My mother did her dissertation a few years back regarding a recurring series of notes or a phrasing that was derived from chants in traditional and even contemporary organ compositions. The study (which I'll paraphrase) really dives into the many instances that this phrasing appears in compositions and explores how it is woven into the music. To think that something could be so perfect that its reused in countless recordings is something that I marvel at. That's the foundation of this "Funky Drummer" project. When "Funky Drummer" was recorded long before the inception of hip hop, Clyde Stubblefield would have no idea that it would become essentially the backbone to a new genre, a new movement near two decades later. The rolls and the fills that make up the drum break are so unassuming and raw. It's a natural flow of kicks and snares that does not sound forced, but rather sounds seemlingly like any other drum break in funk's early history. But more than any other drum break, the sheer length of the break made it so accessible from the perspective of a DJ. It was uncut and longer. Unlike other drum breaks where you might only be provided with a single bar or four bars at the most, "Funky Drummer" was just short of eight bars and, within the seven minute composition, there's far more sample-able material.
So, for a November release, I'll be working on a 40th Anniversary mix of the "Funky Drummer" which will include some of my favorite uses of the drum break. I was making a list the other night and it was almost hard to stop. That, in itself is a testimony to the greatness of the composition. It'll be 40 years old on November 20th. And, yes, I'm a dork.
In full disclosure, there's already a few mixes out there like this (and probably better, admittedly), the best of which is Edan's mixtape from a couple of years back. Definitely worth pursuing. Think, still, there's enough variance between his selections and mine. But Edan's hella-nice and I would never profess to be anywhere in the same realm as that dude. Man, when is he gonna releases something new?
Alright, it's Tuesday. Softball action starts today with the Bruise Bros. of Westminister Pres. They wanna give me shortstop, but I've agreed to play catcher if they need me to. You gotta pay your dues. You don't just walk into positions on the softball field. It's a blood-in, blood-out arrangement. Especially in church league.