DaM-Funk – ‘Toeachizown’

February 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Published: The Big Issue #347, February 2010.

Toeachizown
DaM-Funk
****1/2

DaM-Funk is of another time. The LA boogie-funk maestro’s impeccably smooth, syrupy, bass-melted sound comes from an era of big sunglasses and even bigger hair; of synths and keytars; of space-age sounds and high romance. Spanning 70 minutes and five LPs, epic debut Toeachizown is a master class in Prince-influenced 80s funk and modern soul.

DaM (pronounced Dame) spares nothing for the groove here. The glimmering keys of ‘The Sky is Ours’, ‘Keep Lookin 2 the Sky’ and lilting melody of ‘One Less Day’ are about as realised as electro-funk gets. But his dizzying excursions aren’t a case of mere revivalism. While it may be rooted in the sounds of the early 80s, what makes Toeachizown so effective is its expansion and manipulation of its references.

DaM extends and abstracts what might otherwise be straight grooves into sprawling, intergalactic jams. The snaking bass lines, snapping beats and fluttering synths of cuts like ‘Brookside Park’ and ‘Mirrors’ stretch compact breaks into transcendent instrumental drifts. It’s freaking brilliant.

Perhaps what makes it all so convincing is DaM-Funk’s sheer earnestness. There’s not a fleck of hipper-than-thou irony here. “Come on outside, won’t you funk with me?” he croons. I’ll be there, baby.

Dan Rule

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