Album of the Week: Funkadelic reworked by Detroiters

Journeying from some distant cosmic slop on the other side of our known universe, Funkadelic’s influence on earth has had rippled through the edges of space and time since their arrival. Between them and associated sister act Parliament, they’ve invented Funk, which became the precursor Disco, leading to House and the group have had left their extraterrestrial touch on everything from R&B, Hip Hop, to rock and even Jazz. An all-black band from Detroit, Funkadelic arrived at their sound through Blues/Jazz, Motown and Rock, and in the convergence of these various styles, Funkadelic arrived at sound that channelled Humour, Sci-Fi and Psychedelia from the outer most realms of known musical traditions and left an enduring heritage. 

Their legacy has exceeded the limits of their genre and their sound, and nowhere else has it left its mark more permanently than in their hometown Detroit. Having a direct influence on acts like Amp Fiddler, Dirtbombs and Underground Resistance, artists that have worked with Parliament or Funkadelic (P-Funk) in the past, and their music constantly cropping up in DJ sets from the likes of Moodymann and Marcellus Pittmann, Funkadelic it seems is a constant source of inspiration for the next generation of artist in their hometown, and in this compilation, it’s exactly these artists that pay tribute to this legacy. 

The remixers handle the original material to great reverential degree, leaving their mark only subtly with a respectful nod to the eccentricities and charm of the original works. Very rarely remixing the tracks to the degree of the modern Techno producer, where little more than a loop, remains, artists like Moodymann and Claude Young Jr, put their own musical identity aside and let Funkadelic take centre stage throughout this compilation. 

Funkadelic’s gritty bass lines still manage to anchor psychedelic blues arrangements, that the various remixers extend and bolster with new powerful percussive arrangements intended for modern dance floors. That intrinsic humour and otherworldliness remains the allure of their music even fifty years on in timeless classics like “Cosmic Slop” and “Get your ass off and Jam”, and the remixers  do well to keep that all in tact for this next generation of listeners. The original tracks are hardly left unrecognisable and this compilation will do well to introduce and entirely new generation to the music of Funkadelic, keeping that perpetual influence of one music history’s most unlikely stars exactly where it should be, at the centre of the known universe.

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