Nite Funk arrives after years of hot anticipation, fully living up to the cloistered hype that a handful of us have fostered ever since a seemingly one-off single was dropped in 2010. It was a beguiling, dusky pop tune from one of the most unlikely duos in modern music, this perfect forgotten gem, a single song that held the spark of so much untapped potential. This little EP proves that they knew it too.
This is a release that I’ve been waiting way too long for. Ever since the first time Dam-Funk and Nite Jewel teamed up, dropping the nocturnal lovers’ jam Am I Gonna Make It, a lot of fans have been craving more material. At first it seemed an odd pairing, an old school funk master with a psychedelic indie rock darling; as it turned out, the result was like chocolate and peanut butter.
The two artists have flirted with the idea of an album ever since, but only dropped hints and cryptic promises for the longest time. Until the release of Dam-Funk’s incredible DJ-Kicks set last month, I’d resigned myself to the idea that the prospect was dead. Instead, that incredible set contained a little duet near the end, showing off a relatively new Nite Funk tune, Can U Read Me?. Next, Dam-Funk aka Damon Riddick himself announced that a brief album was coming in only a few weeks.
It’s finally here, and it’s better than I could have hoped. The vocals by Nite Jewel, aka Ramona Gonzalez, make an effervescent dance partner for Dam’s signature synth funk explorations, prodding his energy upward and achieving lift-off on masterful pop highlight Let Me Be Me. That song rocks with the assured swagger of a prime-time Cameo cut, even reminding me of Michael Jackson’s magnetism in its hard strutting groove.
Take a listen for yourself. It’s probably the catchiest thing you’ll hear in weeks: