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Friday, January 8, 2016

James Brown "Sex Machine" Instrument-Only Track

Here's a real treat. It's the instrument-only track from James Brown 1970 classic "Get Up (I Feel Like A) Sex Machine."

The song was recorded live with no overdubs, but thanks to some clever processing, you hear the band like never before, with some vocal leakage in the background.

Here are some things to listen for.

1. The panning is interesting in that the bass is in the center, but the drums are a little to the left, piano  and horns hard left, and guitar to the right. The vocal leakage is also on the left.

2. The horns have the studio reverb while the guitar uses the amplifier reverb. Everything else is dry.

3. Most of the song is just guitar, bass and drums, with the horns punctuating the intro and turnaround, and a couple of brief piano lines.

4. For all we hear about the kick being so important in funk, you can hardly hear it in this song, yet the groove is awesome.

5. Speaking of groove, it's mostly coming from guitarist Catfish Collins (Bootsy's brother). Bassist Bootsy Collins plays a line that's not as disciplined as you might expect. The discipline comes from Catfish and drummer John Starks, as they play their parts that hardly ever move.

6. Listen for the distortion on the bass when Bootsy hits it hard.


Unknown said...

One of the greatest grooves of all time! Another thing to listen for is the lack of WD-40 on the drum pedals. It was all about the music and the performance. Amazing stuff. Thanks for posting this Bobby!

Josh McCutcheon
Hard Left Productions

Rand said...

Thanks for this Bobby. From the master himself and his incredible crew.

The best movin' and groovin' of all time.

If you can't bow down and feel the FUNK from this then you're already dead!


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