Smudge All Stars is the project of Richie Stevens, son of the late British Free Jazz pioneer John Stevens, and his collective’s new single is ‘Brutal Funk’, featuring Jamiroquai’s DJ D-Zire and British soul singer Mary Pearce, and we’re delighted to premiere it right here on Backseat Mafia today.

A celebrated drummer, percussionist and producer in his own right who has worked with everyone from Horace Andy to Joss Stone, Boy George and Damon Albarn, Stevens says of the single: “Whilst chatting with Dr Funkenstein himself, it seemed relevant to ask ‘what is the funk?’ seeing as I would finally get a reliable answer.

“The Doctor said, ‘when you’ve given all you’ve got and you reach really deep to find the very last drop … that’s the funk!’ So Brutal Funk is the intro to the journey. A celebration of that most elusive genre – FUNK!” 

Brutal Funk, while not exactly brutal in nature, is certainly hard-edged with layered, squelchy synths and popping basslines as well as this heavy drum beat. Over the top are these melodies that drip deep-fried funk, with Pearce’s soulful pipes leading the way in a P-funk singalong way.

Outstanding stuff. Check it out, here:

Smudge All Star’s second single, ‘Brutal Funk’ will be available from 30th October and their debut self-titled album from 27th November, both via Pegdoll Records.