Heed The Call! (Whakarono, Nga Tamariki) Soul, Funk & Disco from Aotearoa, 1973-1983
It’s been threatened for a while, and now, finally – it’s here. The best, the only compilation of great Kiwi funk soul and disco from the seventies. Heed The Call! (Whakarono, Nga Tamariki) has been compiled by John Baker and Alan Perrott. They’re record-collectors from way back and they’ve got the tracklisting just right here, mixing in total obscurities with the actual-classics you’d expect. So from Tui Teka and Mark Williams and Tina Cross and Golden Harvest to things like The Pink Family, The Totals and Sonia & Skee.
Perrott’s liner notes tell us plenty of good stories, key recording dates and places and the overall historical context. They serve the music well, they highlight the love and care taken in the selections – but of course they urge you too to dive right in. Which is what this is about. An immersive experience, swimming through swirls of sepia-tinged disco waves and the hard-nodding funk workouts of your new or new-again favourite bands rescued from obscurity. The Totals (featuring one of my first drum heroes, and tutors, Gene Crarer), Collision – with You Can Dance rocking along as if Con Funk Shun and The Commodores were the same thing.
You might have been able to justify this as a must-have purchase simpler for the opener, the long – full – version of Dalvanius and The Fascinations’ Voodoo Lady (a DJ staple if there was one) and the fantastic Disco Lady from Mark Williams who doubles as the cover-star for the album (and always kills with his version of A House For Sale).
In the way that the best (dream) compilations work this transports you. It has much to teach, so much to offer. It rewards. But it’s also – because of all of that, and even outside of that somehow – just a damn good fucking time.
A must-have for the music-nerd in your life. Which just might be you if you’re reading this. Treat yourself. And a friend. But get in quick.
Available as a limited double-LP (I believe that’s sold through already with hopes of a January/February restock). The CD is being repressed too – but check your local stores just in case. A funky Christmas (hopefully) awaits…