Matata were obviously inspired tremendously by James Brown. One listen to "I Feel Funky" affirms they were huge fans of the heavy funk scene in the US. In fact their LP "Independence" directly channels the feel of Fred Wesley, Maceo, and the JB's first albums. Lead singer Anwar Richards pulls off a pretty mean scream and is generally pretty masterful at capturing the JB vibe. If ever there's a solid afro funk LP, this is probably the one. In addition to Anwar's amazing vocals the band is rumored to be comprised of top notch session players. A hit list from both Kenya and Ghana of amazing afro funk musicians thrown together for Matata. This incredible line up made every track they recorded solid funk bomb material.
This 7 inch has "I Want You" and "I Feel Funky". It's a great 7 inch to have. Both songs are incredible. They are probably the best two from the album. They're both from the 'Independence' LP on President Records. President is probably one of my all time favorite UK labels. Largely in part to being the label for most of the material by The Equals. I'm a huge fan of the Equals and I'm working on a tribute to the Equals in an upcoming post. Secondly, they were the label for Matata. Thirdly, they were responsible for bringing the T.K. and Miami sound to Britain. President records has a looooong and impressive catalog. Aside from having the other highly desired funk bomb "Talkin' Talking" on it, this entire LP is solid thru and thru. This incredible LP gets the highest recommendation I could possibly give. And, if deep funk is your thing you should track it down.
So, I'm giving up both sides of this incredible 7 inch and two tracks from the LP. I was tempted to only leave you with "I Want You" because its the best track by them...period. But, with four others, you should be able to make your own decision.
Matata - I Want You
Matata - I Feel Funky
Matata - Talkin' Talkin'
Matata - Gimme Some Lovin'