“The Awakening (Pt. 1)” (The Reddings)

In some ways, The Reddings continue The Brothers Johnson’s investment in funk as inborn, released/expended, and premised on dance floor experiences. Not so with this trax, as we move toward an advent of sorts. Who/what arrives? From the album cover, it’s the revelation of lonesomeness conveyed by the single used pillow and the broken office clock lying on the bed (as probable frustration with a world devoid of funk). Moving between slapping and fingerstyle tendencies, the bass pyrotechnics are relentless. The difference appears in the accompanying overdubs that appear near the end; consisting of both harmonics and slaps/pops played backwards and layered within the forward momentum of the primary narrative, they emphasize causality in a distorted mirror. Reflected back to us, the other is different yet comparable, related but not an amplification. The layers, the bottom end, the sustained open E string throbbing throughout: arrival has happened and will have to happen, recursive in its movement forward, outward, and downward.

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