First Listen: Ultra Van Krome invites us to the "Light"

There have been several health care scares in musician Stevie Ray Mays’ life.  But whatever those health challenges the celebrated Portland, Oregon bassist has faced, he always bounced back with a designated purpose.  Once faced with a near death moment from a double dose of diabetes, Mays became a man with a mission – to indulge further into funk of the highest order – under the name Ultra Van Krome, the Cyber Funkist – fittingly named for his self-released debut CD.  The 2015 release, which featured guitarist Mays’ cousin Marlon McClain from the R&B band Pleasure, converged elements of The Time and Prince, the P-Funk family and anything in between, while Van Krome’s gritty vocals and crackling bass guitar echoed flights of passion and delight.

There have been several health care scares in musician Stevie Ray Mays’ life.  But whatever those health challenges the celebrated Portland, Oregon bassist has faced, he always bounced back with a designated purpose.  Once faced with a near death moment from a double dose of diabetes, Mays became a man with a mission – to indulge further into funk of the highest order – under the name Ultra Van Krome, the Cyber Funkist – fittingly named for his self-released debut CD.  The 2015 release, which featured guitarist Mays’ cousin Marlon McClain from the R&B band Pleasure, converged elements of The Time and Prince, the P-Funk family and anything in between, while Van Krome’s gritty vocals and crackling bass guitar echoed flights of passion and delight.

Four years later coming off another health mountain - this time cancer - Van Krome extends his Cyber Funkist mission into his latest full-length, Georgette, which features our latest First Listen, “Step Into The Light.” Resuming where he left off in 2015, Van Krome’s musical therapy session encompasses a talk box, crisp bass pops and synth baths, held tightly by drummer Spank Sparkleton (AKA Don Worth). While his voice is not quite as proficient as his guitar work, Van Krome’s musical personality throughout “Step Into The Light” undoubtedly preaches the gospel of cyber funk to a new generation.  And he proudly dedicates everything he plays towards those who desire in be awakened spiritually and dance to their hearts’ content.

By Peggy Oliver

 
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