PIGBAG

Volume One/Volume Two

(Fire)

How much motherfucking Pigbag does one person need in this life? It's a question surely on the minds of many. Fire Records, bless its optimistic heart, thinks you require two double CDs of Pigbag music. While I'm a staunch OG fan of the British group's high-flying jazz funk, even I think this is too much Pigbag. Really, you could do very well for yourself by snagging Volume One, which contains the fantastic 1982 debut LP Dr Heckle & Mr Jive plus the early singles (disc 1) and the 12-inch singles and B-sides (disc 2). You can live without Volume Two, which contains the weaker, vocal-plagued 1983 follow-up Lend an Ear and live recordings from '82 and '83.

Dr Heckle & Mr Jive abounds with manic percussion; life-enhancing blasts of brass; bass lines you want to do gymnastics on; vibrant, humid funk; and the occasional foray into atmospheric weirdness (check the breathtaking inner-space burrowing of "Brian the Snail"). "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag" was the big hit, and it's easy to hear why: It sounds like a theme song to a fantastic new sports competition. It's such infectious dance-floor dynamite that even Detroit techno legend Derrick May spins it in his DJ sets. "Sunny Day" and "Getting Up" also represent Pigbag at their best—eventful, uproarious funk tracks that will take you higher than you would ever expect instrumental jams by white Brits to do.

A lot of vocal-free funk made by skilled players comes off as faceless and devoid of fun. Pigbag's instrumental funk, however, has loads of personality and is more fun than trying on Bootsy Collins's entire sunglasses collection while drunk on rum. Everyone needs some motherfucking Pigbag in his/her life—just not four effin' discs of it. recommended

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