To celebrate the 40th anniversary 8CD, 106 track retrospective of Incognito’s debut record, Jazz Funk the Brit funk pioneers have released a music video for “You Are In My System.”
The playful, effects-heavy visual finds a dancer moving through a home, showcasing a number of choreographed moves, while Bluey and his band accompany the performer.
The CD set, titled Always There 1981-2021: 40 Years & Still Groovin’, is cased in a rigid box with individual card inner sleeves and a 52 page booklet with liner notes written by Charles Waring and photos from the band’s archive.
Released on November 19, CDs 1-5 have been curated by the bands founder and driving force Bluey with CDs two and four containing previously unreleased tracks. CD six is a rare Japanese-only live album recorded in 1996 while CDs seven and eight have been compiled by the band’s long time supporter Gilles Peterson, who released seven of their albums through his own record label Talkin’ Loud.
The 52 page booklet features a 10,000 word essay written by Charles Waring based on a recent interview with Bluey. In the detailed sleeve notes Charles plots the journey of Incognito from Bluey’s childhood to their early successes as part of the 1980s Brit-funk scene. He also charts the band’s re-emergence and global fame during the Talkin’ Loud years under Gilles Peterson’s wing; encounters with legends such as Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan; and Incognito’s recent successes on independent labels such as Dome and Edel. The notes are interspersed with photos of the various incarnations of the group from Bluey’s personal archive.
Inspired by big American groups like Earth, Wind & Fire, Incognito blended brassy funk, soul and Latin music into an intoxicating brew and rode in just as the first wave of Britfunk was losing momentum, hitting the UK charts in 1981 with their first single “Parisienne Girl” taken from their debut LP, Jazz Funk. Soon after, the band went into a long hibernation but returned bigger and better in the 1990s on DJ Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label, releasing a succession of outstanding singles and albums which established them as the standard-bearers of the UK’s acid jazz scene. The group’s music also went down well in clubs, thanks to remixers like Masters At Work and David Morales, who were able to translate the group’s slick big band arrangements into addictive dance floor grooves.