Dam-Funk’s Triumphant Return


Dam-Funk has finally returned, and he’s taken funk right out of the atmosphere and into the deep reaches of space.

I can’t handle how consistently great the new triple-LP, 90 minute album is. Invite The Light is already one of my favorite pieces of music in years. I just keep repeating it, trying to grasp how it’s possible that one artist combined so many things I love about music into a singular sound. It’s overwhelming in the best way possible.

I want to write more about this once the album arrives next week, but I just had to shout my excitement right now, and hopefully tip some people off to the full album stream going on at NPR right now.

If you don’t have time for the movie-length listen, maybe check out the first single, We Continue

It’s party starter, mission statement, and gauntlet thrown down, all in one. It’s not even close to my favorite song, but it works as a perfect bridge between classic boogie funk and the interstellar odyssey the album takes you on.

My favorite track so far might be Floating On Air, a tune that rockets across the rings of Saturn and through the Oort cloud on a propulsive drum kick and laser beam keytar shoegaze sound that I’m utterly addicted to. It’s astonishing magic. I’ll share it here the second I find it streaming.

Update 9/10: It’s up!

I can and already have listened to this one on repeat. It’s a leap into a wormhole, an instant shortcut to jazz fusion bliss.

You might be unfamiliar with the sound, thinking that funk is a pure throwback genre that has no relevant place in our current times. Instead, it feels vital and necessary, a full evolution of a sound that’s always floated in the periphery of popular music. Weirdly enough, I feel like pop culture’s unironic embrace of 80s aesthetics has paved the way for this sound to truly flourish, much more so than it did 6 years ago when the artist born as Damon Riddick released his monumental debut album Toeachizown.

The album is so densely packed with imagination, heart, and incredible twists that it’ll take weeks to unpack what it all means to me. Suffice it to say that we’ve got another early contender for album of the year.

I feel like the extensive list of collaborators should be shared at this point. We’ve got Q-Tip, Snoop, Computer Jay, Ariel Pink, both Leon Silvers III & IV, Nite Jewel, and no shit, Flea slapping the bass on Floating On Air. The guest spots pop up and vanish to subtly dramatic effect. They all add immeasurably to the production as a whole, while never taking the spotlight from Riddick himself. Snoop’s feature, in particular, is an exercise in restraint. Nite Jewel features near the end of the album on a tune called Virtuous Progression, texturally nodding to their Nite Funk collaboration from a couple years ago, Am I Gonna Make It? It’s a revelation to hear them back together.

If you’re a vinyl listening, you just might want to check out the lavish chrome-stamped 3LP set from Stones Throw. I already preordered my copy.

4 thoughts on “Dam-Funk’s Triumphant Return

  1. Pingback: Funkadelic – Maggot Brain | Optimistic Underground

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