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Critic’s Pick: Dâm-Funk Is Bringin’ the Funk Revival

Come see the musician/producer/DJ live to support one of the rare modern artists focused on keeping funk alive and innovative.

by Jenni Moore

In case it wasn’t apparent from his moniker, Los Angeles-raised artist Damon “Dâm-Funk” Riddick (pronounced “dame funk”) takes funk very seriously. After the musician/producer/DJ launched the popular Funkmosphere party at a club in Culver City, California, in 2006—a weekly event that helped fuel a funk revival in LA and beyond—Riddick caught the attention of Stones Throw Records. The label went on to release the bulk of Dâm-Funk’s recorded work, including 2008 beat tape Rhythm Trax Vol. IV; 7 Days of Funk, his squirrely collaboration with Snoop Dogg; a 2013 joint album with vocalist Steve Arrington; and 2015’s Invite the Light, which welcomed guest spots by Q-Tip, Flea, and Ariel Pink. But since last year, Riddick has been on his own, issuing new music via his own imprint Glydezone Recordings, including STFU II, a fresh batch of instrumentals out this past May. The artwork on this latest EP—a neon highway zooming into a pink sunrise—sets the tone for
this collection of easy-riding tracks that cruise ahead, seamlessly shifting gears over a constantly changing landscape. I’m on board instantly with upbeat opening track “The Flow,” which helps make welcome every subsequent turn or change in speed. Other highlights include the tranquil “compos mentis,” the danceable pulse of “Deeper,” and the retro-tinged synth that works its way into “On Code.” It’s fitting that on STFU II, Dâm-Funk proves he can still slay a project without having to even open his mouth. Sometimes he’s also keen to simply fulfill the role that every truly great party needs: a top-notch DJ with crates full of deep cuts and bold favorites. See him live and support one of the rare modern artists keeping funk alive and innovative. Dâm-Funk’s upcoming stop at Holocene is also a chance to catch a performance from Nosaj Thing (another LA native who’s produced tracks for Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar), and a DJ set from Machinedrum, an electronic producer specializing in glitchy hip-hop and house music. JENNI MOORE

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