Form Follows Funk
**** Bio **** Imagine a sound that incorporates a diversity of musical styles: nasty Funk, atmospheric Pop, Classic Soul, edgy Rock, old-school Hip-hop, cool Jazz, Dub Reggae, and more. In the spring of 1998, vocalist/composer Craig Warner traded the red clay of Atlanta for the fertile soil of San Francisco to plant the seeds for just such a sound: Perpendicular. Enlisting the help of gifted arranger/composer Nelson Michael Starr, the two harvested Perpendicular's ambitious full-length debut album, Form Follows Funk. Elaborating on the band's name, Craig explains, 'My goal is to channel all the different styles of music I love into a unified form of expression. In Geometry, perpendicular means the intersection of two lines to form a right angle. In this case, Perpendicular refers to the way lines of musical styles converge and intersect - so the result feels 'right' to me, and hopefully to the listener as well.' With each song blending organic and electronic sounds with catchy melodies, clever lyrics, skillful musicianship, and soulful, expressive vocals, the results are 'right' indeed. The stylistic range on Form Follows Funk covers vast territory, and unfolds with an ease and artistry seldom displayed on any debut. There's the playful, Stevie Wonder- inspired sexiness of 'You Know What I Want.' Subterranean breakbeat weirdness is unleashed on the strangely compelling 'On The Floor.' The deliciously poignant Bossa Nova of 'She's So Free' brings to mind Sade and Seal at their most vulnerable and beautiful. The jazzy, Hip-hop vibe of 'Simple' swings, sparkles, and shines, leading the listener on a ride down Highway 101 on a sunny day with the top down, before segueing gently into the Beatles/Cocteau Twins- influenced tone painting, 'Sacred And True.' The form definitely follows the Funk here, as evidenced by the P-Funk/James Brown booty grooves of 'Transcend,' the Planet Rock/Scorpio- flavored title track, and the blazing AC/DC-meets-Rakim Rap/Rock tongue twister, 'Perpendicular.' The diversity of this musical portfolio could be too broad for even the most seasoned of vocalists, but Craig confidently and consistently steps up to the microphone and nails it, song after song. Supplementing his love of singing live with a recent stint as frontman for Bay Area Funk Fusion group Starvin Like Marvin, Craig has quickly garnered a reputation as an electrifying performer with a rich, powerful voice and kinetic stage presence. Things have already started heating up for Craig and Perpendicular. The song 'Life Is From Today 'til You Die' was featured in an episode of the FOX prime-time television series 'Party Of Five,' gaining national exposure for the band. The directors of the show enjoyed the song so much that they brought Craig in to appear in the episode. Overall, the singular artistic vision and craftsmanship embodied in Perpendicular's Form Follows Funk is a refreshing departure from the cloned sheep and one-trick ponies that overpopulate the landscape of popular music today. Craig offers, 'To me, music is powerful. As an artist, I want to use this power to elevate and illuminate - first myself, and then as many people as I can influence along the way.' *************** **** Song Insights from the Artist **** *Life Is From Today 'til You Die* This song came from my being stuck someplace that I didn't want to be - both artistically and geographically. I realized the only way to break out was to move - spiritually and physically. When my time on this planet is over, I want to be satisfied that I made best use of the gift of life. So let's go... 'Cycle of hardship culminates in catharsis - Circle completed combusts into Artist' *Transcend* People try to avoid suffering, but there's no escape. We can learn from the painful lessons, though, and turn it into something beautiful. We all gotta go through it; and our Human experience is a shared one. So let's be good to each other... 'Pain become Wisdom - Wisdom become Power - Power become Love - Everybody Love Each Other' *On The Floor* I really wanted to make a song out of samples from the hilarious guilty-pleasure recordings of 'Shut Up, Little Man!' If you've never heard it, it's worth locating a copy - I've never laughed so hard and felt so ashamed at the same time. We took a particularly threatening and violent passage and twisted it into a call to the dance floor: 'When Immovable Ass meets Irresistible Force - There you are - you're On The Floor!' *She's So Free* This is about the painful realization that 'The One' is gone, and was never truly yours in the first place... 'From love to love and on to the next one - She's already finished what you've just begun' *Perpendicular* All the words evolved from the name of the band. This was a real challenge lyrically to put together, and an extremely satisfying experience when completed - like finishing a really difficult crossword puzzle! This is my best rappin' on this album... 'Perpendicular, baby- that means I'm without parallel - ponder that parable while I stand at the pinnacle!' *You Know What I Want* There is a level of pleasure that comes from being deeply in love with and committed to One Special Person. This tune is a celebration of that kind of love... 'At last the grass on MY side is greenest! So tight can't nuthin' come between us' *Final Goodbye* Sometimes not even love can overcome every obstacle - even when both people really want very badly for it to work out. Sometimes it's best to just say Goodbye... 'I know our love is true but love's not enough - it's our Final Goodbye for me and you' *Form Follows Funk* A metaphysical mission statement couched in Planet Rock/Scorpio- inspired electrofunk grooves... 'Seven wheels of energy spinnin' and winnin' - squeeze my gray sponge to inspire the beginnin'...' *Simple* A reminder to immerse ourselves in the more elemental, sensual pleasures of our planet (like Mother Ocean!), as an antidote to the more mundane, technologically driven aspects of our daily grind. We need to maintain our connection to the Earth... 'Get into the Ocean - walk on the sand - feel the wind making love to the land' *Sacred and True* Describes the Tantric, blissful state when time stands still and two become One... 'The sounds of our passion filling my ears - nothing else exists but You...'