While funk may not be a viable form of music today, it's impossible to ignore its influence. Its syncopated rhythms, groovy edge, and its willingness to get a little weird has leaked into jazz, electro, pop, and even rock music. Derrick May, one of the innovators of techno, once said that his blend of music sounded like "George Clinton meeting Kraftwerk in an elevator."
Dam-Funk creates a similar blend, mixing Kraftwerk's robotic electro-pop with undeniably funk-influenced bass lines and wonky beats, while throwing in his own element of narcotic spacey-ness. The result is a sedative mid-tempo electronic album with a groove that is more likely to make your head bob than to put you to sleep. And while most funk-influenced music seems to carry its energy and edge, Toeachizown brings back its groovy earthiness.
Dam-Funk may have replaced the blaring horn sections and scratchy guitars with turntables, but his funk roots are easily the most important element of his style. The CD's final track, "Searchin' 4 Funk's Future," swims in uncertainty as Dam sings the songs title, which penetrates through the rest of his heavily effected vocals as one of the only comprehensible lines in the whole album. As funk music continues to splinter, Dam seriously reflects on its direction and future. Like any type of music, it must inevitably evolve, but into what? As the album ends with his vocals and a dubious synth, he also seems to ask whether he is willing and ready to carry its torch. But if this album is any indication as to where he can take it, he should be more than capable.
EDIT: Someone brought to my attention that the album I reviewed was in fact the first volume of a 5 LP set. The first 3 were released digitally, and the last two get released later this fall.