Cool bit of stripped back boogie semi-rap written and produced by Red Greg Carmichael.
The eagle-eyed will note that the Sun Trek Records centre label looks the same as on Transrecords, Catch Records and In Groove Records releases. Whether these are all different ventures in the Red Greg Production Universe or just the result of one hustling 80s NYC designer/typesetter – I don’t know.
Welcome to the workout. Tony Humphries does everyone a massive favour and zooms in on the drums and the bass for most of the 7-and-a-half minutes here. If you start dissecting even deeper you find that the core magic here is in the hi-hats. Don’t overthink it though, just have a good time.
Side 2 Track 4 of Just For You and what a way to finish an album. Tasteful. Restrained. Sultry. Juicy.
When you think Gwen Guthrie you probably (and quite rightfully) think Sly & Robbie but this one is a Eumir Deodato production, arranged and co-written by Phillip Field (Mtume, Aurra). Some rock solid personnel there.
I got on to this one via Dâm-Funk’s generous and endless sharing of the knowledge via Twitter and Instagram.
Another big and splashy snare/clap(/burst of white noise) here along with an always welcome squiggly synth. Brenda Watts’ lead vocal (and the lyrical content) against the pretty slappin’ instrumental leave you in this kind of emotional Bermuda Triangle where you’re not sure if you’re happy for her realising where she’s at, sad for her because of how she got there or happy for yourself because you’re getting down to this track.
Elliot Roscoff Executive Produced it, along with Charisma’s “Love Treatment” (also ft. Brenda Watts) and Raven’s “So In Love” (ft. Jocelyn Brown) – both since reissued by Omaggio. My copy of the “So In Love” reissue just arrived in the post, here’s what Omaggio have got to say about the man:
I’ve stuck the instrumental here for you too. Probably about three In Flagranti songs worth of samples in there ready to go.
Lastly, RIP Windows Movie Maker, the Movie Maker Magic is gone.
Nature of Evil was so much more than another modern funk (adjacent) album and Ophilia is so much more than another Nature of Evil.
Anyone expecting an album of “Draw Me Your Favorite Funk”s is gonna be disappointed but they should have known better anyway. Plenty of $5 Slave, Dazz or Fatback albums out there to keep you going. “Ricky Thai” probably the DJs’ go-to on here with its resonant byeowww layered on the one here and there, but there’s more on this album that will work on the floor. Open your heart.
Elsewhere there’s little intros/outros/vignettes that could easily stand on their own as fleshed out pieces. Plus fleshed out pieces that you might have first suspected to be intros/outros/vignettes. This is a simultaneous exercise in restraint, taste and risk. Not many people could do this.
The sound. Despite referencing stuff you’ll be familiar with, the end result is a brand new little universe outside of time that’s completely its own thing. It’s the future, you’ve been there before but it’s different this time. Silky Rhodes. Scratchy upright piano. Throaty lazer bass. Room sound ad-libs. Bells on A1 a nice touch too.
Somewhere between the writing and the production you’re phased into this feeling that’s not so much dreamlike, more the moment just after waking from one where you’re caught between both worlds. Plus a bit of that near-yet-far feeling Brian Ellis manages to do so well so often. It’s not (just another) modern funk (adjacent) album. It’s not strictly AOR. You get the feeling it’s a long moment through the very personal lens of Mickey de Grand IV.