Tuesday, February 06, 2007

it's getting funky 'round here

I'm probably the least qualified person in the world to talk about the funk (or Da Phonque). But I've recently rediscovered Funkadelic's amazing fourth album, America Eats Its Young.

Now, I came to funk music pretty late in my musical eduction (adolescent suspicion of music that sounds like the band are having fun, perhaps?), but listening to it the other night I was again struck by their use of SPACE - the funk and rhythmic hiccups are in the gaps where no-one is playing. Plus I love the fact that guitarist Harold Beane can just hang out on that great spiky 7th chord all the way through "Loose Booty" without it getting dull.

Funkadelic - Loose Booty

This was the first album to really benefit from Bootsy Collins' amazing timing, like on this track - the whole rhythm section is totally relentless and unstoppable. Plus there's some funky "Jew's Harp" on there and the amazing keyboards of Bernie Worrell.America... is seen as a transitional Funkadelic album by those in the know, taking nearly two years to record as the original line-up was falling to pieces at the time (the album was recorded in 3 cities and features over 30 musicians). It was also where George Clinton took complete artistic control which is probably why the album is - in the best possible way - all over the place. They even invented a new genre on this track - Funktry and Western, no?Funkadelic - Biological Speculation

My favourite track on the album is the mental psychedelic gospel workout, "Everybody Is Going To Make It This Time". This song is crazy.

Funkadelic - Everybody Is Going To Make It This Time

They practically throw everything at this track, a huge arrangement with massed backing vocals. The lead vocal is something else entirely - an occasional touch of the "Sexual Chocolate"s there, methinks.

But it's still utterly engrossing and strangely moving and uplifting. There's a beautiful liquid guitar break at 3.10, but by the end of the track it sounds like the end of the world in there. One of those tracks where you could quite happily listen to the coda section go on forever in a Hey Jude stylee.

Buy - America Eats Its Young
Visit - Funkadelic on Wikipedia
Visit - Funkadelic at the Motherpage

PS - the title of this post is from a song by Stax-Volt recording artists Black Nasty - I may have to post that someday...

GRUMBLE - I recently migrated to New Blogger which works fine most of the time, but with a few occasional glitch fests - most notably, the migration completely spanked the Feedburner site feed and now every time I edit an old post (to remove links to files that aren't on the server anymore) the post gets added to the feed as a new item.

So if you visit an old post and the link to the file doesn't work, it's probably because the file ain't there anymore - apologies. If you're desperate for something, however, we have been known to take requests... which reminds me...

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