“Bootsy Collins was born a long, long time ago in a subterranean cavern full of with shining dinosaurs. Deep below the Ohio river – before anyone had heard of Ohio.” Thus intones Iggy Pop at the top of this mad funk romp. Awash with crazy afrofuturist imagery and taut with wall-to-wall grooves, it’s an album to drive a car to. Ideally a big old American car, and through the streets of late ‘70s San Francisco.
Which isn’t to say it sounds dated, although, well, it does sound a bit dated. Former Parliament Funkadelic and James Brown alumnus Bootsy Collins must be about 170 years old now by my reckoning, kept alive by a potent combination of hairspray, glitter and cocaine. Alright, he stopped doing coke in the mid-eighties, but still…
Guest stars are everywhere you look; fellow bass legend Vic Wooten contributes some mind-bending tentacular grooves on ‘Bass-Rigged-System’, smoothest-man-in-the-world Tyshawn Colquitt lays it on thick on ‘Snow Bunny’ and ‘Thera-P’. ‘Ladies Nite’, is nakedly commercial contemporary hip-hop, with guest spots from MC Eiht and BlvckSeeds.
‘Pusherman’ (feat: Dru Down, BlvckSeeds , Mr. Talkbox) is for my money the most accessible, with its irresistible triplet riff and comically exaggerated vocals. On slower numbers – ‘Heaven Yes’ especially – we get the impression Collins’ heart isn’t so much in it, but nevermind, you’re never far from a stonking slab of groove.
There's nothing that innovative or thought-provoking, but that's hardly the point. It’s freaky, it’s naughty, it’ll get your head nodding. Put it on next time you have a party.
Words: Andy Hill
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