***** Max Watts – Immortal Funk (Limited Network LN008 – 2023)

Since Motown, many new music generations have emerged from Detroit. Most notably the community around Underground Resistance, in the context of this blog. Equally important is that over the years, UR’s distribution powerhouse Submerge has been curating many interesting labels. A recent and impressive addition is Limited Network, run by Max Watts, which celebrates a new era of Motor City’s music.

Limited Network, a DJ crew born in Nashville, launched as a label in 2019 with ultra-limited releases and since then has gradually become an acclaimed player of the Detroit scene. The founder Max Watts is the label’s driving force and during 2023 he released two EPs. And at the end of the year, a collab with Huey Mnemonic came out.

For me, “Immortal Funk” was an instant buy and fully deserves its name when Max Watts gets into the act as hi-tech jazz disciple of Herbie Hancock and Galaxy 2 Galaxy. The A-side keeps it slow and sexy, when the opening title track offers a crossover of space funk and electro.  The track relies on piano chords, as well on distant alarms from the depths of the night. Laid back grooves continue in “Karma”, with a sluggish kind of beats and a whiff of “Trans Europa Express” pads. The catharsis arrives with “Network Not Found”, a nightmare scenario for the digital era. It’s a growling assault from acid box, which is low on batteries that, and would match the output of Andre Holland or The Martian. Try it with a +4 pitch.

Buy links:
Submerge (US)
Juno (UK)
Hard Wax (DE)

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