Let the Funk In: New Loosies from Dam-Funk

Will Hagle tells you why Dam-Funk's one off joints are better than your best stuff.
By    April 14, 2016

dam funk

Will Hagle’s hood pass is intact. 

Dām Funk spends hours holed up in his studio, surrounded by synths, drum machines, and whatever else happens to be lying around. He uses the instruments to tap into the divine funk ether, that ephemeral space of musical inspiration that only a select few predecessors have been able to access. He emerges on the other end with fully formed visions, distilling an entire genre’s forty year history, using only the strength of his imagination.

Dām Funk has repeatedly shown and proven — see last year’s Invite the Light or these two new songs, “F U N K” and “Won’t Stop.” Both were uploaded to Soundcloud with the same description: “Recorded 2day (2/21/16) & self explanatory. All music, vocalz, recording & production: Dām-Funk (Westide L.A.).”

If you consider the relative ease with which Dām Funk was able to toss these tracks together, you might start to think that funk is so simple that anyone can do it. Both songs are relatively straightforward takes on what the genre should sound like in 2016—repeating patterns and three-note bass grooves weaving throughout electronic drum beats and seemingly-improvised synth solos. The only words on “F U N K” are a subtle spelling out of the song’s title. Dām Funk honors the past yet leans into the future.

Modern music production tools like the ones Dām Funk uses have made it possible for an individual to put together songs that previously would have required a tight, well-practiced eight-piece band. Anyone can press keys to replace what previously would have had to have been stringed or horned instruments. But Dām Funk’s skill is in composing and preforming simultaneously, creating the groove and building upon it as he goes along. Over the last half-decade, Funk has proven himself as the chief vanguard of worldwide funk. It’s easy to imitate, much more difficult to innovate. These are two more examples: funk as sophisticated as it was swiftly created.