2009 IN REVIEW: White Rainbow On … Dam-Funk’s ‘Toeachizown’

[Photo by Sarah Meadows]

Instead of going on and on about our top picks of 2009 and the past 10 years–we’ll do that later–self-titled asked some of our favorite ‘09 artists to share their favorite records. This particular post is brought to you by White Rainbow and the unstoppable space-age soundscapes of Dam-Funk

Dam-Funk, Toeachizown (Stones Throw)
This record–and Dam-Funk in general–hit me HARD this year. For the past 12 months or so, I’ve mostly listened to hip-hop instrumental compilations (like the Coast2Coast series), checking out different sampler-mangling techniques and ideas on how to make a track bounce. That, and I got into the whole neo-digital-cumbia thing that people like DJ Lengua and the Zizek crew were laying down…and a lot of early ’80s new-age synth music.

Then Dam-Funk came into my life and pushed all of that shit aside, with his tight-ass DMX hand claps, gangster-smooth boogie funk synth squiggles, and some soulful, echo-y vocals in the background. Goddamn! That shit hits it where it needs to be! Is that some FM string shit? Some Bernie Worrell basslines? All of his synth shit is on POINT, too, taking me back to when my dad had all sorts of synths around our garage studio–ready to get as prog-fusion as he wanted, while more often playing in a wedding band, doing covers of the Cars ballad “Drive” with the drummer on some Roland drum pads to boot. I can still remember the feeling of all those spring action mod and pitch wheels.

Dam-Funk takes me back to the California of my youth, with everyone bumping Too $hort and Dre and Nate Dogg in their rides. Meanwhile, I was plugging my dad’s Micromoog into a space echo and a 4-track, hitting play on the Dr. Rhythm [drum machine] and getting lost in a world of sound. Thanks for bringing me home, Dam. – Adam Forkner