The '70s could easily be described as "the decade that refuses to die." From heavy metal, hard rock, punk, and new wave to disco, funk, and soul, the '70s continue to influence a lot of artists in the 21st century. Young stoner rock bands are obsessed with Black Sabbath and Hawkwind, punk revival bands still consider the Sex Pistols and the Ramones essential listening, Alicia Keys is performing songs that would have been perfect for the Three Degrees or Love Unlimited in 1974, and European dance-pop acts are wondering if their next ABBA cover should be "Dancing Queen" or "Voulez-Vous." Then there's the ongoing influence of '70s funk, which is a major source of inspiration for Dodge on this 2004 release. The Dutch bassist makes a lot of '70s-minded funk moves on Starbass Invasion; employing different singers at different times, Dodge recalls George Clinton's P-Funk empire on "National Funk Day," "Just Funk," and "Phish Line" and shows his appreciation of Rufus-era Chaka Khan on "Jewl of the Nile" (which features Dutch vocalist Jewl, not to be confused with the American singer/songwriter Jewel). One of the tracks, "On the Hood," even boasts the presence of funk hall-of-famers Bootsy Collins (guitar) and Fred Wesley (trombone). But for all its '70s funk worship, Starbass Invasion isn't an exact replica of music from that decade. Dodge does some things that wouldn't have been done on a Parliament/Funkadelic, Rufus, or Bar-Kays album back in 1976; hip-hop is an influence, and some of the tunes even drift into electronica territory. Starbass Invasion isn't as consistent or as focused as it could have been -- for every three or four tracks that are memorable, there is at least one that misses the creative mark. But all things considered, this CD makes listeners want to keep an eye on Dodge and see what he comes up with in the future.
Starbass Invasion Review
by Alex Henderson