Thursday, December 31, 2020

Axiom Funk "Funkcronomicon"

 (Universal, 1995) I must have listened to this in 1995, Pedro Bell was really proud of the cover art and I had the CD, butdamnedif I remember it well. I recently picked up the vinyl that came out a couple years ago, and I can't believe I let this gather dust. While ostensibly this is a Bill Laswell record it is actually the best Funkadelic record of the 90s, featuring P-Funk OGs George Clinton, Bootsy, Gary  "Mudbone" Cooper, Michael "Clip" Payne, Gary Shider, Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell, Maceo, plus folks of equal funk footing (Sly and Robbie, Sly Stone, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Byrd, and even a Last Poet and dude with a bucket on his head! But assembling all-stars is one thing, more importantly, this album is a super successful, loving embrace of the earliest Funkadelic albums with some actual covers and returns to P-Funk themes of yore, creating a deep, loving declaration of loyalty to to The Funk. There is some stuff that has the kind of atmosphere you'd associate with Laswell (especially a trancelike Hendrix cover by Bootsy) but most of this is just outright soaking in cosmic slop. But what  I came for was the gatefold art and GODDAMN! Pedro was not yet having too much trouble with his sight in '95, but he still was rarely as focussed and powerful as he is here, and the assistants he sometimes used rarely were as true to his style and vision as Seitu is here.The amazing package includes a funked up booty art cover, plus a comic where Laswell gets destroyed by a soul-sucking green titty demon, plus some panels memorializing Hazel, goofing on "Newt Gangrene," and getting spook nasty, plus liner notes! This is amazing to listen to and better to look at. Pedro Bell forever!

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