ZudRangMa Records and Preduce Skateboards have teamed up to bring over Dâm-Funk, often referred to as LA’s “Ambassador of Boogie Funk” due to his love of vintage synths and drum machines. BK catches up with the prolific artist and founder of LA’s happening underground party night Funkmosphere ahead of his gig at Sonic on Nov 3.
How would you describe the music you make?
I create original modern funk music and such via the record label Stones Throw, yet when I DJ, I spin boogie-funk more than any other style.
What’s the state of modern funk?
It’s still fresh. More artists are now experimenting with it and interest has risen greatly among worldwide music listeners, since the days of [debut album, the ambitious 5LP set] Toeachizown, which was released in late 2009.
Tell us about your Funkmosphere nights.
Funkmosphere, the club and brand, is now six years old. It’s a place where we tend to spin wax only and it caters to the funk, boogie and modern soul crowd. There’s a heavy lean on music, mostly rare, that was released in the very late 70s to mid-80s, but without the tongue-in-cheek corny vibe that had been attached to it so often before we came onto the LA club scene. We have two nights a week. Both are free entry.
What is your philosophy when it comes to DJing?
My philosophy is letting the songs play, without too many tricks, such as scratching or the like. I like to let the songs breathe for the audience’s sake. Just keep it groovin’. I still enjoy digging for records and I do it all over the world. Yet, collecting instruments has become more my forte these days.
What can Bangkok audiences expect from a Dâm-Funk live set?
A mix of melodic funk and boogie sounds by interesting artists through DJing, mixed with live keyboards and original material throughout. The audience is always an inspiration. I like to feel we’re all in it together and it’s not just about me.
Has collaborating with people removed from the funk sound (Nite Jewel, Ariel Pink) had any influence on how you make music?
They’ve all been great experiences. I dig all styles of music, though, so that’s why I’ve always been open to experimenting with different artists.
You often refer to your music as a lifestyle; how often do you record?
I’ve got so much unreleased material that has been recorded over the years that I could just stop now. But this is too real for me. I have to keep creating, just based on life. It’s just about staying me and, at any time I choose, creating for the universe.