AMP FIDDLERHustle @ 24 Kitchen Street 8/7/16
Beneath the giant disco ball of 24 Kitchen Street is a perfect setting for the effortlessly cool AMP FIDDLER. Illuminated by red lighting, Amp is dressed in a boiler suit proudly emblazoned with the name Detroit, a gorgeous hat and sunglasses. Sunglasses inside a small, dark studio? Why? Because he can. Because he’s Amp Fiddler. A celebrated, Detroit-based funk and soul musician, and longstanding member of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic. He has shared stages and studios with the likes of Prince and techno/house Detroit-based producer, Moodymann, and tonight he starts his UK tour in Liverpool, promoting his recent album, Motor City Booty.
Prior to his set, the amiable Amp mingles with the expectant crowd. Delivering a mix of jazz, funk and soul, RnB, disco and house, it is a set that anyone could have appreciated in the snug space of 24 Kitchen Street, where suddenly everyone’s your mate and anyone can dance. Performing his own tracks as well as remixes of others, Amp’s set portrays the 70s vibe of his unique and modern sound, which derives from diverse musical influences. However, it is clear that Amp’s music is rooted in funk and soul, which feeds into the overall warm and relaxed atmosphere of the night. Songs from Motor City Booty, such as Superficial, Your Love Is All I Need, and Soul Fly Pt. 2, have an overlap of funk/soul bass and vocals, with the repetitive techno beats of house music. Nobody’s standing against the wall in 24 Kitchen Street tonight. As well as singing his own smooth, swooning vocals over the tracks, he often leaves his perch behind the decks to dance with us. The set unfolds without any awkward pauses; those moments when you find yourself unsure of how to move, or abruptly interrupted by an off-beat. He delivers the perfect soundtrack that you can’t help but move to, that even the shyest of folks can effortlessly move to. Amp enthusiastically bops to his own sound, evidently having just as much fun as we are.
Remixes, such as Alice Smith’s Love Endeavour, heighten and speed up the rhythm, incorporating techno beats and drums, whilst maintaining the smooth jazz and soul of the original track. The night reaches its height during Amp’s remix of Patti Labelle’s Music Is My Way Of Life, with the continuous, intense bongo drums and repetition of the lyric, “music is my life, got to keep on dancing”. He begins by mixing warped techno and jazz beats, with a light, twinkling piano, keeping with the funk and soul flavour, which gradually builds up as the track becomes more fast-paced and disco-like.
Tonight, 24 Kitchen Street has been filled with the catchy beats and rhythms of Amp’s deep funk, electro and house set. It hasn’t taken long for the audience to warm up to Amp and maintain high spirits. In the words of Amp himself, this is “music for the head as much as food for the heart and soul”.