Album of the Day: Amp Fiddler, “Amp Dog Knights”
By Andrew Parks · December 13, 2017

For more than 30 years now, Amp Fiddler has been both a teacher (guiding the MPC growth of J Dilla, and mentoring Slum Village and Maxwell in the mid ’90s) and student (picking up where Bernie Worrell left off in George Clinton’s two iconic groups) of heady funk, hip-hop, and R&B. Not to mention a noteworthy session player on a wide range of records, from Primal Scream (Give Out But Don’t Give Up) to Warren Zevon (Sentimental Hygiene) to Seal (on his self-titled smash debut). The enigmatic, neo-soul  figure even cut a laid-back LP with Sly & Robbie (Inspiration Information) in Kingston nearly a decade ago.

The singer/producer has kept himself so busy, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook his solo output. Amp Dog Knights hits the reset button on all of the above by filtering all of Amp Fiddler’s influences through his own crushed velvet chords, glassy dance grooves, and mirror-like melodies. The Detroit underground don also turns the full-length into a veritable family reunion, working in figures both fallen (J Dilla, Fiddler’s brother Bubz) and familiar (T3, Waajeed, Mahogani Music‘s own Moodymann) alongside recurring collaborators like singer Neco Redd and bassist Chris Bruce.

It’s no wonder why the album starts with the dusty samples and throwback beats of “Grandma’s Radio,” a promise of “something different….the next thing.” This is music that exists outside time and space, flowing straight from Amp Fiddler’s kaleidoscopic mind. 

Andrew Parks
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