of the yin and the yang of the musical community. Head south of the border with “Mi Sonsito” and add a sexy twist of sunset sounds and seduction on “Sabroso”. Big sound and frantic funk break out on “Latin Freak” and work down into the chill “Ease it Out” and the slow groove keeps on rolling over the next several jams. A strong close with “Hasta La Vista” and “Ina Funky Dub” bring the mix full-circle and tease me to push play again.

Funk Aid for Africa is available now thanks to hard work of Dubspot, NextAid, BFM Digital, DJ OBaH, all the wonderful artists and everyone involved in the project. For more information be sure to visit funkaid.com and dubspot.com and give a little back.

FunkAid.com

dubSpot.com

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