It’s fairly easy to join the dots from Prince‘s records to their source; a Sly-inflected baritone vocal here, a sky-scraping, lightnin’ fast Hendrix solo there, a band whipped into shape with an iron rod-discipline that James Brown might’ve considered ‘a bit much’… Since his passing, there has been a dribbling of Prince-inflected records making their way into public conscience – records that continue where Prince’s incredible run abruptly ran out. Certainly, there won’t ever be another Prince but that leaves the door wide open for any artists brave enough to attempt to fill the void.
Like Harriet Brown. His track Paper is currently finding its way onto the lower reaches of the 6 Music playlists and it’s all but Prince in name; skeletal electro funk, multi-tracked, self-duetting vocals, a Wendy and Lisa-style female backing that might actually be Brown himself, everything, in fact, save the processed, squealing Hendrix-aping solo.
I really love this track. Its itchy, claustrophobic, paranoid funk manages to be both west coast LA cool yet sounds like something a musically-gifted bedroom boffin cooked up on his laptop. Having had a quick run through his Bandcamp page, I don’t imagine the rest of his album will be my kinda thing, but Paper most definitely is. I think I wanna dance now…
Those looking for more Prince-indebted music could do worse than seek out Janelle Monae‘s Dirty Computer album. Released almost a year ago, it’s covered in dollops of Prince-infused funk. Lead single Make Me Feel was essentially Kiss updated for the Spotify generation (and there’s nowt wrong with that of course) but dig deeper and you’ll find all sorts of pervy, sweary stuff, filthy funk that manages to mess with the mind while moving the feet.