J-Zone & The Du-Rites Are Back with “Gamma Ray”

Will Schube takes a look at the latest collaboration between J-Zone and Pablo Martin.
By    May 21, 2018

Will Schube can be found in the shadow of Shea.

J-Zone don’t stop. Queens’ secret weapon left the music industry in 2009 to get a real job. The real job didn’t last. He taught himself the drums and quickly became scary behind the skins. He’s a triple threat, and not the kind Timberlake claims to be. He raps, produces, and serves as his own real time drum machine, boasting a must-have discography for old school cats and new school kids. J-Zone is for the people.

When he’s not releasing excellent solo rap LPs like 2016’s Fish-N-Grits, he’s one half of the Du-Rites with Pablo Martin. Each member boasts a band’s worth of responsibility instrument wise, with J-Zone handling drums, organ, bass, and turntables, while Pablo Martin takes the guitar, synth, and the always essential Rhodes. The duo’s latest 7”, “Gamma Ray Funk,” is a live-time masterclass in live band funk breaks.

The a-side is a dirty jam with a New York version of “50 Ways to Leave a Lover” for a drum beat and a Rhodes line that sings without saying a word. Vocal samples shoot down from the sky, and the guitar does a funky chicken dance throughout. While “Gamma Ray Funk” is stellar, the b-side, “Fish Sammich,” may be even better.

Each groove J-Zone plays is a sample-worthy breakbeat, and the “Fish Sammich” sample captures the late night desperation of a hunger craving that just won’t quit. We’ve all been there. The piano chords hit with a hammer’s strength and the guitar line bends and descends into oblivion. These two tracks are hardly a blip on the radar in terms of J-Zone’s vast discography, but like everything he does, this 7” pushes far past its six minute run time. J-Zone don’t stop.

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