Various Artists – Ubiquity / Luv N’ Haight, Trippin’ – The Groove Merchant Compilation

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Trippin' - The Groove Merchant Compilation

Various Artists - Ubiquity / Luv N' Haight

A diminutive San Francisco record store specializing in rare funk 'n 'jazz grooves, Groove Merchant found itself immortalized by the Beastie Boys '"Professor Booty": "This one goes out to my man the Groove Merchant/ Coming through with beats for which I been searchin'." The store affirms the shout-out with this 1996 compilation of funky esoterica: The Johnny Frigo Quartet's organ-laden interpretation of Dennis Coffey's breakbeat classic "Scorpio" originally appeared on an album designed for dance classes, while David Baker's "Le Miroir Noir" hails from an instructional LP. Although these mostly instrumental, vinyl-crackling cuts lack the slickness of famous funkmaster classics, they make up for what they lack in finesse with feeling and eccentricity. Check the extreme guitar fuzz of West Coast Revival's "My Mind Is at Ease," or the over-the-top drum intro to Eugene Blackwell and the New Breed's "Gettin 'Down." This is the stuff of which crate-digger dreams are made.