Electric World

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Life=Love Review

by Fran├žois Couture

It's too bad John King's funk project Electric World did not achieve anything wider than local success. If you like your funk rock-solid, inspired, and creative, try to locate a copy of this gem from 1993. King can churn out groovy rhythm guitar lines, but where he shines is in his solos -- that's where one can literally feel the fact that the man led a double life as a funkster/avant-garde improviser. And yet, if he takes tonal liberties, he keeps things in the beat, never losing sight that Electric World is about funk rock and nothing but. Bassist Amin Ali slaps it like he means it, although at times his contorted lines get flashy just for the sake of it. Drummer Abe Speller plays squarer than David Moss, but he does the job convincingly. Now, the treat on this CD is the presence of Parliament legend Bernie Worrell on four tracks, including the eight-minute jam "Flash." King's vocals are too soft and uninvolved to draw you in by themselves -- think of Mahogany Rush's Frank Marino. This weakness hurts particularly in "Favorite Pastime" and "Go Ahead," two heavy rompers that could have put your shoes on fire if sung by a singer of the screaming type. Luckily, the grooves and riffs compensate largely. This may be the straightest album Robert Musso produced for his label Muworks, but it still entertains intelligently.

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