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  • Amp Dog Knights

Amp Fiddler

Amp Dog Knights

$30.00

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Raised in ‘60s Detroit, Joseph Anthony "Amp" Fiddler is one of the Motor City originals. Amid the 1967 riots, Fiddler focused his attention on piano, encouraged by his mother, but he absorbed musical influences from all those around him, including his five siblings, who immersed themselves in everything from jazz and rock & roll to blues, soul, and funk. “Musicians were coming by the house all the time,” he recalls…“Everybody in my neighborhood was playing some kind of instrument.” This set him up nicely for Enchantment, headed up by lead singer Emanuel "EJ" Johnson. He flirted with guitar, focused on piano, but his involvement with then fledgling soul/R&B group saw his attention drift towards synthesis, and, after purchasing various multi-track recorders, he released his first single, Spaced Outta Place, an impossibly funky number, as Sundown in 1981. 


Enchantment’s success was just the beginning for Fiddler. When his then-girlfriend delivered some of his demos to George Clinton, the Parliament-Funkadelic collective founder invited Fiddler for some sessions, which was the beginning of a long and fruitful working relationship. Fiddler even lived with Clinton for some time in California while they worked on the latter’s Parliament and Funkadelic groups between 1985 until 1996. In between all this, he worked at a progressive clothes store, and worked on various other music projects, including Mr. Fiddler, a collaboration with his brother Bubz, a bass guitarist and songwriter. In 1990, they released their only album, ‘With Respect,’ via Elektra. He also introduced hip-hop producer J Dilla, or James Yancey, to the Akai MPC sampling drum machine: “He used to come by every day, just to learn more. My premise was to put Detroit hip-hop on the map,” Fiddler told Mixmag. “I knew that Dilla was going to make a difference..” He later introduced Yancey to Q-Tip, which, as Fiddler said, "catapulted his career."


The late Dilla himself featured on Fiddler’s 2017 LP, ‘Amp Dog Knights,’ a debut on Moodymann’s  Mahogani Music made of 13 tracks A&Red and co-curated with the house and techno luminary. The story behind the samples are as follows: Fiddler’s friend gave him a zip drive of beats that he’d bought, not knowing they’d be stolen from Yancey in a house move some time back. Yancey then gifted them to him as a show of thanks for his mentorship.


The album, Fiddler’s fourth, is irresistibly smooth, and, like Fiddler’s entire catalog, you can recognize the man behind it almost immediately: your ears are pick up something a little different, a taste of authentic funk straight from the heart of Detroit in a sea of beige imitations. Over the course of a 40+-year career, he's also worked with Jamiroquai, Prince, Seal, and Corinne Bailey Rae, among many others. In 2018, he released ‘The One’ with Will Sessions and vocalist trio Dames Brown, an homage to late-’70s progressive funk, soul, and boogie.

 

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  • HAND SCREEN PRINTED IN DETROIT
  • 4.5 OZ. 100% COMBED RING SPUN COTTON
  • PRE-SHRUNK
  • SEWN LABEL
  • PRINTED TAG

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