Amp Fiddler Waltz of a Ghetto Fly

Amp Fiddler Waltz of a Ghetto Fly
As someone who has held down a 12-year tenure in George Clinton’s Funkadelic and has also taught Detroit hip-hop production maestro Jay Dee how to use a sampler, you would think Joseph "Amp” Fiddler would have an extensive musical base to draw upon. That assumption would be true and on this release, a follow-up to the momentum built up by last year’s Love & War EP does not disappoint. Amp Fiddler’s strength lies in configuring his eclectic influences under universal and undeniable grooves rather than veering off down abstract paths. Yet within his groove theory Amp finds ways to experiment with his achy Sly Stone-informed raspy voice, attentive production and the top-notch musicianship of a talented backup cast. While rooted in funk and R&B, the full-on house experience of "Superficial” and the protest themed "Love & War” on which he’s assisted by his frequent collaborator, infamous Detroit house figure Moodymann, Amp Fiddler’s soul fusion proves to be an accomplished brew. For the most part Amp Fiddler lets his musical versatility do the talking but the songwriting behind the deceptively simple "I Believe In You” and the social insight on "Unconditional Eyes” deserve particular mentions. But in Amp Fiddler’s case the music usually speaks louder than words and on the title track, where he connects with his pupil Jay Dee and his mentor George Clinton, the musical manifesto Amp Fiddler is peddling makes an undeniable connection to the mind and the booty. (PIAS)