Invite the Light’ finds Dâm-Funk going long

Mike Pizzo

Three stars

Dâm-Funk Invite the Light

One has to appreciate the sheer audacity of LA’s Dâm-Funk, a Stones Throw Records artist who revels in creating retro funk/boogie tunes with the use of vintage synths and drum machines. It’s unclear if he puts a filter over his finished tracks to make it sound as if they were taped off AM radio, or if he’s just using charmingly cheap equipment to produce it. Nevertheless, his sticky-icky baselines and passionate crooning make for a novelty of a musical experience, despite the low-budget sound that renders many of the tracks from his new Invite the Light LP redundant.

Dâm-Funk’s approach is less about conforming to hook-driven tracks and traditional song structure than finding his groove and freestyling. He really hit his stride in 2013, recording an entire project with Snoop Dogg as 7 Days of Funk, and that relationship gets reciprocated by the Doggfather on “Just Ease Your Mind From All Negativity.” Guest collaborations like that, including Q-Tip’s unmistakable appearance on “I’m Just Tryna Survive (In the Big City),” help break up the monotony a bit.

Still, Invite the Light could have benefitted from a more selective curation. There’s no doubting Dâm-Funk’s talent as a musician, but running 20 tracks deep over an hour and 37 minutes, this record leaves too little to the imagination.

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