Friday, September 16, 2011

274. The Mothership Connection. Make my funk the P Funk

Album: The Mothership Connection
Artist: Parliament
Year: 1975
Genre: Funk


1. P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)
2. Mothership Connection (Star Child)
3. Unfunky UFO
4. Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication
5. Handcuffs
6. Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)
7. Night Of The Thumpasorus Peoples

Okay I'll try and make this clear: Dr Funkenstein put the secrets of funk into the pyramids for future generations. Sadly Sir Nose D'voidoffunk created the Placebo Syndrome in an attempt to propagate unfunkiness and put everyone in the Zone of Zero Funkativity. Starchild, an agent of Dr Funkenstein, with the help of The Lollypop man (The long haired sucker) uses the Bop Gun to make Sir Nose, and the entire of humanity achieve Funkentelechy and all is good.

Actually there's quite a bit more to the story but I'll stop there because I think the point has been made: George Clinton is a lunatic. While most of his contempories were writing lyrics about social justice or the joys of disco, Clinton decided he wanted to try and combine funk with science fiction. He gave his albums a bizarre storyline in which the cosmic forces of good and evil waged war with the funk as their battle ground. He started an entire mythology which he wove throughout subsequent albums and live shows (and in all probability dreams and acid trips). The guy is a certified oddball in no uncertain terms and a quick google image search will provide you with enough visual proof if any is required.

What seperates Clinton from other madmen is that George is a massive talent. So massive in fact that he created his own "Talent-gravity" that sucked nearby talented people into his orbit. Over the years Clinton has worked with an incredible array of funk's finest musicians. People who can really play and appreciate a groove have gravitated to George like he was a cosmic death star emitting tractor beam rays of pure funk power. And when they enter his orbit, George is able to craft them into a tight unit that somehow share his strangely lunatic vision.

The Mothership Connection should be a total disaster. It's too full of musicians, proudly inspired by illicit substances and too determined to get by on simply a good baseline and some wacky ideas. The truth of the matter is that Clinton is not only able to keep the disparate talents in check he can turn them into something even greater than the sum of their parts. He creates enough loose discipline in the studio to produce greatness and even manages to replicate it for three hours onstage.

Most people who have put on a P-funk album have had a: "Bloody hell! Where has this been all my life?" reaction. Maybe it's your turn to have one now.

Influenced by: James Brown and sci fi movies
Influenced: Anyone who claims their basslines are funky

Highlight: The opening track, but it's by no means downhill from there.
Lowlight: Handcuffs

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: The only reason I didn't give you a 5 is the tape case was broken on one end. I had to get an old one I had and replace it. Don't worry about it...Sandra

-Poor Sanda. This album had only five star ratings until she came along with a three star rating based on a broken tape cover. She now endures the ire of amazonians who want the albums five star rating preserved.

So do you want to make your funk the p-funk or would you rather they all just funked off?

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