Platter Party brings back the Funk

New to the scene, the up-and-coming record label known as Platter Party intends to introduce itself by releasing some classic tunes that founders believe were never given the proper chance to be heard.

There's a lot of really good music in Cincinnati that you have probably never heard, mostly because some of the city's coolest historic bands simply didn't release enough records.

Platter Party's first foray is "400 Years of What." Side one: Get Down People; side two: Do What You Like.

A Cincinnati funk band from the '70s, The What band made a name for itself as the premiere party band for the Queen City. They only released one record, a 45 through Counterpart Studios in 1975, which was recently repressed by New York's Dopebrother Records.

With little else to offer outsiders, only Cincinnatians who experienced the band in concert were able to understand the power of their music. That changes now.

Though the band has dissolved (with members Randy Wallace and Frank Waddy eventually playing with Funkadelic and Greg "Tuffy" Jackson, who went on to be a member of Zapp), unreleased live recordings have been unearthed.
"My vision is to maintain the archival quality of the project, yet still express the living quality of the music," says Chris Burgan, head founder of Platter Party. "If it belongs anywhere, it's not locked away in a museum."

Encouraged to make Platter Party a successful startup, Burgan collaborated with Paul Coors, Sebastian Botzow and Jordan Bronk. Together, they've organized a fundraiser to help in their adventurous musical undertaking. Supported by donations from local businesses and entrepreneurs, the fundraiser's primary focus is generating revenue to aid in the release of 400 Years of What's "new" music in the form of a double LP.

Expect things to get real funky at The Ice Cream Factory in Brighton on March 2, because Platter Party expects to live up to its name.

"We took our name from old ads for clubs and bars in town," Burgan says. "They would feature live music many nights of the week, but sometimes a DJ would throw a 'platter party' and offer up records instead of a live band."

What's next for Platter Party? That all depends on how time treats classic funk music, so things are shaping up to be real cool.

By Sean Peters
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