Dâm-Funk @ Mezzanine

Dâm-Funk, Nite Jewel & Jonas Reinhardt

July 1, 2010


By Daniel Levin Becker

Best Overheard Line: “You know what, God? You're the person with the most

homes in the universe.”

Better than: Listening to Dâm-Funk under any other circumstances

So where exactly does Dâm-Funk–pronounced “dame funk,” like a 23rd-century dowager–fit into the present? Dude is the iPhone of G-Funk, the stylish technical best of something we're pretty sure we need in our lives but couldn't say quite why. He is “The Message” incarnate, the freewheeling specter of a bygone Los Angeles where the stakes are higher and the styles way less self-aware, where the streets are more authentically mean and more authentically funky, where the blowout ponytail is king and the keytar is an excitingly bitchin' new technology. He calls his vocation “modern funk,” which is as hard to argue with as it is hard to qualify as it is easy to straight-up groove to.

Full disclosure: I never quite bought into Dâm-Funk. I never saw the point, really, never embraced his five-LP debut album (condensed on two discs and released last year as Toeachizown) as the revelation I read it was. I found the headiest of its candyfloss celestial explorations grating at worst, aimless at best, with all the repetitive charm of a Cameo cassette in a ceiling fan instead of a tape deck. I'd also never seen Dâm-Funk play live, and had my doubts as to whether there was anything to see.

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