Late last November, it was announced that George Clinton’s and his reformed Funkadelic outfit would be releasing their first new album in nearly three decades, and that Clinton would be working in collaboration with the DJ duo Soul Clap. The album – First ya gotta Shake the Gate – was released back at the end of last year, and it is one of the longest, funkiest records that Clinton has ever put out: it comprises three CDs, containing over three and a half hours of non-stop funky music. Now, Soul Clap have released four new mixes of songs from the album, and have somehow managed to make them even funkier and is now available to purchase online.
The opening mix of ‘First ya Gotta Shake the Gate’ (the Samplecopydueitandloopittostupid Mix, no less) is eight minutes of pure neo-funkiness. Clinton’s voice is deeper than in previous years, even husky in places, but he still manages to ride this particularly funky groove well; the bass is simply majestic, creating an incredible groove that is somehow laid back at the same time.
‘In Dar Kar’ is remixed twice here: the EFUNK mix is arguably the better of the two, following the vibe laid down by the first track. Clinton handles most of the lead vocals here, joined by Tonyisha Nelson of Kandy Apple Redd, providing a sweeter, feminine sound to Clinton’s gruff power. The original mix is pretty funky, but Soul Clap have outdone themselves on this mix: it’s just brilliant to listen too. For all fans of the funk, however, the best thing about this song is the fact that the legend Sly Stone is featured playing keys; after all Sly Stone has been through personally from his battle with drugs and his recent court cases, its great to know that Sly Stone is back making new music.
A new song on on the EP not on the Shake the Gate album is ‘Peep This’, a bonus cut from the Soul Clap sessions Clinton did last year. Clinton harks back to the Parliament days in this one, effectively sampling himself, using the classic line from the introduction to the Mothership Connection album: ‘W-E-F-U-N-K, We-Funk – home of the extra-terrestrial, dealers of funky music, P-Funk, uncut funk the bomb…’ The song has an almost neo-eighties soul vibe to it, similar to that on the new Tuxedo album, but it has the added bonus of having the Funkadelic horns (the trumpet solo is sublime) mixed in over another incredibly tasty bass-line. ‘Peep This’ is such a funky cut, its hard to understand why this doesn’t feature on the full album.
This EP is a spectacular collaboration between George Clinton, the Funkadelic crew and Soul Clap. Whisper it quietly; it may even be better than the Shake the Gate album. As a result, we cannot recommend this EP highly enough; it is sure to be one of the funkiest things you’ll have heard for a while. Of course, we may be biased – after all, we did by some miracle get the chance to speak to George Clinton, and once you’ve been on the Mothership there’s no going back. But don’t take our word for it, check the EP out below.