September 15, 2016
Paying tribute to one of the greatest, and most under-appreciated funk albums from the ’70s – Funk Factory.
Proof that the the Poles really did know how to groove, Funk Factory is one of those holy grail records that has assumed cult status over the years, in part through samples on Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique classic ‘Car Thief’.
But they weren’t the only ones. To mark a gorgeous reissue of the original on Be With Records, the label enlisted Adrian from Lanquidity to put the Funk Factory in context, with an hour of straight up Polish jazz jams and deep groove.
Words: Adrian Magrys
Michal Urbaniak, who produced this album, invited his Polish friends to record it with him. Urbaniak had the Polish groove scene in mind; he wanted to combine the funk sound with the Slavic component that at the time was something new and refreshing. His partner at the time Urszula Dudziak, Wlodek Cugowski and Bernard Kafka were in the studio during the creation of Funk Factory.
In this mix, I have deconstructed the album by concentrating on the Polish roots of the musicians and their ability to produce the ‘sound’. I wanted to dig deeper in order to fully understand Funk Factory and the rich history of Polish groove/funk sound.
Arguably, Novi Singers was the band that influenced Urbaniak the most; he decided to include the ‘Rien Na Va Plus’ composition on the album which originally was written by Bernard Kafka. The song originally featured on very well acclaimed album by Novi Singers recorded and released in Poland in 1973. During this period, the recording of Funk Factory was one of the best times of great hope for Polish musicians. They travelled to the U.S., in pursuit of dreams and freedom. They played with the best musicians at the time, for example Urbaniak had recorded with Miles Davis on Tutu. As in life, some were more successful than others, some decided to come back to Poland.
Wlodek Cugowski is a great example of an excellent musicians involved in Funk Factory project. Adrian reminds us of his great potential with Manhattan Vibes composition from Soundcheck album from 1984 recorded in Poland. Arguably, Czeslaw Niemen was an artist with the biggest potential for a great career outside the Soviet block. Why it did not work out for him is a different story.
On this mix tape you will also hear an emotional composition ‘Inside I’m Dying’ from 1976, which features Urbaniak on violin. Enjoy.
2. Funk Factory- Funk It
3. Michał Urbaniak– Just A Funky Feeling
4. Urszula Dudziak- Sno King
5. Wlodek Gulgowski-Manhattan Vibes
6. Michał Urbaniak- Stretch
7. Wojciech Karolak, Michał Urbaniak, Czesław Bartkowski- Suita O Siedmiu Zbójach (Seven Brigands Story)
8. Michał Urbaniak Constellation- Seresta
9. NOVI Singers- Next Please
10. Michał Urbaniak- Fusion
11. Urszula Dudziak- Chassing
12. Bernard Kafka- The Hero
13. Niemen- Inside I’m Dying