Song Stuck In My Head: Can't Get Enough Of That Funky Stuff

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

 "Funky Stuff" - Lizzy Mercier Descloux (1980)

My eclectic palette has been in overdrive and unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with the times, more like doing the time warp again. I stumbled upon the late French singer, Lizzy Mercier Descloux by looking up another No Wave artist, Cristina. Apparently, if you like Cristina (which I do when I'm the mood to listen to frantic, crazy music like her track, "Ticket To The Tropics") and other "mutant disco" acts, then you must like the Ms. Descloux. So why not? I'm not employed. I got time. Her version of Kool & The Gang's "Funky Stuff" just sort of blew me sideways. It's the bassline in this song that grabbed me, as it was thicker than the original and has that slapping driving force mixed in with the forceful chants...it's my kind of brash. The Gang' is slicker, less cluttered and essential, no doubt, but Lizzie's is erratic and off-kilt for all the good reasons.

Descloux had a penchant for disjointed Reggae/African beats mixed in with funk elements, and was a silent trooper for the No Wave movement, a movement that the Talking Heads took to mainstream and critical acclaimed heights. Descloux's sophomore effort Mambo Nassau (where "Funky Stuff" is featured) is pretty much in this same vein, and is highly enjoyable once you really sink into it. You do have to get over her jerky approach to music as she'll spit out in French and English as well as shout crazily in odd places. Yes, her version of "Funky Stuff" might come off as "noise" for some people, but somehow in my crazy little brain, I found a groove that's quite hard to shake.

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