Stozo the Clown Presents: Urban Psychodelic Fonk; The DigiDonz 2
A Review by Michael Evans

Eddie Hazel (1950-1992)

Ronald (Stozo The Clown) Edwards is one of Parliament / Funkadelic's troika of Funky graphic artists, along with Overton Loyd and Pedro Bell. Besides doing 2-D artwork, Stozo is also a practicing red-nose clown, and makes music as well. He performs with a P-Funk spinoff group called 420 Funk Mob. Stozo put out his own CD called "The DigiDonz" a few years ago, and has just released Urban Psychodelic Fonk; The DigiDonz 2 on KlownRed Music.

There is much more to say about Stozo, but this is a review of DigiDonz 2:

I first listened to this CD one song at a time, taking notes, and getting all studious about things - luckily I got distracted, and just let the music play while I lived my life. After that, I had a lot more fun with DigiDonz 2 as an ear show, and continue to enjoy it through many repeated trackings.

What follows is MY take on what I heard - individual results may vary:

The show starts with a funny high-tuned voice introducing the personnel on the album over layers of singing and chanting, drums, bass, keyboards, and synthesized horns. It changes gears with the Family Stoze singing "Let's Have Some Fun" over a new set of faster rhythms, more voices, and layered instruments. A short guitar and organ jam follows, which sets up an actual song - the soulful "Can U Help Me Wit Some N 2 Eat." Silly turns to serious, but this urban blues is the hallmark of P-Funk at it's best. Stozo makes a transition to the hilarious "Kook Googa Mooga" right away, then calls upon a clapping digital crowd to "Dance To The Fonk, Thanks 2 The Fonk."
Stozo shifts to another vibe with a sweet R&B number "I'm in love with a love hogg …" channeling Barry White (low) and DeBarge (high), with Philly strings echoing through the Midi. I treat this piece as an encore to the first set of DigiDonz mixes. It's straight-faced clownery!
Funkadelic's own late great Eddie (Maggot Brain) Hazel appears as "Guest Ghost," in a recovered performance of "Upsidedown Brain" with digital accompaniment - including subconscious (or not) references to "Dog Star" with Clintonesque 'sixth sense' vocal rumblings edging-in. I've been treating this cut as a bridge between Show #1 and Show #2.
"Are You Ready 4 This Thang 2 Go Down" kicks off another long swirling round of layers, but they're even BETTER than the first! The slow "Reality Show Hose" makes it's point with humor you can dance to, and the uptempo "Stozo Gets Devius" is all sorts of fun, with that high clowning scat voice playing like a guitar. The urban blues song comes back as "We're Gonna Make It," with new clavinet-driven, optimistic, energy. This remix of ideas is excellent, and Stozo's DigiDonz Band takes over with "Urban Psycodelic Fonk Theme," leading into Treylewd Clinton and Steve Pannel advising all listeners to "Shake Yo Butt!"
The whole thing winds down with more clapping and the omnipresent voice of recently-departed Mallia Franklin. There are more quotes from "We Can Make It" as Virtual DJ Stozo brings the set to a close.

Urban Psychodelic Funk is available by direct-sale only as of this writing. See the cover below (Drawn by you-know-who) for the email address. The P-Funk army has released their works independently over the last decade or so -- including George Clinton. DigiDonz 2 is worthy of anybody's collection!

Mallia Franklin (1952-2010)

All images © Ronald (Stozo The Clown) Edwards, and are used by permission, except pictures of the late Mallia Franklin & Eddie Hazel (Fair Use)
Text by Michael Evans ©2010 and may be used to promote DigiDonz 2 by anyone who tells me where they're using it!