Space Funk & Funky Moog

In the early 1970s the synthesizer (Moog) and related electronic instruments came into their own at the same time as electric bass and its modern amplification. The Moog's cerebral, spacey, cold qualities contrasted sharply with the warm earthiness (or scary, militant punch) of the bass and drums. But, as with the equally unlikely match of Latin rhythm with jazz horns, eventually a great new hybrid emerged. There are two basic types of funky Moog tunes: 1) Moog tunes that are funky, and 2) funk tunes that have Moog. The same applies to space funk.

Fascination with all aspects of space exploration never ended with the passing of the 1960s, nor did space themes escape the attention of soul, funk, and jazz artists. Especially for "out" jazz artists, space represented the final frontier of ultimate artistic freedom. In space, no one can hear you express yourself through honks and bleeps. Novelty songs about black astronauts conquering and starting new worlds also made the scene.

Among the many pop Moog records, some funky tunes were inevitable. Hugo Montenegro's cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" is typical. Far more fertile are the production (sound library) albums of the period. There, originality, funk, embrace of the Moog, and space for sounds' sake all fit together nicely.

But there ought to have been many more space-funk records. Unfortunately, the keyboard wizards of the soul-jazz era somehow coasted along on the Hammond and then leaped straight into the tacky mid-'70s synthesizers that actually sound like synthesized traditional instruments. Lonnie Smith typifies this type of player. Sure, "That Lady" by the Isleys has synthesizer all over it. But it is not the classic space funk or funky Moog of, say, Jean-Jacques Perrey's "Eva."

Buying: Space & Moog funk is the most highly desired idiom after classic funk with breakbeats; grab it if you can. Production LPs are key.

Space Funk & Funky Moog LPs

7Brother Ahh: Sound of Awareness; Strata-East 19731 (Robert Northern w/Max Roach; out/electronic)
8Brother Ahh & the Sounds of Awareness: Move Ever Onward; Divine 52134A; 1975 (Robert Northern; out/spoken w/sitar)
7Vic Caesar: Bare Knuckles ST; Gucci G-303; 1977 (funky Moog/funk)
7Billy Cobham: Total Eclipse; Atlantic SD-18121; 1974 (breakbeats)
8Paul Collier: Paulverized; Jingleville CHAR-1077 (country rock/space funk w/breakbeats)
7Barry Gray: Space 1999 ST; RCA Victor ABL1-1422; 1976 (space funk/funky rock)
7Don Harper: Live-Neutral-Earth; Impress IA-406; 1975/1974 (production; funky Moog/space-electronic)
7Bill Horn [& Double Image]: Wizard of Arp; Baldwin CS-8114; 1977 (space synth)
8John Murtaugh: Blues Current; Polydor 24-4016 (w/Herbie Hancock, Bernard Purdie)
->Jean-Jacques Perrey -- see Odd Pop section's Moog page
7Willsher/Chesher/Hawksworth: Electroshake No. 2--Electronic Sounds; De Wolfe DWLP-3135; 1969 (production)
8Sun Ra & his Arkestra: Nothing Is; ESP 1045; 1966 ("Exotic Forest"--exotic soul jazz)
7Sun Ra & his Blue Universe Arkestra: Universe in Blue; Saturn ESR-200 (live)
8Sun Ra & his Myth Science Arkestra: Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy; Saturn 408 (space-electronic)
7Sun Ra & his Astro-Solar Infinity Arkestra: My Brother the Wind; Saturn ESR-521; 1970 (space-electronic)
7Sun Ra & his Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra: The Night of the Purple Moon; Saturn 522; 1972 (space-electronic)
7Sun Ra & his Astro-Solar Infinity Arkestra: My Brother the Wind Vol. II; Saturn SR-523 (space-electronic)
8Sun Ra & his Arkestra: Space is the Place; Blue Thumb; 1973 (space funk/space-electronic/soul jazz)
8The Intergalactic Sun Ra: Concert for the Comet Kohoutek; 1973 (live; space-electronic/soul jazz/partly vocal; w/"Space is the Place"; Abraxas/Get Back GET-10118-013252-101113; 1998)
7Sun Ra & his Arkestra: The Other Side of the Sun; Sweet Earth; 1979/1978-79 (10-minute update of "Space is the Place")
8Sun Ra & his Arkestra: Rocket Ship Rock; Norton ED-354; 2009/1957-68 (space funk/space rock; compilation of singles by various Sun Ra entities)

Partly Funky Space/Moog LPs

7Muhammad Ali & his Gang: The Adventures of Ali & his Gang Vs. Mr. Tooth Decay Vol. 1; Arther Morrison; 1976 (kid funk/fu funk; Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell, Frank Sinatra, Richie Havens, Jayne Kennedy, Ossie Davis, Arther Morrison)
6Alberto Baldan Bembo Sound Orchestra; Star Track TR-1982 (production/Moog/space disco)
7Both Worlds: Don'tcha Hide It; TPI 1004; 1974 (funky rock/funk/moog funk; Baltimore private-press; one Hank Levy cut)
6Bottom & Co.: Rock Bottom; Motown/Gordy G6-977-S1; 1976/1975-76 ("Ticket to the Moon"; funk/disco/Moog-space funk)
7James Brown: Non Stop; Polydor 2391.509; 1981 (World Cycle Inc.)
->Doug Carn -- see soul-jazz piano
6The Jimmy Castor Bunch Featuring the Everything Man: E-Man Groovin'; Atlantic SD-18186; 1976 ("Space Age")
5The Jimmy Castor Bunch: Let it Out; TK/Drive 107; 1978
6Billy Cobham: A Funky Thide of Sings (sic); Atlantic SD-18149; 1975 ("Sorcery"; conga-funk-percussion/funky Moog)
9The Continental III: Just for You; Baldwin CS-8229; 1978 ("2001 Space Odyssey")
8Continental Four: Dream World; Jay-Walking JWL-1020; 1972 ("Escape from Planet Earth")
7Claude Denjean: Open Circuit; London Phase 4 SP-44196 ("Kiss This")
7The Doctor Exx Band: Superman & Other Disco Hits; Pickwick SPC-3668; 1979 (disco/funky Moog; reissue, probably of Alshire)
8Mark Duval & his Music; Chappell LPC-1052; 1972 ("Phase-Out"; production)
5Charles Earland: Odyssey; Mercury Phonogram SRM-1-1049; 1976 ("Journey of the Soul")
7The Bernard Ebbinghouse Orchestra: The '77 Sound/The Paolo Zavallone Group: Musical Cocktail (No. 3); Bosworth Backgrounds BLP-149; 1977 (production; e-piano/Moog funk/Moog/space-electronic/mod soul/guitar)
8The Electrifying Sounds of E.M.F. (Derek Scott & Jack Parnell): Way In--Way Out; Berry/Conroy BMLP-113; 1974 (production/Moog)
7Don Ellis: Shock Treatment; Columbia CS-9668 ("Star Children"--not funky but a classic)
7Bernard Estardy: Electro Sounds Volume 2; Telemusic TM-3033; 1973 ("Riviera Express"; production/Moog/space-electronic/Moog funk/flute; France)
6Merrell Fankhauser: Message to the Universe; One Big Guitar OBGLP-9002; 1986 (psyche/space funk/Hawaiian)
8Lee Fields & the Soul Providers: Gimme the Paw; Pure LP-008 ("Lea's Rice Pudding")
7Frank Ford & Andy Angel: The Music Side of Ford & Angel; Baldwin CS-7803; 1974 (lounge act; great instrumental version of "Space Odesey"-sic)
7Ford & Angel: You Can't Have Everything!; Montagne CS-8202; 1977 (features the Wersi Bass Synthesizer; super Moog-funk cover of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon")
->Mort Garson -- see Hyp Records/Odd Pop/Moog--Mort Garson
->Bruce Haack -- see Hyp Records/Odd Pop/Moog
7Doug Hammond/David Durrah et al: Reflections in the Sea of Nurnen; Tribe TRCD-4009; 1975 (soul jazz/space funk/funky Moog)
7Isaac "Redd" Holt Unlimited: Isaac, Isaac, Isaac; Paula LPS-4006; 1974 ("Listen to the Drums")
7Lew Howard & the "All Stars": America '76 Parts 1 & 2; Bosworth BLP-141; 1975 (production/funk/Moog funk/exotic funk; "Rock Funk"; final cut by the Gary Pacific Group)
6Rod Hunter: Soul Makossa; Decca 210037; 1973/1972
7Ice: Import/Export; Prestige P-10096; 1975 (Lafayette Afro-Rock Band; funk/disco/Moog)
9Melvin Jackson: Funky Skull; Limelight LS-86071 (bass/space/out)
7Del Kacher: Disco & Soul Dances; Educational Activities, Inc./Activity Records AR-569; 1976 (kid funk/Moog funk/disco; gatefold w/book)
8John Keating: Space Experience; EMI Studio 2 (U.K.) TWO-393; 1972 (Columbia CQ-32382)
7[Songs of] The Letter People (1): Alpha Time; Arista Corporation 81-10-11; 1981 (2-LP tie-in to alphabet-teaching TV series; kid funk, funky rock, Moog ("Mr. X"), disco..)
7Ramsey Lewis: Funky Serenity; Columbia KC-32030; 1973 ("Dreams")
6Ramsey Lewis: Sun Goddess; Columbia PC-33194; 1974
8Lightfire: Pop Drops; Maritim 47-567-NT; 1974 (funky rock/funk/mod funk/soul-jazz flute/space funk "Soul-Machine"/soul jazz/soul-jazz piano; Germany)
6The Love Machine; Arista/Buddah BDS-5710; 1978 ("Sex-o-sonic")
7Mike Mandel/Clark Ferguson/Carlo Curley: RMI Harmonix Synthesizer & Kyeboard Computer; Rocky Mount Instruments RMI HSKC-1; 1974 (some funky cuts)
7Herbie Mann Discotheque; Atlantic SD-1670; 1975 (disco/flute/Moog funk; w/Ray Barretto, Barry Rogers, Pat Rebillot, Cissy Houston..)
9Owen Marshall as Captain Puff in the Naked Truth; Aditi 1975
7Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony: Disco Baby; Avco AV-69006-698; 1975
8Brother Jack McDuff: Magnetic Feel; GRT/Cadet CA-60039; 1975
8Claudio Medeiros/Victor Meshkovsky & Friends: Rotation; Nucleus Keyboard Series KS-221 (Brasilian jazz/funky Moog/piano)
7Jay Mitchell & Hot Ice: The Messenger; Bush Fire 10030; 1981 (caribeat; "I Love Those Days" features great Moog funk; percussion by John Chipman & Co.)
7Hugo Montenegro: Love Theme from The Godfather; RCA Victor APD1-0001; 1972 (ARP)
7Hugo Montenegro: Hugo in [Stevie] Wonder-Land; RCA Victor APL1-0413; 1974 (ARP; great cover of "Superstition")
7Hugo Montenegro: Other By Brothers; RCA Victor APL1-0784; 1975 (ARP)
7Jesse Morrison: The Versatility of Jesse Morrison; Abet 408; 1975 (ex-Jimmy McGriff group from NJ; soul-jazz tenor, funk, moog funk)
7Oliver Nelson: Skull Session; Flying Dutchman BDL1-0825; 1975 (space funk/mod funk/soul-jazz horns/Moog funk)
8Henrik Nielsen: Media Music Release No. 9--Contemporary Life Styles; Capitol MEJS-6
The Mike Nock Underground: Between or Beyond; MPS 15.261; 1971/1970 ("Space Boogaloo")
7Okko [Becker]: Sitar & Electronics (Moog/sitar/drums; w/Herb Geller)
[Ralfi Pagan -- see Latin Soul]
7Hap Palmer: Movin'; Educational Activities, Inc./Activity Records AR-546; 1973 (kid funk/Moog/sitar; "Funky Penguin")
7Alan Parker: Hot Ice; De Wolfe DWS/LP-3278; 1974 (production; funk/funky Moog/soul-jazz flute)
7The Players Association: Turn the Music Up!; Vanguard VSD-79421; 1978 (Stevie Wonder's "I Wish")
Perez Prado ['70s European LPs, esp. w/tunes "Imperfect" & "Escandalo in Scotland"]
6Andre Previn/London Symphony/Simon Preston: Rollerball ST; United Artists UA-LA470-G; 1975
7Asha Puthli: The Devil is Loose; CBS S81443; 1976 ("Space Talk"; disco/space funk)
9Emil Richards: New Sound Element: "Stones"; MCA/Uni 73008 (Moog/percussion; Dick Beavers, Moog)
6Rufus: Rags to Rufus; ABC ABCX-809; 1974 ("Rags to Rufus")
7Patrice Rushen: Preclusion; Prestige P-10089; 1974 ("Puttered Bopcorn")
8The Seven Shadows directed by Derrick Vaughan: Seven Shades of Sound; Bosworth BLP-139; 1975 (production; funk/calypso jazz/soul-jazz organ/Latin jazz/mod soul/Moog funk; "The Watchful Eye")
6Lonnie Smith: Keep On Lovin'; PIP/Groove Merchant GM-3312; 1976 ("Sizzle Stick"
6StarDrive w/Robert Mason: Intergalactic Trot; Elektra EKS-75058; 1973(Mason claims his is the first multi-voiced/fully chorded synthesizer; covers Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher" & Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever")
6[Jerry Styner & Larry Brown:] Orbit III; Beverly Hills BHS-38 ("Orbit III")
7Synthesizers Unlimited: Electric Bazaar; Southern MQLP-9027; 1974 (Moog funk/Moog pop/Moog rock/production; comp. Anthony King)
7Booker T. & the M.G.'s: Universal Language; Asylum 7E-1093; 1977 ("Sticky Stuff")
7Jean-Claude T.: The Bicentennial Poet; CBS/Philadelphia International PZ-34246; 1976 (some Moog)
8Tip of the Iceberg; Project 3 PR-5091-SD; 1975 ("Squawk Talk")
7Ike Turner Presents the Family Vibes: Confined to Soul; United Artists UA-LA051-F; 1973 (funk/funky rock/funky Moog; "Two for Thee & Three for Me")
7Piero Umiliani: El Corpo ST; Easy Tempo ET-933; 1999/1974 & unreleased (2-LP, [exotic] funk/Moog funk/soul-jazz percussion)
7The Undisputed Truth: Cosmic Truth; Motown/Gordy G6-970-S1; 1975 ("UFO's")
7The United States Air Force Band of the Mid-West: Jazz Ensemble "Diplomats"/Rock Ensemble "Thyme"; USAF SD-508; 1978 (military/space Moog/mod jazz/disco funk/funky rock/rock; originally the 5th Army Air Corps Band)
6[United States Navy] Port Authority: Dance the Night Away; 1977? (military/disco/funk/Moog rock/Moog funk/space funk)
7Jimmy Vann & George Greer: Songs of Metric Man; Orsatti/Metric MR-1-51; 1975
8Jeff Wayne Space Shuttle: Star Trek/Planet of the Apes; Wonderland WLP-301; 1975 ("Apes' Shuffle")
7Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds; CBS PC2-35290; 1978 (space/spoken/funky; 2-LP w/book)
7Joey Welz with Link Wray: Kosmic City Blues & Mellow Dreams; Music City Records MCR-5005; 1978 (Moog/space-Moog/funky Moog/country funk; w/Roy Buchanan)
6The Edgar Winter Group: They Only Come Out at Night; CBS/Epic KE-31584; 1972 ("Frankenstein")
8The Zeet Band: Moogie Woogie; Chess LPS-1545 (w/Paul Beaver, Mike Bloomfield, Phil UpChurch)
7Uncredited: Jingles; Berry/Conroy BMLP-109; 1974 (some of everything)
7Uncredited: Nonstop Discotheque Party Dance; Gateway GSLP-3530 (covers Lady Marmalade, Fame, Shining Star, Get Down Tonight..)
6Uncredited: [Production Music]; Robert Hall/New World W-294/295 (funky Moog/disco/drums)
7Various: Abet Review Vol. 1; Nashboro/Abet 409; 1976 (Ingram Family, Skip Mahoaney, Jesse Morrison--"Tell Me Can You Feel It", The Nazty, Freddie North, Oliver Sain, Ureaus)
9Various: Afro-Rock Vol. 1; Kona LP-001; 2001 (2-LP compilation; Yahoos: "Mabala")
7Various: The Best of Luv N' Haight Volume One; Ubiquity/Luv N' Haight LHLP-011; 1993/?-'77 (soul jazz/funk/Moog/flute/guitar)
8Various: Brazil by Music/Brazil by Cruzeiro; [no label/#] (Brasilian Moog!; airline promo; Jingle Cruzeiro, Ary Barroso, Jorge Ben, Jobim, Caymmi, Marcos Valle, Buarque, Nascimento..)
7Various: Dusty Fingers Volume 8; Strictly Break DF-9078; 2000 (compilation; funk/Moog/mod/funky rock/soul jazz)
8Various: Heading in the Right Direction--Soul Jazz from Australia 1973-1977; Ubiquity URLP-023; 1995 (soul jazz/Australia/mod funk/space funk "Flying Saucer"; partly live)
6Various: Hustle Hits; De-Lite DEP-2019; 1975 (disco/Moog funk Crown Heights Affair: "Dreaming a Dream"; De-Lite sampler/compilation with Kool & the Gang, Kay-Gees..)
9Various: Jazzy Funky New Orleans; Tuff City/Funky Delicacies DEL LP-0022; 2001/1962-72 (compilation)
6Various: Rhythm Stick; Bruton Music BRH-8 (102); 1979 (production)
8Various: The Sound of Funk Volume Four; Goldmine/Soul Supply GSLP-28; 2000/[1970s] (U.K. comp; King Solomon: "The Moon Walk")
9Various: Trunk Presents the Super Sounds of Bosworth; Trunk Barked 1; 1996 (production; The Leo Hassler Synthesizer: "Drama in Space")
8Various: Trunk Presents the Super Sounds of Bosworth Vol. 2; Trunk Barked 2; 1996 (production; reissue-compilation)

[Partly] Funky-Moog 45s

8Liberated Brother: Muhammad Ali/instrumental; RCA Victor PB-10187; 1975 (fu funk/funky Moog; Weldon J. Irvine, Jr.)
8Groop: Moonbase Omega/Moongroove; Jazzman/Stark Reality Stark.009; 2001 (UK)
8Dr. Rosemary "Red" Hallum: Disco & Soul Dances; Activity Records AR-569; 1976
7Quincy Jones: $ ("Dollar") ST; Warner Bros./Reprise MS-2051; 1972
8Kahuna Kawentzmann: GoGo Sitar/Road to Estoril; Jazzman/Stark Reality Stark.012; 2001 (bongo rock/funky Moog/sitar; UK; rec. in Germany)
8Cecil Leuter: Pop Electronique No. 2/Andy Loore: Mixed Drums; Jazzman JM 011 (UK)
8The Lightmen Plus One: Energy Control Center; Lightin' LP-2001; 1971 (bizarre, Texas, partly out/Moog)
7Medium Rare: Nagasaki/Nature Boy; Audiofidelity/Harlequin HAR-3809 (disco w/funky Moog)
9Bruno Spoerri: Les Electroniciens/Howard Wales: Rendezvous with the Sun Part 2; Jazzman JM-003 (UK)
8William Stuckey: You Can Count on Me/Disco Fly; ICA (Independence Corporation of America) ICA-006; 1977 (B-side synth instrumental w/drum break)
9Sun Ra & his Astro-Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra: I'm Gonna Unmask the Batman/The Perfect Man; Saturn ES-537
9Clay Tyson: Man on the Moon/You Don't Know What I Want; Kng 6209 (comedy w/music by James Brown)
7Uncredited: Happy Monsters; Happy House C-36 (kid funk/space funk; famous rare/strange cover of James Brown "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" here titled "Clap Your Tenacles"-sic)
7Uncredited: Thematic Music/Thematic Music --7" 45--; Robert Hall Audition Record (Moog w/Christmas, mod, Brasil)

[Partly] Space-Funk 45s

91984: There's a Wrinkle in Our Time/Psychadelic Love (sic); Nise/Round B-70-230 (Phila. space funk)
8Tom Albert: In a Galaxy Far Away/Tom Strohman: In Remembrance; Baldwin CS-8241; 1978 (custom-press jazzy space funk)
9Bad Medicine: Trespasser Parts 1 & 2; Enyx EN-002; 1974
8The Casuals: Moonbound/A Trip to the Moon; Liberty/Trans International Airlines; c.1969 (hip narrated hypothetical moon flight; picture sleeve)
8The First Theremin Era: The Barnabas Theme from "Dark Shadows"/Sunset in Siberia (A-side space-funk/electronic horror)
8The Five Du-Tones/The Exciters Orchestra: The Chicken Astronaut/The Cool Bird; One-derful 3002; 1963 (space funk/mod soul: uptempo R&B)
8Hot Property: Slip-A-Disc-O/Jalopy rag; Educator DM-4669; 1976 (from Wayne, PA)
6Barry Miles' Silverlight: Rebate/mono; London 5N-221-DJ; 1975 (disco/Moog funk)
8The Moon Man: The Moon Man is Back/Moon Walk In; Good Sounds 4 (space soul twist)
9Moony Moon: Walking on the Moon/What About Mars; Fayette F-82569
7The New Censation: Come Down to Earth/mono; United Artists/Pride PR-XW-406; 1974
8The Ninchuks: Bruce Lee's "Return of the Dragon"/mono; Bryan BP-1; 1974
7Lalo Schifrin: Escape from Tomorrow/mono; 20th Century TC-2150; 1974 (sci-fi space funk/Moog funk)
8Sharktooth: Jaws/mono; Bryan B-1021; 1975 (funk/Moog funk)
7Robert Starks & the Geniuses: Space Travelling Parts 1 & 2; Big Star BB-0012 (outish space funk/psyche w/conga)
7Marvin Wright: Robot Dance/Scott David: Funky Phanthom (sic); Queen Constance 2 (A-side space funk/spacey disco-funk; B-side disco-funk)

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