“Until I found the Mu-Tron, I never heard anything that made the bass sound totally wacko”: How Bootsy Collins’ mastery of the envelope filter became the flamboyant funkateer’s signature sound

Bootsy Collins on 4/14/91 in Chicago,Il.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Parliament's 1975 concept album Mothership Connection is among the best of a dozen or so tremendous P-Funk recordings produced between 1975 and 1979. The album also represents two watershed moments in the history of funk. 

First, it marks the addition of saxophonist Maceo Parker and trombonist Fred Wesley, long-time funk veterans from the James Brown regiment, to the P.Funk fold. Second, it heralds Bootsy Collins's emerging mastery of the Mu-Tron Ill envelope filter pedal, the effect that became the flamboyant funkateer's signature sound.

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