Dâm-Funk - Toeachizown
This surely is my biggest surprise this year - Dâm-Funks huge concept album "Toeachizown" has just been released (so far on mp3 format and as a 2xCD, later this year on 5 (!!!) vinyl lps). He is playing a mixture of old school synth funk and electro soul - think Prince, Loose Ends, SOS Band, Zapp ... all the good stuff, basically. This feels like it came from out of nowhere and it definitely is anachronistic - there is virtually NOTHING like that at the moment. But that is a huge compliment: It's been a long time since I heard music that is so funky and smooth, so warm and comforting, simply beautiful. I'm left speechless.
If you'd like to find out more, I highly recommend the following interview. Rarely have I seen such a humble, soft-spoken man who - at the same time - is so serious and dedicated about what he is doing. Quite a contrast to the overblown egoes of a lot of hip hoppers, here is a true artist driven by a love for music and THE FUNK.
The album is available via Stones Throw.
Ryan Leslie - Transition
Ryan Leslie's debut album which came out earlier this years has been one of the most underrated, slept-on records this year. And I am not talking about the microcosm of music that this blog is covering, I am talking about pop music: Why this hasn't become a mega-selling, chartbreaking album fails me. His sophomore record "Transition" has just been released a week ago, and while it might not have the epiphanic quality of the debut, it still contains a handful of great R&B tunes that put any other contemporary R&B to shame.
Check his myspace:
Le Le - Marble
Le Le is a dutch electro pop outfit who are not afraid to throw some electro funk, italo disco* and a touch of that modern french sound into the mix (without sounding house-y). Light-hearted, lively, humorous and just incredibly catchy.
*italo disco the Dutch way = slightly distorted, acid-like. I'm blaming I-F.
Check their myspace:
The Dutch scene seems to be booming at the moment. Hailing from the same city as Le Le, prolific keyboardist/producer Bas Bron is Seymour Bits aka Comtron aka Fatima Yamaha aka Bastien ... this guy has more aliases than DXJ. Seymour Bits and Comtron are his electro funk monikers and I am hearing a lot of old school synth funk in his style. And isn't it nice to see some electro performed with live instruments?
Check his myspace: