in Funkheaven - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sex Funk Live from Heaven", Kiedis once called it, while
Flea described it as „MayhemFunkPunkRapRock". This
already denotes that the music of Red Hot Chili Peppers
refuses to be confined in categories, just like its interpreters
refuse the confinement of clothing to the freedom of their
Alas, the helpless journalist is finally left with marking
it as „crossover"- But lastly none of these terms do justice
to their mindboggling variety of elements and styles.
The love for Funk permeates and seasons all of their albums-
yet it is rarely pure Funk that we hear, rather an inspirational
spirit of Funk .
The attitude is Punk, rebelliousness, provocation - with
a wink o'the eye, and the awareness of living right here
and now. However the all - negating side of Punk is missing.
„No future" has been redefined into being immersed in this
very „one hot minute".
The almost infantile punky statement „I like dirt" for instance,
is merged with eco - Indian views („ ..the earth is made
of dirt and wood..")and expressed in a funky lust for life
Surprisingly, Beatles weave in and out of some Pepper songs
e.g. Guitar on Soul to Squeeze, Mirror for the
Sun,the interlude in Saviour, however conveying
a more raw and melancholic mood. At times The Cure peek
out, Zeppelin, Iggy and Hendrix brought christening gifts
to the birth of several songs, but none of them are clones
or can even be attributed to a definite parentage as it
were. Chili Peppers can ultimately only be compared to Chili
Peppers, they're a law unto themselves, governed by none.
In theory it sounds almost impossible to mix all these elements
without ending up with a confusing and chaotic hotch potch,
in practice the result is invigorating and skillful.
The Peppers enter all these genres and stir them up, refusing
to leave them in a straight line. Instead they mess up all
genetic boundaries and stick out their tongues happily at
any musical Puritanism while remaining serious musicians.
This goes perfectly well with their self professed world
view that everything must change continuously, lest it should
become stagnant and therefore dead matter. They will not
let the different musical genres- or even their own music,
rest on their laurels, become rigid- they will not let them
die or draw their well earned pension. Musical veterans
are whipped and forced to dance!
RHCP could be likened to a chemical lab, each member being
a vessel, a test tube, and the ingredients at the same time.
Sex is the fire bubbling beneath, musical environment and
life the seasoning . All is mixed disregarding the schoolbook,
permanently bubbling, reacting , interacting. The result
can be a healing balm or an explosion in the face of a bigot
society- all is possible...
(Written exclusively for "Troublekids
in Funk Heaven". All rights reserved.
No reproduction or publication without prior permission
of the copyrigthholder)