- Maurice Fulton dusts off his most beloved alias with another LP of mind-bending tunes.
- Maurice Fulton is infamously press-shy, but you can get a good idea of his personality through his music. A Maurice Fulton record embodies the idea of being high on life. Joy seems to permeate every surface and sound in his music. Fulton has many aliases and projects, and my favourite is BOOF, the name he dusts off every five years or so for a celebration of funk, techno and jazzy noodling. The records are all flower-themed, and they burst out of the speakers like springtime in bloom. Rebirth Of Gerberdaisy (a reference to the first BOOF record, Life Is Water For Gerbadaisies When They Are Dancing) might be his best one yet, as much a showcase for his multi-talented fingers—guitar, piano, drums, organ, shamisen—as his production skills.
Fulton tends to write his dance tracks like songs, and he performs them with the musicianship of a finely honed studio player. Take "Chicken With Waffles." It's a house tune, but it moves through several distinct movements, with vamping piano, dazzling highlife-style guitar and exaggerated drum hits that might take you back to the days of Metro Area. With its easygoing demeanor and playful improvisation, a lot of Rebirth Of Gerberdaisy sounds like nu-disco played with live instruments instead of samples. The album is full of tactile textures, from Jimi Tenor's flute and tabla on "Japanese Indian Shrimp Curry" to the sleek George Clinton space funk of "The Force Is Going Backwards." Fulton jumps from one wildly different idea to the next, chasing his muse through dance music history and collapsing the sounds of different decades together.
The most exciting parts of BOOF albums are the darker detours, where a bright and funky guitar track is followed by deep, rumbling techno. That happens here with tracks like "Luam Has Found Her Z," a Detroit-leaning dub techno jam that joins the pantheon of Fulton classics named after (often imaginary) drugs. He finds a way to show off his musicianship even in this framework, with rollicking melodies and itchy fingers on the delay button that make the track feel alive and organic. The same goes for "Ana's F Is Chillin," which is like minimal techno played with a jazz drum kit.
The key to BOOF's success is how all these things fit together. Want a crazy organ solo on top of your deep house? Check out "In The Building." Regal jazz piano that doesn't sound like it came off a Casio preset? "Aci Is With Her A." BOOF might not make sense on paper, but these ever-changing genre hallucinations are what make the BOOF world so rich and nourishing.
Rebirth Of Gerberdaisy is the latest in a series of albums that feel like fan service for Maurice Fulton heads, because BOOF ties all the threads of his discography together into one expansive and inclusive dance party. There's an element of lightheartedness and humour at work, but you shouldn't mistake that for flippancy: Rebirth Of Gerberdaisy has some of the finest moments of music in a career that started with Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman" and has endured through electroclash, microhouse and all manner of pop remixes.
No matter what style or approach he's taken, Fulton has always had a vibrant outlook and gifted approach to music. The BOOF records are like a quantized version of the Parliament Funkadelic LPs that blazed a new trail through soul, funk and progressive rock in the '70s. They simmer and boil over with the same infectious, half-winking energy of Fulton's hero George Clinton. But you can't really compare Fulton with anyone else, and there isn't a moment on Rebirth Of Gerberdaisy, through all of its stylistic shifts, that doesn't sound exactly like Maurice Fulton. After all, why settle for one genre when you can make them all sound like your own?
01. In The Building
02. Chicken With Waffles
03. Ana's F Is Chillin
04. Japanese Indian Shrimp Curry
05. Rebirth Of Gerberdaisy
06. Luam Has Found Her Z
07. Wind Tunnel
08. The Force Is Going Backwards
09. D To The A Train
10. Aci Is With Her A