Local Wire

Various Artists

In an attempt to give light to forgotten (though pivotal) singles from the heyday of the San Fran/Oakland funk/soul diaspora, Luv N'Haight launched in 1990. Fifty records later, the label shows no signs of slowing, as Bay Area Funk 2 proves. Like with many compilations of this nature, there are reasons some of the acts never received widespread attention. Still, Luv N'Haight has done an exceptional job of collecting quality material previously available, for the most part, on crate-dug vinyl. The Windjammers' "Poor Soul Child pt. 1" is one standout, a gritty, rustic runner reminiscent of Marvin Gaye circa Here, My Dear. The slower groove of Mary Love's sensual "Born to Live With Heartache" recalls the best of Aretha Franklin, including soulful backing vocals and tasteful horns. And the Fat Albert-esque Project Soul creates a wicked guitar/keyboard interplay with, fittingly enough, "Plenty Action." With 16 years of regional anthropology, we are assured there's no end in sight to this dig.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Derek Beres