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Caviar Vol. 1

(CFO; US: 29 Mar 2011; UK: 29 Mar 2011)

Cali crew lays down the funk

Sacramento’s The CUF—it stands for California Underground Funk—layer funky bass and synth lines with clever, polysyllabic rhymes courtesy of MCs Crush, Pete, Brotha RJ, Taktics and N8 the Gr8. (Yeah, I know.) Tunes like “Flame Lit” and “We Got More” lay down lazy, almost trip-hop beats, while quicker tunes like “I’m Too Much” and “Larry Lay” channel a more energetic vibe. Samples are varied and lively, ranging from electric guitars to lounge-piano tinkling, and while nothing here could be described as groundbreaking, there is undeniable pleasure in hearing a crew rhyme with cleverness and competence. As for lyrical content, most songs are primarily concerned with how cool, def, dope, etc. the various members of the band are. That isn’t a huge surprise, either, so if you’re looking for some mindlessly fun, funky beats, this record may be for you.


DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.

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