'Shitty Is Pretty : Anatomy Of A Funk 45'

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Dr Rubberfunk
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'Shitty Is Pretty : Anatomy Of A Funk 45'

Post by Dr Rubberfunk » Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:06 am

I hope no-one minds me cross-posting these - I stuck them in the Daptone / Sharon Jones thread in the Mag forum, but thought there might be folks who don't check in there all the time...
These are the 'Shitty Is Pretty : Anatomy Of A Funk 45' articles that Gabriel Roth did for Big Daddy magazine (published in the UK, but with alot of heavyweight US input) a few years back. I know from the TapeOp interview that he's not doing everything this way anymore, but it's still an interesting and amusing read, and might be of inspiration to some...
http://www.phobospeepl.dk/documents/shitty1.pdf
http://www.phobospeepl.dk/documents/shitty2.pdf

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Post by madtho » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:39 pm

Those are great.

It -is- really hard to fuck things up enough/properly/appropriately.
thanks.

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Post by apropos of nothing » Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:47 am

Those were lovely. Thanks for that.

100 Days sounds great. Can't get enough of it.

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Post by thethingwiththestuff » Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:13 pm

wow, just read those. very cool!

one day i'll move to tape...

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Post by EasyGo » Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:17 pm

I remember this, thanks for posting the scans. Flies in the face of good recording technique!

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Post by tony_tomlinson » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:31 pm

MTV recently visited Daptone. The video clip from which are posted on Daptone's web page.

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Post by percussion boy » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:35 am

Settling into my role as the board grouch:

It's cool that he's reinforcing the Tape OP ethic: relax, do what you can, stop tripping about perfection.

However, his take on funk as a simple music really burns my ass. When it's good it's NOT simple -- lot's of complicated polyrhythms going on, lots of jazz chords, lots of great singing on top of it. Has he tried playing like Bernie Worrell, or Paul Jackson, or Ziggy Modeliste? Maybe he should ask Mr. Douglas or Mr.Corsaro how simple it is to engineer that stuff too.

Just 'cause it's moving doesn't mean it's dumb. Was Beethoven simple?
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:23 am

yeah funk is all about being deceptively simple.

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Post by apropos of nothing » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:39 am

percussion boy wrote:Settling into my role as the board grouch:

It's cool that he's reinforcing the Tape OP ethic: relax, do what you can, stop tripping about perfection.

However, his take on funk as a simple music really burns my ass. When it's good it's NOT simple -- lot's of complicated polyrhythms going on, lots of jazz chords, lots of great singing on top of it. Has he tried playing like Bernie Worrell, or Paul Jackson, or Ziggy Modeliste? Maybe he should ask Mr. Douglas or Mr.Corsaro how simple it is to engineer that stuff too.

Just 'cause it's moving doesn't mean it's dumb. Was Beethoven simple?
I think a lot of what you're reacting to is the bombast of the article. I've seen the Dap Kings twice. Rest assured they have very interesting, complex arrangements. Yes, occasionally even with 9th and 11th chords. If you haven't seen'em, I recommend that you do so at y'r earliest opportunity. They are the yum.

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Post by tony_tomlinson » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:47 am

Yeah, I don't think he was saying that funk is pedestrian or anything like that. I think the point of the article and Daptone's approach in general is to record and perform in a manner that is consistent with the style in a traditional sense.

They're sort of making period pieces and when you do that, there are formulas to follow (that's not to say that Prince or whoever isn't funky). He's simply saying here's how WE do it and it's a terrific read.

I just picked up the new Sharon Jones record 100 days/100 nights and it's great. Everyone plays appropriately and it's recorded by engineers who are sympathetic to the genre. Daptone isn't a studio that dabbles in many forms, it's a niche outfit that is extremely good at what it does. As was Stax, Motown, Hi, and Chess.

Personally, I want them to succeed in the worst way. The music they're putting out is reactionary and creative.

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Post by swelle » Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:59 pm

I liked that article, I printed out a copy.

He pretty much dismisses compression, and of course if you're going to vinyl, they're gonna handle alot of it at mastering.

However, this is a pretty good primer on Motown compression:

http://www.recordingeq.com/motown/motownb.htm

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Post by SpencerBenjamin » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:55 am

Well as he says himself most of his compression is by hitting the tape as hard as hell. This quote: "NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES "SLAP" OR "POP" THE STRINGS OF A BASS. THIS IS NOT FUNKY AND COOL. IT IS TASTELESS AND EMBARASSINGLY STUPID." leads me to think he is deliberately excluding those such as Bernie Worrell & Paul Jackson.

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Post by percussion boy » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:48 am

apropos of nothing wrote:I think a lot of what you're reacting to is the bombast of the article. I've seen the Dap Kings twice. Rest assured they have very interesting, complex arrangements. Yes, occasionally even with 9th and 11th chords. If you haven't seen'em, I recommend that you do so at y'r earliest opportunity. They are the yum.
Glad to hear it. I really want them to be what they say they are -- gotta track down the Sharon stuff.
SpencerBenjamin wrote:This quote: "NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES "SLAP" OR "POP" THE STRINGS OF A BASS. THIS IS NOT FUNKY AND COOL. IT IS TASTELESS AND EMBARASSINGLY STUPID." leads me to think he is deliberately excluding those such as Bernie Worrell & Paul Jackson.
Yep. In his universe, Bootsy, Larry Graham, Louis Johnson, and their many funky disciples aren't funky. I guess at the end of the day, it's all a matter of taste really.

But again, glad to hear he's making good records.



edited for clarity
"The world don't need no more songs." - Bob Dylan

"Why does the Creator send me such knuckleheads?" - Sun Ra
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Post by b3groover » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:31 am

The articles are just his opinion of what funk is; its no more valid than the opinions of the "jazzers" he belittles.

Do what you like and don't worry about it.
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shit

Post by ideaofnorth » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:54 am

hilariously awesome.

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