"a brief brilliant wonka-vite birth/perfection/death cycle" - WC AND MADD CIRCLE "CURB SERVIN’" - album review, 1995, Melody Maker
JUST when you thought it was safe to go back in a hip-hop club . . .
If G-funk has died on the vine this year, it’s really because what made it great was a certain time and place (summer 94) and the feel it had of being a one-shot deal: a moment in which the normal speed of pop development accelerated into a brief brilliant wonka-vite birth/perfection/death cycle. It threw up a handful of great LPs and then vanished in ’95 with just the dull likes of Twinz, Bones Thugs and Coolio to sniff around its scorched gunpowdered fingers. At least until now.
This LP is absolutely stunning.
Where most G-Funk is getting samey because of its leanings towards the cleaner R&B-fied side of Parliament, WC have unlocked something closer to Funkadelic’s warped funkativity. Sure the trademark oozing bass, like Porsche tyres over hot black tar, is still here but the samples riding it are more twistedly bitable, less economically piercing than Dogg Pound or Dre, more lusciously lambently delicious than anything you’ll hear this year, failing a new Tribe Called Quest LP.
On “West Up!” the chorus swings like the glorious party-down groove of Troublefunk: on “Homesick” a gorgeous prickly guitar underpins the most hyperventialiting breathy vocals this side of Slick Rick’s “Sittin’ In My Car”. “In A Twist”, “Feel Me”, “Curb Servin” and the staggering “Takin Ova” as well as featuring wonderfully vicious, cruelly funny lyrics, are just made for your bass button, so engorged with sound it’s nearly sickening, a mosaic of flickering heaven.
Like The Flaming Lips’ “Clouds Taste Metallic”, like “Timeless”, this is an LP so FULL UP WITH EDIBLE STUFF you wonder if your speakers can take anymore, wonder if you’ll even listen to anything else for a week cos this aural honey is just so godamn addictive.
Just DROWN in this, people. Slurrrpppaaah.