Thursday, January 15, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Sharon Revoal - Reaching For Our Star
Track 3 of the upcoming FIRE vol. II picks up where track 2, Timothy McNealy's Sagittarius Black, left off. The song kicks off with a bass driven, laid back groove, with a nice dallop of mystery to spice things up a bit. Revoal's vocals though are the highlight of the piece, soulful yet never hitting any soaring highs, they keep with the overall warmness of the song. Add in some rhodes-y shrills and smooth sax and you're well on your way on a beautiful cosmic journey.
Lonnie Smith - Move Your Hand
Turning up the heat on the next one is Lonnie Smith with a lounge funk number sure to go down a treat. Still a mid-tempo groover, Move Your Hand builds a state of mantra from which you'll never want to leave. Raspy vocals, punchy sax, tight percussion and even telephone rings, jeers and the clank of glass in the background (this is a live recording), all make for a brilliant jazz funk tune. Just try to keep still for this one, I dare ya.
In the run up to the hotly anticipated release of FIRE vol. II - The second coming, readers of Soundsweekly are going to be treated to 25 days of the chunkiest of funk, uncut funk, the bomb! Over the next 25 days we'll be trickling 2 songs a day from the upcoming compilation, at the end of which packaging will hopefully be sorted and you will be able to get your hands on a copy. I'll try to write a bit about each track, where it fits into the grander scheme of things and why you outta get down to it.
So without further ado, here are the first two songs of 25 DAYS OF FIRE!!!
DOOR TO THE COSMOS - SUN RA
It may come as a bit of a shock to you reading this that the first song for this compilation of the most funky proportions is not exactly what you'd expect when you think about funk. However, dig a little deeper and you will find that it perfectly introduces the journey on which you are about to embark. Those familiar with P-funk or rather Parliament-Funkadelic will know all about the mothership and the tightly woven sci-fi narrative woven around Parliament-Funkadelic's music. Whilst George Clinton might be the first name that pops into your mind when thinking of tales of the black man in space, Clinton owes a lot to the man who pioneered the idea many years before Clinton was first getting together with dudes from his barbershop trying to follow in the footsteps of the Temptations and other doo-wop vocal groups of the time. Sun Ra lived and breathed the philosophy which emanated from his music; that of Afro-futurism - the black man in space, the black man FROM space.
However this is not the only way in which Sun Ra ties into the story of P-Funk and to a larger extent, funk in general. In the world of jazz, a genre which merits highest innovation and creativity, Sun Ra is still unparalleled in terms of the complete package. He dared tread where many wouldn't, stayed so true to the world he was creating that he even changed his own name to fit with it, that you could argue that Sun Ra, was indeed, funk incarnated. Sure, funk is about the undeniable bounce, the stank, the one, but these are purely definitions based on what we hear, Sun Ra is more a philosophical funkateer.
It is for these reasons that Sun Ra is the one and only man to bring upon the second coming of FIRE, for without him we may not have had what we know today as funk.
SAGITTARIUS BLACK - TIMOTHY MCNEALY
Perhaps one of the rarest of rare grooves in the world of funk, this gem sets the tone better than any other tune for the second coming. Slower than many funk tunes, you could call this one deep funk, a perfect slow-groove jam for a cadillac ride through the funkosphere if ever there were one. Rarely does a funk song contain the imagery that Sagittarius Black evokes. Close your eyes and you'll see yourself chuggin' along with Dr. Funkenstein and the rest of the P-funk crew, having the funkiest of times with a creamy beige in hand.
So there it is, the first two tracks from the upcoming FIRE vol.II - The second coming. Stay tuned for the next 24 days of FIRE and also info on how you can grab yourself a copy!