Smoke Thief – Maggot Brain (Funkadelic Cover) on the ROLI Seaboard RISE 49

I’ve always loved the song ‘Maggot Brain’, from Funkadelic’s album of the same name. Unfortunately I got arthritis when I was 30 or so, and it made playing the guitar kind of tough. I never thought I’d be able to jam with this song as freely as I’d dreamed, but the Seaboard RISE 49 really broadened my horizons and let me give it my best.

I feel ROLI have delivered an instrument that gives articulatory control back to the player, in a way that feels more organic to me than some separate pitch/vibrato joystick. Also, with so many midi controllable articulatory settings, one has a lot of setup options dynamically that can make it easier to play for people who find traditional keyboards a little challenging from time to time. Being able to slide across notes and articulate in different ways helps me balance my style and rest certain fingers when I have to.

The Funkadelic original is truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard, legend has it Eddie Hazel was told to play as if his mother had just died. it’s an inimitable piece of music, but as other musicians like Flea have been paying tribute of late, I hope it’s okay that I’ve also set foot on this hallowed ground. I would like to dedicate this performance to my late papa, Will, the man who believed in me and my music enough to turn the Earth in such a way it made my dreams come true.

Lastly, I would like to thank ROLI for their huge support and for endorsing me as one of their official artists. It’s an honour to be showcasing this instrument and a just few of its billions of possibilities. Thanks so much for listening. If you would like to support more music like this, please visit

http://www.patreon.com/smokethief
www.ko-fi.com/smokethief
www.paypal.me/smokethief

 

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Health/2017 progress update

So about two years ago I got arthritis and an accompanying dizziness/pain/chronic fatigue/join imflammation combo that makes stuff a bit challenging in my daily life. I’ve tried a lot of epic medicines all of which spaced me out too much to really function socially and mentally.

So this year I’ve mainly focused on fitness, interval running to trigger adrenaline and trying to ensure I don’t lose too much height due to rubbish posture! Unfortunately this year I haven’t had the mental energy to give my mixes the attention they deserve/need.

Fortunately, I think my fitness stuff has paid off a bit, as this week I was able to come off some pretty epic painkillers and despite being reminded of the true epic’ness of stubbing your toe, mentally I feel a lot better – I have more energy after work and literally feel like I can jump into Logic X and get stuck in to what I love doing. This has been going really well the last few consecutive days, and I wonder if by blocking off pain receptors in such a boss way – the electrical impulses that are my thoughts were also made harder to detect? I dunno – but I know that NSAID drugs are still new and aren’t fully understood yet – so it’s v.possible that the drug I was on was crampin my style!
I’ve also found a way of visualizing my energy levels – it’s like an RPG Where the game character has HP and MP only my MP is mental power!

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So recently to boost my HP I’ve been interval running (unimpressively!) every 2 days, that attempting to t-Rex run relatively fast gives me adrenaline and sorts my mood and MP so I can cast awesome magic spells (make music n stuff!)
I’m trying to alternate that with just basic home workouts + Tai Chi + karaoke every other day – again, making sure the home workouts are intense enough to lift my heart rate and inspire a more alert conscious state.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at! It’s just me and money I get from Patreon supporting my music at the moment – without label support or a manager it’s been tough, but I’m doing my best and working more productively than I’ve been able to for the last 9 or so months.

I’ve aimed for a lot of collaborations this year, but almost all of them have fallen through sadly, and without label support or a manager I’m gonna have to work very hard to make some waves again, but I feel more equipped do so now than ever, and I have a lot of experience and expertise to fall back on – so while I’ve seemingly lost a lot of fans and support, I’m extra thankful for the love I’ve been shown by friends, fans and all who occupy both categories.

It’s been a v.rough year so far, but I’m not giving up, gonna try and get 4/5 tracks sounding dope and then get in the studio with a great collaborator (hopefully next month!). Fingers crossed I can get it all done 💪 (If I can’t, it won’t be for lack of tryin’!)

✌️🔥💟

http://www.patreon.com/smokethief

http://www.ko-fi.com/smokethief

https://smokethief.sarahah.com/