Many people in todays techno house ECM must wonder why Zee Erf are so enthused, nay, obsessed with the jazz funk format.
Well the lads would say it’s what they cut their teeth with, in the 80’s.
Paul adds “That was the format that we knew and loved. It was the chance for me to get away from restrictive disco beats and put in some live jazz inflexions and nuances”.
Andy says “I always was known for playing “smutty chords” on the keyboard. Jazz funk gave me the opportunity to legitimize this, continuing along the same lines. What do I mean by smutty chords? Well its when you add for example in a minor key a 7th 9th 11th and whatever other notes you can feasibly manage to create, not exactly a “wall of sound”, but rather a “wall of chord”: its creates this fusion type of blanket of sound. It’s like on Southern Freeez. I never understood why other bands that covered it, bleached all the warmth out of the chords. The original progression Bmin7 then D11 (ie C major with a D in the bass ) is in my opinion what gave it it’s flava”
Gordon chirps in; “Keyboards Schmeeseboards. For me I think you’ll find it was my guitar lick that gave it it’s unique sound” he says with a grin. I could a lift the groove of a track just by adding a pick line that would just sit on the groove and just drive it forward. I loved creating a backbone for the original Southern Freeez groove. Zee Erf is just the same: check out the insistent groove pick line I did on the Leidestraat mix of Southern Freeez. It’s the one constant when everything (chords vocals ambience etc) around it, is changing.