Sunday, July 19, 2009

Global funk connections: United Future Organization

Founded in Shibuya in 1990, United Future Organization was a collaboration between two Japanese DJ/producers, Tadashi Yabe and Toshio Matsuura, with French DJ/producer Raphael Sebbag. While they fit fairly snugly into the "acid jazz" scene that was big at the time, UFO were on a slightly different tip, quite ahead of the game at that stage. With their fusing of jazz with various elements of dance music, hip-hop and Latin, they were forerunners of the nu-jazz sound that arose in the late 90s with acts like Jazzanova. It's amazing how many fantastic producers come out of Japan specialising in your better class of hip-hop, jazz-funk and dance.

UFO released 5 albums between 1993 and 2002. "Loud Minority" is still my favourite. It shows how much life you can squeeze into a track that is based on programmed drums and samples.

Likewise with "United Future Airlines". The original track is nice but the remix below by Palmskin Productions is an absolute monster.

Both tracks appear on different editions of the popular "Rebirth of Cool" series of compilation CDs.