Song from the Future: The Story of Summer
Funk has always concerned itself with liberation, and Dâm-Funk has long been an advocate for funk-as-freedom; he’d like nothing more than to lift your mind, your body, and your soul away from whatever’s holding it down.
“Free”, the closing track of Dâm’s wordless STFU EP, is a luxuriant ride from the boulevard to beyond the stratosphere. Over a bed of head-snap drums, twinkling Casios, and blunted bass, Dâm breezes down the block and off into the unknown. The eight-minute “Free” is a masterfully composed track, tidy as a cleanroom and filthy as a Black & Mild-stuffed ashtray, every chiming piano and wriggling keytar hanging, seemingly, in midair.
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More than that, though, it’s a testament to Dâm’s ability to make the music of the past—the mechanized precision of post-disco R&B and the subwoofer-decimating synths of left-coast g-funk—feel an awful lot like the future. It’s like the man said: Open up your funky mind, and you can fly.
And “There it is”
On Multi-Love, Ruban Nielson applied his knack for layered hooks to his own polyamorous entanglement. Multi-Love’s jittery core untangles the anxiety of balancing partners, of unlearning the traditional forms of hetero marriage, and of doing so while that phone in your pocket begs your eyes to stay glued to its screen.
“Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” rattles with a nu-disco beat, finding its pulse in an octave-hopping bass line. Nielson’s production leaves plenty of open air for his blocky vocal phrasings to occupy as he stacks syllables that mimic a clipped long-distance conversation or shards of SMS swapping.
All the while, a pitched-down version of his own voice haunts his words, as guilt and a yearning for freedom orbit each other. If “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” isn’t the first disco slapper about wanting to chuck your iPhone in the nearest harbor, it’s got to be the most unexpectedly tender.