Brooklyn Funk Essentials “Where Love Lives”
Brooklyn Funk Essentials have brought the legendary Alison Limerick into the studio and delivered a stunning slab of funky psychedelia in “Where Love Lives,” a reimagined rendition of Limerick’s 1990’s club standard. It’s hard to take a track that had as enormous of an impact on culture as “Where Love Lives” and reinvent it with a completely unique, organically original design that sets it apart from the first version, but then again, Brooklyn Funk Essentials is hardly your typical crew. In a fantastic demonstration of their furiously experimental and illustriously decadent sonic capabilities, this unit managed to somehow take a throwback and make it opulently relevant and modern for a new generation desperately in need of some hot beats to soundtrack their summer.
While R&B may be a chart-dominating force to be reckoned with right now, sadly the establishment has been shying away from giving funkier tracks the spotlight that they deserve in favor of promoting more streamlined songs that don’t bravely trot into avant-garde territory. Anyone familiar with the Brooklyn Funk Essentials is aware that they’re a fearless band of musicians and curators of the old school way of doing things (which ironically, especially in these circumstances, is a far more progressive approach than anything most of their contemporaries are doing right now). “Where Love Lives” is already considered one of the most epic dance tracks of all time, and it would take a fearless bunch to be able to retool it to be even more grandiose and impressive than its original incarnation. Instead of relying on the drip-style percussion and modulated beat that made the song so ultra 90’s in its presentation, this version sees the tempo spread out and tempered slowly throughout the course of the track, making it feel sprawling and zany, almost like a stellar acid jazz freak out.
I’ve been a fan of the work that the Brooklyn Funk Essentials artists’ collective has been releasing going all the way back to the 1990’s, and I must say, no other group has been so reliably entertaining and thought provoking consistently in that time period. It’s stunning really that a unit that’s been comprised of such a wide ranging array of artists, musicians and poets from a myriad of backgrounds has been able to stay so incredibly relevant and influential through all of the changes in taste and pop culture trends that we’ve experienced in the last twenty plus years. If “Where Love Lives” tells us absolutely anything, it’s that they don’t intend on slowing down anytime soon. In fact, after hearing this track, I think we can safely say that Brooklyn Funk Essentials and Alison Limerick are both not planning on going anywhere in the near future. After all, who else are we to expect to guide this next generation of sonically inclined inventors towards making their own impactful music? It certainly isn’t going to be anyone storming into TMZ’s offices or starting beefs on the MTV Video Music Awards. It’s going to be artists who care more about the craft then their own egos; it’s going to be Brooklyn Funk Essentials.