Did someone slip me some Brown Acid? The Legendary Flower Punk is a project from “Grand Astoria” main-man Kamille Sharapodinov. The Russian experiMENTALIST has teamed up with Michail Lopakov and Nick Kunauin on drums to produce Wabi Wu; seven tracks of wigged out funky, psychotic and psychedelic space jams to flip your wig and make you jig. Opening with the title track there is so much sax, funky bass and space organ I feel like I have slipped into George Clinton’s basement. Fans of Parliament and Funkadelic will get their groove awn to this jam. It’s like a seventies detective series opening credits played by Hawkwind.
“Hexagram” has groovy precise drums which remind me of Travis Barker’s dextrous dabblings, manic sax passages and batshit electronics and scratching over a delightful prog melody and Sabbathesque jam and then some dirty sub breakbeats. Yup this is truly all over the place in a really good way. Like stumbling into magnificent record store filled with treasures and trinkets of every era and genre and then playing excerpts of each one, at once, whilst a lava lamp glows and strobes explode.
“Prince Mojito” starts in spacey Prog style with some funky guitar lines in the back seat. At 9 minutes it is given a bit more time to develop its Hans Zimmer stylings. I can certainly hear rudiments of the current crop of synthwave in there without the ubiquitous movie clips. Would go down pretty well with the neon outrun crowds around the world. This track really does sound like a drive in an open topped car down the Amalfi coast or Miami Beach – which as I am in rain-soaked England is a real plus.
“Azulejo” is not my cup of Darjeeling. It reminds me of the guitar heroes that used to plonk their effects pedals in front of busy tavernas in Greek resorts in the 80’s. Lots of fretboard trickery and pomp but no substance for me. The flute and piano render me speechless, but hey with a Jackson Pollack approach to composition it is not surprising that not every track finds its way to my heart.
“Aki Kaurismaki” Trip Hop’s out of my speakers and cast’s aside any memories of Grecian guitar gods. The use of Spanish guitar gives this a Balearic feel and a real chilled out Sunday morning vibe. Quite, quite delightful. Things take a turn with a gnarly electro-bass elbowing it’s way and in Stevie Wonder seemingly hits the keys in the background. Oh and a rocket takes to orbit. Yeah baby! These cats are cray cray! The bassline transforms into a funk that won’t quit and the scratches and samples are set to stun. Just as things are teetering on the edge of space age madness a melody kicks back in and brings the track back to its soporific roots.
Jumping straight in with slap bass and wrist knackering funky rhythms “Trance Fusion” draws the listener onto a dance floor. Like a Jazz fusion band on a cruise ship playing whilst Molly Ringwald finally kisses Andrew Macarthy at an aquatic space Prom. This track is as grossly grandiose as it is funky fun. The piano is often manic, reined in only by the solid four strings before the poor bassist must admit defeat and give in.
Closer “Zen Again” has some Jazz Flute over a guitar refrain – even Ron Burgundy would need a breather after this album.
The Legendary Flower Punk is a crazy, eclectic trip into composition and freedom and it made me smile, think, dance and groan in equal measure. If music is supposed to be emotive then this collection is a great example.
(7/10 Matt Mason)