Killer funk compilation full of highlights from the music archives of Josef Weinberger Ltd. in London, pulled from the most famous library albums on labels like JW (Josef Weinberger/ Theme Music), IA (Impress) or PM (Programme Music). First selection of 16 lost tracks by Toni Campo, Midas Touch, Trevor Bastow, Sidney Dale or Vick Flick, oscillating between jazzfunk, soul music, proto techno and eastern-tinged disco, with open drum breaks, fat bass lines and plenty of horns/ wah wah/ organs/ vibes/ flutes/ electronic effects…
This single-CD reissue pairs two blaxploitation soundtracks by different artists: 1975's Cornbread, Earl and Me, composed by Donald Byrd and performed by the Blackbyrds, and 1973's The Dynamite Brothers, composed and performed by Charles Earland. Cornbread, Earl and Me, which featured the movie debut of Larry Fishburne, is serviceable, routine soul-jazz background film music, varying between funk-jazz-rock vamps (such as the Sly Stone-styled instrumental workout "The One-Eye Two-Step"), snazzy jazzy bits for action scenes, and sentimental orchestrated interludes. There are also occasional vocal numbers in a pedestrian mid-'70s soul-jazz-rock mode, such as "The Cornbread Theme."
The Wilby Conspiracy is set in South Africa, at a time when Apartheid was the order of the day. Political activist Shack Twala (Sidney Poitier) finds an unlikely – and reluctant – ally in the form of the British Keogh (Michael Caine). Both Twala and Keogh are scrutinized by racist police official Horn (Nicol Williamson), who hopes that they'll lead him to the hideout of chief activist Wilby (Joe De Graft). Based on the novel by Peter Driscoll, The Wilby Conspiracy abandons its sociological overtones early on in favor of an extended chase. The film reteams Poitier and director Ralph Nelson, who, 12 years earlier, had collaborated on Lilies of the Field.
Peter Weir's haunting and evocative mystery is set in the Australia of 1900, a mystical place where the British have attempted to impose their Christian culture with such tweedy refinements as a girls' boarding school. After gauzily-photographed, nicely underplayed scenes of the girls' budding sexuality being restrained in Victorian corsets, the uptight headmistress (Rachel Roberts) takes them on a Valentine's Day picnic into the countryside, and several of the girls, led by the lovely Miranda (Anne Lambert) decide to explore a nearby volcanic rock formation. It's a desolate, primitive, vaguely menacing place, where one can almost feel the presence of ancient pagan spirits. Something – and there is an unspoken but palpable emphasis on the inherent carnality of the place – draws four of the girls to explore the rock. Three never return. No one ever finds out why. The repercussions for the school are tragic, and of course Roberts reacts with near-crazed anger, but what really happened? Weir gives enough clues to suggest any number of explanations, both physical and supernatural.