Today we bring you the return of funk collective, Smudge All Stars, and their new single, Brutal Funk. We first brought you news of their music earlier this year when they released the excellent track Our Lives, which featured reggae and dub legends Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Earl Sixteen and Dennis Bovell, so it’s great to hear this follow up is just as impressive – a rousing psychedelic funk workout with a delicious groove cooked up with Jamiroquai member DJ D-Zire and the powerful vocals of British soul singer Mary Pearce.
Smudge All Stars is Richie Stevens’ audio intelligence collective. Richie is the son of the late John Stevens, a pioneer of British free jazz, and a gifted drummer, percussionist and producer in his own right. His talents have found him in constant demand, working with everyone from Horace Andy and Joss Stone to Boy George and Damon Albarn. Now, with Smudge All Stars, Richie leads a funk/soul ensemble that draws on his friendships with many leading black British, Jamaican and US musicians.
Here’s Richie on the new single: “Whilst chatting with Dr Funkenstein himself, it seemed relevant to ask ‘what is the funk?’ seeing as I would finally get a reliable answer. The Dr said ‘when you’ve given all you’ve got and you reach really deep to find the very last drop…….that’s the funk!’ So Brutal Funk is the intro to the journey. A celebration of that most elusive genre – FUNK!”
The self-titled album, out next month features other artists like Pee Wee Ellis, Camelle Hinds, Charlotte Kelly, Dr Mouthquake, Fred Wesley, George Clinton, James Gardiner Bateman, JC 001, Mitt Gamon, Niara Scarlett and Omar.