By Fred Dintenfass   Published Jan 12, 2005 at 5:29 AM

{image1} Get really low every second Saturday of the month at River Horse, 701 E. Center St., with the heavy funk sounds of the Noble Brothers and Fur Hat.

The Get Down is the result of years of combined experience digging, selling and DJing the best and rarest funk and soul 45s.

The Nobles and Fur Hat (Brent Goodsell) are part of an international scene of record collectors and DJs responsible for rediscovering, re-releasing and reviving the heavy funk, soul and r&b records they play monthly at the River Horse.

Some of their finds are particularly colorful like Goodsell's discovery of Upheaval, a prison band that made 25 copies of its funk masterpiece, "Paradise Lost," with the money it earned stamping license plates at the Waupun Correctional Institute.

Even without a vivid back-story each find is satisfying. "There is great stuff under your nose that you can't smell until you learn to smell it," says Andy Noble. "The more you learn the more you realize you were surrounded by loads of great stuff."

The Nobles have surrounded themselves with music for years -- from bands to their long running Mad Planet Mod Night and their Center Street store Lotus Land Records that sells funk, reggae, hip-hop and other esoteric vinyl.

Goodsell, a UWM film student, moved to New York City at a time when funk spins were common and inspired by these nights and Mr. Fine Wine's WMFU radio show Downtown Soulville. He returned to Milwaukee ready to bring his growing record collection to the decks.

Currently, Goodsell spends his time researching and digging for funk 45s and running the Neapolitan Records label. The label has released three singles from The Neapolitans, a funk band featuring Goodsell and Noble. The Neapolitans have just finished recording their first LP, which features The Essentials -- a local vocal group -- and Chicago's The Lonesome Organist (Thrill Jockey).

To bring it all together, The Neapolitans, The Essentials and The Lonesome Organist will appear together on a cover version of Jimi Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic" for a compilation called "Hot, Funky, and Sweaty" on Acid Jazz Records.

Speaking of hot, funky and sweaty, the River Horse spin heats up quickly with a mixed crowd of hipsters and Riverwest locals drinking and getting down. The night is about the music and the good times -- more PBR then Appletinis -- with none of the frat boy posturing and Abercrombie dress codes that clog Water Street and North Avenue.

"My hope is to have musically the best funk night in the world," says Goodsell. "We all work very hard at digging out the best tracks."

For the Get Down DJs finding the best tracks means Internet trades, researching local music scenes across the country, and sometimes driving long distances to get a hold of these extraordinarily rare records. To get Nathan Bartell's "Top Going Down Bottom Going Up" 45, a current hit at the Get Down, Goodsell had to drive to Albany, Ga. to purchase one of only three known copies from a local radio DJ.

The Get Down DJs are part of an international group of record collectors who seek out and trade these gems. Some of these collectors guest at the Get Down when they're in town. Dante Carfagna, DJ Shadow's record digging partner and funk historian, and fellow Chi-town DJ Shaun Pauling bring a bit of their Shear Magic night to the River Horse from time to time.

It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of the music: the powerfully raw vocals, the drum breaks, the driving bass and the horn hits. Sleeves get rolled up and winter layers get peeled off as the dancers are moved by the raw soul and heavy funk that keeps the crowd grooving until the last record has spun to a stop.

The Get Down DJs suggest that you come down to the River Horse ready to work up a sweat -- its gonna be funky, and its gonna be hot. When else can you enjoy music that's not only extremely rare but also incredibly good?

Afterward, you can bug the DJs about what they played. Until then, here's a start.

Get Down faves from Fur Hat:

Frank Seay "Blackjack" -- Heavy funk/psych track from Florida. Insane breaks!

Sister and the Brothers "The Jed Clampett" -- Prototypical funk spin. Fast and furious with great drums and bass, a big break and amazing female vocals.

Robert Moore "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" -- One of the best ever on the amazing Saadia label. Both sides are fast JBish funk tracks with great changes and terrific production.

Andy Nobles' current top five:

Five Miles Out -- "Super Sweet Girl of Mine"

Wyndchimes -- "Baby You're the One"

Cross Bronx Express "Help Your Brothers"

Philharmonics -- "I Need Your Love"

Family of Eve -- "Please Be Truthful"

This month guest DJs David Griffiths from upstate New York and Big Tony (Chicago) are bringing the best records from their locales to the River Horse.

The Get Down is every second Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at River Horse, 701 E. Center St. For more info call River Horse at (414) 264-4788.