Detroit electronic funk and alternative soul maven Amp Fiddler returns in rare form with the third installment in his Bassmentality series, Bassmentality 3. It's one thing to make a song that people call funky and another to be steeped in musicality, experimental nature and the forward-thinking approach to music that's involved in making real funk. Amp Fiddler is, of course, the latter. A member of George Clinton's Parliament and Funkadelic bands from 1985-1996, his ability to bring a keen funk sensibility to electronic music has garnered him underground icon status in the electronic, soul and dance worlds.
Remnants of his time as a player for the bands are woven throughout the musical DNA of Bassmenatlity 3. His unorthodox raspy vocal style and lyrical approach are reminiscent of Clinton. He also infuses a sophisticated layer cake of basslines, guitars and synth keyboards to give his music a psychedelic affect.
The EP opens with "Nothing Can Keep Me," a soulful electronic track describing all the things that he refuses to let get in the way of his love interest — everything from police to car jackers. The lyrics are resonant, real and low-key humorous. His George Clinton influence comes out in his emotional growls, which are coarse and gritty, yet simultaneously soulful and heartfelt. His vocal approach is appealing, not just because of how emotive it is, but because its unconventional nature makes it fundamentally subversive in a world where mainstream artists can't seem to stop singing falsetto.
The track that has "this should be a single" written all over it is "Send A Message (Yam Who Edit)," an infectiously funky, dance floor-beckoning track that weaves in aggressive electric guitar riffs and organs and highlights his ability to bring intricate classic funk chords into electronic soul. The EP also contains another version of the song, "Send A Message (Yam Who's Boogie Mix)," a slightly more house-leaning remix of the track with a pronounced '80s era synthesizer sound, perfect for those with a penchant for dance music.
Another favorite on the album is the hazy, hypnotic downtempo track "Funny When." A futuristic funky track, it's subtly complex not only in the sounds Amp Fiddler selects, but also the timing in which he introduces the variety of electronic sounds, keyboards and bass loops. Also notable on the EP is "Energy," the most uptempo track on the album, with a groovy baseline and keyboard loop that rivals "Send A Message" in its dance floor appeal.
With everything from hypnotic downtempo tracks to intense uptempo grooves, Bassmentality 3 is the perfect EP for the modern funk connoisseur and underground electronic soul aficionado.
Amp Fiddler Bassmentality 3 [Bandcamp]