Bumbershoot 2011 Preview: Dam-Funk + Master BlazterPosted by Sean Palmer
Since his 2008 debut single, Burgundy City b/w Galactic Fun, visionary composer, DJ, and singer Dãm-Funk (aka Damon Riddick) has become a leading force in modern funk. In three years, Dam (pronounced “Dame”, with various accented “a”s) has released three LPs—one of which compresses five albums into a single epic masterwork (Toeachizown) and another compiles songs he recorded as a teenager (Adolescent Funk)—along with a plethora of singles, EPs, and mixes. He’s done remix work for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Animal Collective, and Nite Jewel (see also: Nite-Funk), amongst others, and collaborated with MC Eiht, Hudson Mohawke, Hawthorne Headhunters, and Steve Arrington (of Slave).
Dâm cites many influences, ranging from Slave, Teena Marie, Roger Troutman, and early Prince to Barry White, Prefab Sprout, Todd Rundgren, and Happy the Man. Though often mistaken as a boogie funk ‘revivalist’, Däm makes it clear that his music is about moving towards the future, not the past. In his own words: “I collect and spin boogie, but my original music is modern or future funk.” Unlike most electronic musicians, Dām uses no sampling or sequencing when recording his music. In other words, he plays each layer in real time. This thoroughness makes for an exceptional live show which closely reflects the recorded material, yet builds upon it uniquely for every performance.
Master Blazter consists primarily of Dam, J-1, and Computer Jay, but they also employ the talents of Jimi James and Monica Mendoza on vocals from time to time. Last year the group collaborated with DJ Kutmah to release Blazt Off, a mixtape showcasing each producer’s beatmaking prowess. For their live manifestation, D-F leads on vocals and keytar, Computer Jay works the keyboards, and J-1 jams on drums. The trio are looking to release their first official album sometime after this tour.
Dåm-Funk will also be spinning one of his renowned DJ sets (all vinyl!) alongside Four Tet and Z-Trip late Sunday night for Bumbershoot After Dark!