Evan Gabriel takes it straight, no chaser.
When it comes to raw funk, few hold it down like L.A.’s XL Middleton. Already considered one of the top producers/singers in the genre, as well as label head of MoFunk Records, the modern funk impresario returns with a video to accompany his single, “Purple Sheets.”
Having recently opened Salt Box Records—a vinyl collector’s haven—in L.A.’s Chinatown, Middleton has continued his solo releases. In October, he released Things Are Happening, an album that touts telling your own stories despite blindly following what’s happening around you. It’s a noble intention with great musical execution. Features comes from Moniquea and Zackey Force Funk, who puts on an exuberant live show. Today, P.O.W. premiers the video for “Purple Sheets,” directed by Ralph Jimenez. The Linn drum bop and psychedelic vocoder singing resonate with Middleton’s past work on Tap Water.
While the video holds no strict narrative, it’s filled with lush imagery of a woman in a textile shop, meticulously working on violet satin. Towards the end, we’re introduced to an ominous XL Middleton, jamming out a funky synth line while smoke emerges around his shoulders and lengthy locks. As a Minnesotan, a certain pulse sparked through my veins when Minneapolis briefly got illuminated during Super Bowl LII, in spite of Justin Timberlake’s lackluster cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” The video for “Purple Sheets” feels like an appropriately vibrant way to kick off 2018, even if it’s another year the Vikings don’t get a ring.