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Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins

Georgia Anne Muldrow & Dudley PerkinsGeorgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins are on a mission to raise human consciousness through funk. The couple explain their philosophy to JOSHUA HAYES ahead of their Australia Day show on Sunday, January 26 at Dave’s Cans, Many 6160 (aka Myre Rooftop, Fremantle).

“We met many, many moons ago, during an eclipse or a hailstorm while being attacked by sharks” says Perkins, as they both laugh over a distorted phone line at their home in Las Vegas.

“(Stones Throw Records founder) Peanut Butter Wolf actually introduced us. He wanted us to work together on a record. We ended up becoming boyfriend and girlfriend or man friend and lady friend before we even did any music, and we ended up being together and never separated since then. We’re on the same mission, you know? Bringing the vibration and the funk.”

These musical missionaries will be joined this weekend by Lootpack’s DJ Romes and Cola & Jimmu – a collaboration between another musical couple, eclectic Finnish musician Jimi Tenor and American soul singer Nicole Willis. “I do a set, Georgia will do a set, DJ Romes will do a DJ set. It will probably be two hours of funk and enlightenment,” Perkins says.

Muldrow was born to musical parents and studied jazz at The New School, New York along with the likes of Robert Glasper and Bilal. A gifted singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, she released her first album Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth on Stones Throw Records at the age of 22. Perkins, meanwhile, first emerged in the mid-’90s as the rapper Declaime, but is best known for the interstellar take on soul and funk music he’s released under his own name – in particular his two Madlib produced albums, 2003’s A Lil Light and 2006’s Expressions (2012 A.U.).

A modern day George Clinton, Perkins explores the ills of the world in a delivery that falls somewhere between singing, rapping and preaching. However, while Muldrow’s music has attracted critical acclaim, his output has been more divisive. Perkins’ latest album, Dr. Stokley was released late last year to a mixed response, with much of the praise directed towards Muldrow’s production.

“People who get it, it’s a welcome sound to their ears,” Perkins says of the response to Dr. Stokley. “But the ones that don’t get it, that’s like the devil accidentally walking in on God and God ain’t too happy with him at that time.

“When you see press people writing bad things about the music saying, ‘oh this is bad, some of the worst music’, listen with an open heart – judge for yourself. Don’t listen to what media and what people are paid to tell you to like. Listen with your own heart and then you’ll understand a lot better what we’re doing, and then you’ll see the wool that’s been pulled over your eyes. Our music is to dance to. It’s rescue music.”

Muldrow released her last solo album, the Madlib produced Seeds in 2012 to wide acclaim, drawing comparisons to the likes of Erykah Badu, and last year she put out a jazz record, Denderah, under her alias Jyoti (a name given to her by Alice Coltrane). Amongst the many projects she’s currently working on is her first rap album.

“(I’ll be rapping) everything that’s on my mind and everything that I want to say… there’s not a lot of party rap on there. It’s going to be more of a black leather coat with a megaphone. That kind of rap,” Muldrow laughs.

When asked to elaborate on their mission, Perkins explains: “Right now, a lot of the music that’s being played on the radio stations and shown on TV and promoted is at a very, very low frequency with human nature. And there’s no excuses for it, because music is actually a spiritual thing. Music is vibration and sound, which can actually affect your emotions and subconscious. Music was created at around the same time as math, so it has a very strong, powerful science to it.

“Our job is to actually raise the vibration of sound. A lot of cats can do it but a lot of cats don’t have the opportunity and the means that me and Georgia have to release records, so we’re actually on a crusade to raise the vibration of sound, whether it be by us alone or with a few of our friends who actually understand what we’re doing with music. Music is very, very precious.

“We want everyone to be rest assured that we ain’t crazy, we ain’t on no drugs or anything. There’s a little marijuana, probably me, but not Georgia,” Perkins adds. “We are on a mission, an actual mission like The Blues Brothers… to let people know that music is a divine thing; it is a main nutrient… one of the main nutrients like the sun and like air and water.”