The Journey Continues: Dam-Funk Invites the Light

Funk Season is approaching. Sept 4. Invite the Light.
By    June 24, 2015


Peter Holslin has been perfecting his back yard badminton game

Dam-Funk is a man of true funk integrity. He’s often said that funk isn’t just a fad, it’s a way of life, and it bears out in his music. If some producers merely pay lip service to synth bass and vocoder, the Pasadena G sticks to hydraulic hover-converted boogie groove. Getting all the details right is no easy feat; conjuring the necessary energy takes great charisma. It’s no wonder why it took Dam nearly six years to finish Invite the Light, his long-awaited album length follow up to 2009’s Toeachizown. But now, at long last, it’s been announced that Invite the Light is set to come out via Stones Throw on September 4.

The lead single off the album, “We Continue,” takes off on a familiar mid-tempo groove—and yet within that solid framework there’s so much more. The hard work of the past several years shows through in the delicacy of the song’s synth washes and the gentle sunburst attack of the snare. I can practically see Dam flashing a Stevie Wonder smile as he takes the listener’s hand and leads us on the road to salvation: “Don’t you ever stop… Don’t you ever quit… We continue.” And of course no jam of this proportion would be complete without a fuzzy guitar solo in the Funkadelic/Isley Brothers style.

Dam’s music has always offered journeys of body and mind, but there’s history to consider as well. Invite the Light features contributions from hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg and Q-Tip as well as from Junie Morrison—a veteran of P-Funk and the Ohio Players who helped inspire future G-funk productions with his wheezing ARP synths on 1973’s “Funky Worm.” Through that you can see that Dam is drawing from a deep tradition, that he takes this all very seriously, and that he’s going to keep pushing funk into the future.

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