When you listen to the music of Joseph ‘Amp’ Fiddler your ears are picking up something a little different; authentic funk straight from the heart of Detroit in a sea of beige imitations. But then you don’t play with two of the greatest RnB groups ever created (namely Enchantment and Parliament/Funkadelic), teach J Dilla how to use the MPC60, and write and record music with the likes of Prince and Seal without knowing how to make very, very fly soul music.
‘Those guys that were amazing musicians, no one else had the style like that; everyone else was just basic shit. They played rhythms no one else played’ says Amp.
For his fourth studio album in 2017, Amp Fiddler returned to fellow Detroit native Moodymann’s Mahogani Music for ‘Amp Dog Knights’ a suite of 13 tracks A&Red and co-curated with the house & techno luminary. It was recorded at his ‘Camp Amp’ studio basement in Detroit, another chance to catch the vibrations from a master who learnt his instrument playing with George Clinton.
In the late 80s and early 90s, Amp became a little-known but instrumental figure in Detroit’s rise to hip hop notoriety, by using his first advance to buy an Akai MPC60, and teaching then-teenage J Dilla how to use it. ‘Amp Dog Knights’ features 2 tracks co-produced by Dilla. The tracks date from a famous Zip disk that was stolen from him and recovered by Amp. Dilla then gifted him the beats to use by way of thanking him for his mentorship.
In 2018, Amp released ‘The One’ with funk band Will Sessions and vocalist trio Dames Brown, a record which perfectly captured the near inimitable groove of the early years of Amp’s career.
‘A certain amount of cynicism is healthy when it comes to artists attempting to recreate old vibrations with this level of specificity, but everyone involved here comes across as either a true veteran—or, at least, the spiritual offspring—of a groovier era.’ - Bandcamp
After taking a break from music until the early 2000s following immense personal tragedy in his family, including the death of his son, Amp has continued to innovate, influence and educate with his music across the world. With one of the most impressive lists of collaborator and producer credits in the game, Amp’s goal now is to keep driving the music in new directions - and nobody does it better.