1. Funkadelic – “One Nation Under A Groove”
The layers in this Clinton production are other-worldly, Detroit doesn’t play & this masterpiece proves that.
2. Rick James – “You And I”
If it weren’t for the power of Rick James we may not have seen Prince try so hard, here is one of the reasons that kept Prince honing his craft when he was just a young buck.
3. Kraftwerk – “Trans Europe Express”
This song moved me at an early age & is what I consider the first electro track.
4. Bob Marley – “Get Up, Stand Up”
No one can deny the urgency, power, & revolutionary strength of Bob’s catalogue, this is just one of MANY gems that I can never get enough of from Bob.
5. Visage – “Frequency 7”
Not many tracks compare to this one, for me, it was the first ‘techno’ track, and the first track that made me re-think how music was made, as a child I knew this was different, it still is today.
6. Isley Brothers – “Fight The Power, Part 1 & 2”
Driving with my Father in the 1970s in his ’69 convertible Chevelle & hearing this song is a memory that I will never forget.
7. The Brothers Johnson – “Strawberry Letter 23”
The original by Shuggie Otis was a wee bit before my time, but this cover is beautiful every time I hear it.
8. Ohio Players – “Fire”
The funk, the live sets, their catalog, their look & style just does it for me when I am looking for a funk-fix.
9. Parliament – “Flashlight”
This walking bass-line & all the other tricks, bells, squeaks, blips & other phenomenal musicality in this one will never grow old, 100% genius.
10. UR – “Illuminator”
This could be the best ‘techno’ track from Detroit, the moving strings & arrangement here take me to places so far out that I need a moment to recover after listening to it every time. Thank you Mike Banks.
Thomas Barnett & Ecilo – Low Tech Funk EP
It’s the dawn of a new decade, the ’20s, and there are a billion different things vying for the attention of your eyes and ears – yet very little truly deserving of that most precious commodity. Low Tech Funk, the latest collaboration release from the Visillusion duo, Thomas Barnett and Ecilo, fits the bill as an absolute must see-and-hear for all Techno fans desiring to experience what can happen when the storied past of this genre blends perfectly with the future. From the Detroit-based Barnett, the mind behind “Nude Photo”, which is widely-regarded as the first Techno track to set the world aflame, we get the earth-shaking, riveting and trend-setting track, “Club Talk”, which captures and squeezes you in a python’s grasp from first listen. Barnett, a true Detroit Techno originator, doesn’t loosen that grip with the universe-altering “Low Tech Funk” title track or street-level “Pimpin’”, two cuts that reek of Motor City authenticity and musicality too often missing from the mundane sequels and rote re-releases coming out of the genre these days. Ecilo, a Jakarta-based phenomenon, has been a force of nature since exploding on the scene in 2008 to share his love of Techno music with whoever would listen. It didn’t take long to find an audience, or a kindred musical spirit in Barnett. On this six-track masterpiece, there is no let up, and it’s difficult to tell where Barnett ends and Ecilo begins. But if we must draw a demarcation line, you’ll definitely find it with the son of Indonesia’s “Ain’t Scared of You (MFs).” No, English isn’t Ecilo’s first language, but he uses Bernie Mac as a stand-in and we all get the message loud and clear. Ecilo delivers some DJ-friendly fare to thump the floor with “Stone From Venus,” and you may never think of a night at the club the same way again after hearing his ethereal and thought-provoking “Future Acid Poem.” As a duo, Barnett and Ecilo are as dynamic as any Techno Twosome we have ever seen or heard. With Low Tech Funk, they go three-on-three, head-to-head, side-by-side and back-to-back – blood brothers in the dance game, both taking no prisoners and playing for keeps.