Tag: Dam-Funk

New Video: FYUTCH’s Hilarious Action Movie-based Take on Rejection

Harold Simmons II is a Gary, IN-born, New York-based (by way of a lengthy stint in Nashville, TN), emcee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who writes and records as FYUTCH (pronounced Fi-yoo-tch). Simmons can trace the origins of his musical and performing career to when he initially began to receive attention as a public speaker, who had given speeches at a number of impressive and major public events — including Gary’s Mayor Scott L. King’s campaign banquet and on the steps of Congress. When he turned 17, Simmons formed Legendary Biscuits and Gravy a band in which he played alto sax and contributed vocals with friends, Eric Sexton (keyboard), Brandon Holt (drums), Wesley Winfrey (tenor sax) and Brady Surface (bass). The quintet received regional acclaim as they were nominated for Southern Entertainment Awards’ Best Indy R&B Artist of the Year in 2007. And over the subsequent two year period, the band saw a rapidly growing profile as they’ve been on bills that included nationally and internationally recognized artists including The Pink Spiders, Sam and Ruby, as well as opening for Kanye West, GZA and Nappy Roots.

Simmons relocated to Nashville and while using the moniker Future the Artist, Simmons released his self-produced solo debut The Sci Fly EP, which garnered a Nashville Music Award nomination for Best Urban Recording of the Year, which he followed up with his Overnight Mixtape series in which he wrote and recorded six mixtapes — with each mixtape being recorded during an overnight studio session and then released as a free download the next day. The mixtapes caught the attention of renowned site, Nashville Scene, who praised Simmons’ work; in fact, thanks to the growing attention he received, the fourth mixtape of the series found Simmons collaborating with the likes of Bun B and GLC. Additionally, as a solo artist, he has opened for Wale, Pharrell Williams, Little Brother and Afroman.

By late 2012, Simmons changed his name to FYUTCH after discovering that there was another artist who also went by the name Future, who was receiving quite a bit of attention nationally — and internationally. And since changing his performing moniker, Simmons has released several efforts including Mr. Flattop, which was executive produced by DJ Rob “Sir” Lazenby and featured guest spots from Mike Stud, Futuristic, Mello Rello, Whitney Coleman and production by G-Pop, Wick-it the Instigator and The FANS; a psychedelic hip-hop concept EP Peace, Love and FYUTCH which was produced by G-Pop and featured deeply obscure samples and world music percussion. Interestingly, “Funked Up,” the first single off his Philosophy of Love EP was produced by Solar Shield — and the single is a Dam-Funk/Thundercat retro-futuristic -leaning jam featuring shimmering, arpeggio synths and wobbling low end paired with Simmons rhyming and singing a hilarious and very true tale about approaching an attractive woman, who’s been attracted to for some time or has noticed for a little bit and being cruelly rejected for his efforts. On one level, the song is about having the blind courage to risk being made a fool of and being rejected; on another level, the song is a tell off to someone, who in the narrator’s eyes doesn’t see what kind of man he is; but also, the song can be viewed as an admission of how stupid and vulnerable love can make us. And Simmons does all of this in a slick and funky as hell, dance-floor friendly song.

Filmed by Wesley Crutcher, the recently released video for “Funked Up,” is a mischievous take on action movies — in particular, movies like Jumper in which the main character travels through time; in this case, the future FYUTCH winds up traveling through time to see a younger FYUTCH get rejected by one of his first love interests, while the older FYUTCH gets rejected by a love interest, who was sitting near the younger FYUTCH. Trippy, right? But at the same time, it’s goofy and hilarious take on rejection.

As I’ve mentioned a number of times throughout the history of this site, I’m often multitasking while working on blog posts and as a result I frequently wind up serendipitously discovering new things to write about for the site; in this case, I stumbled across a young, up-and-coming DJ and producer, DJ Mestizo‘s contemporary funk, disco and boogie mixtape Unfadable MF (Modern Funk) and make no mistake, the mixtape is a collection of funk that would make The Whispers, George ClintonDam-Funk and others extremely proud.

Gary, IN-born, New York-based (by way of a lengthy stint in Nashville, TN), emcee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Harold Simmons II, best known as FYUTCH can trace the origins of his musical and performance career to when he first starting to gain attention as a young public speaker, who had given speakers at a number of public events — including Mayor Scott L. King’s campaign banquet and on the steps of Congress. When Simmons (alto sax and lead vocals) was 17, he formed Legendary Biscuits and Gravy along with several friends Eric Sexton (keyboard), Brandon Holt (drums), Wesley Winfrey (tenor sax) and Brady Surface (bass), and the quintet quickly came to regional acclaim — they were nominated for Southern Entertainment Awards Best Indy R&B Artist of the Year in 2007 and over the next two years, the band performed at the Next Big Nashville Festival on bills that included several nationally recognized bands including The Pink Spiders, Sam and Ruby, as well as opening for Kanye West, GZA and Nappy Roots.

In 2009, under the moniker of Future the Artist, Simmons released his self-produced, solo debut The Sci Fly EP which was nominated for a Nashville Music Award for Best Urban Recording of the Year. He followed that up by the Overnight Mixtape series in which he recorded and released six mixtapes, recording each mixtape during an overnight studio session and releasing it for a free download the next day — and the mixtapes caught the attention of Nashville Scene, who wrote that the emcee, singer/songwriter and producer was dominating the local, indie scene; in fact that fourth mixtape of the series features collaborations with Bun B and GLC. And with the attention he was receiving, Simmons opened for the likes of Wale, Pharrell, Little Brother and Afroman.

After graduating from Belmont University, Simmons along with fellow Nashville-based artist Chancellor Warhol recorded “Bonus Lvl/Fly Away,” which appeared the HBO Canada series Less Than Kind and E!’s Khloe and Lamar, adding to a growing national profile, followed by an appearance at 2012’s SXSW.

By late 2012, Simmons changed his name to FYUTCH (pronounced Fuetch) after discovering that there was another artist by the name of Future, who was starting to receive national attention. Since then he has had a number of releases — the Mr. Flaptop, which was executive produced by DJ Rob “Sir” Lazenby and featured guest spots from Mike Stud, Futuristic, Mello Rello, Whitney Coleman and production by G-Pop, Wick-it the Instigator and The FANS; a psychedelic hip-hop concept EP Peace, Love and FYUTCH which was produced by G-Pop and featured deeply obscure samples and world music percussion.

Simmons’ latest single “Funked Up,” produced by Solar Shield is a Dam-Funk inspired jam that pairs twisting, turning and shimmering synths, a sinuous bass line, a propulsive motorik groove and Simmons rhyming a hilarious tell off to a lover, who has fucked with his head and heart and yet still is attracted to — and throughout the song, the song’s narrator expresses frustration, bemusement and lust simultaneously in an incredibly slick, dance-floor friendly song.

 

 

New Video: The Psychedelic Sounds and Visuals of Samiyam’s Collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt

Animals Have Feelings’ third and latest single is a shuffling and kaleidoscopic collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt “Mirror” that also features a surreal array of obscure 60s psych rock and 70s soul samples paired with boom-bap beats paired with Earl Sweatshirt dexterous inner and out rhymes — some dealing with issues of identity vs. how others perceive you and more.

 

Maya Killtron is a Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist and singer/songwriter who first came to attention across both her native Canada and the States with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta, and as a result, Killtron wound up touring the festival circuit across both countries, including appearances at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Pride Toronto, The Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, Killtron’s collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love TapsBack For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for a video that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow Waves, Eyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed the song — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron is currently working on a multimedia mixtape project featuring MCP champ and producer Fresh Kills, videographer Diana Piruveska, best known for her work with Nelly Furtado and photographer Natalie Caine; however, in the meantime, her latest single “Never Dance Alone” is reportedly a return to the Canadian singer/songwriter’s roots in funk, pop and R&B — and much like the work of JOVM mainstays Rene Lopez, Dam-Funk, Tuxedo and others, the song sonically sounds as though it could have been a B side to Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You” as a sinuous and ridiculously funky bass line, warm and explosive blasts of horns and layers of synths are paired with Killtron’s sultry vocals. Along with that is a breezy bridge that emphasizes the song’s infectious hook. Listening to the song immediately reminded me of being out and about in the summer, whether at a house party, a roof top party or a block party desperately trying to talk up that pretty young thing you’ve wanted since the beginning of summer  — and more distinctly summer 1983.

 

Over the six year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout that time, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — the New York based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul); salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap Band, Rick James, Chic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases. This shouldn’t be surprising as Lopez has told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa, merengue and disco were frequently played — and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of Prince and funk. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year in particular, you’d likely know that Lopez is among a handful of artists who has focused on a single of the month series. While on one level, such a phenomenon points to the death of the album, it also allows artists to be creative without concerning themselves with the strict thematic and lyrical structure of an album — but with fairly strict deadlines to compete and release material. Lopez’s latest Jam of the Month, “Run Run Baby,” is a sleek, slinky and sensual synth-based pop/R&B that strikes me as a modernized version of Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” if covered by Dam-Funk as Lopez’s sultry crooning is paired with shimmering and wobbling synths, skittering drum programming.

 

 

Over the last half of 2015 and the beginning of this year, you’d likely come across one of JOVM most recent mainstay artist, Raleigh, NC-based funk and soul artist Jamil Rashad and his solo recording project Boulevards. Describing his sound as “party funk jams for the heart and soul to make you move,” Rashad’s work caught my attention as it draws from the classic funk sounds of Earth, Wind and FirePrinceRick JamesChic, the production work of Quincy Jones – most notably Off the Wall and Thriller-era Michael Jackson, as well as Talking HeadsGrace Jones, and Cameo among others. Unsurprisingly, those acts were the sounds that he listened to as a child — although his teenage interest in punk, hardcore and metal also influenced his own songwriting and production work. And with the release of his Boulevards EP, Rashad quickly put himself on the map as part of a growing neo-disco/neo-funk movement that includes several other JOVM mainstays including Dam-FunkEscortRene Lopez, and several others.

April 1 will mark the highly-anticipated release of Rashad’s Boulevards full-length debut, the aptly titled Groove! Now you may recall that last month, I wrote about Groove!‘s first single “Cold Call,” an 80s synth R&B and pop-inspired single comprised of layers of wobbling and shimmering synth stabs paired with a sinuous bass line, Rashad’s seductive cooing, warm blasts of horn and an anthemic hook in a slow-burning jam that channels Cameo’s “Word Up!” and “Candy,” Oran “Juice” Jones‘ “The Rain” Adding to the period specific feel, are the brief interludes with Rashad seemingly flirting and coming on to the listener. The album’s second and latest single “Up On On Your Love” continues Rashad’s burgeoning reputation for dance party worthy, sensual funk as it pairs shimmering synths, propulsive drumming, shimmering Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar chords, handclaps around the infectious hook and Rashad’s sexy come ons — and although the song sonically manages to resemble The JacksonsCan You Feel It?,” it may arguably be the sexiest single on the album to date. Like the rest of Rashad’s work it’s sexy yet incredibly danceable, especially around the percussive “Burn This Disco Out” like bridge.

 

If you were frequenting this site over the last four to six months of 2015, you’d likely be familiar with Raleigh, NC-based funk and soul artist Jamil Rashad and his solo recording project Boulevards. Describing his sound as “party funk jams for the heart and soul to make you move,” Rashad’s work caught my attention as it draws from the classic funk sounds of Earth, Wind and FirePrinceRick JamesChic, the production work of Quincy Jones – most notably Off the Wall and Thriller-era Michael Jackson, as well as Talking HeadsGrace Jones, and Cameo among others. Unsurprisingly, those acts were the sounds that he listened to as a child — although his teenage interest in punk, hardcore and metal also influenced his own songwriting and production work. And with the release of his Boulevards EP, Rashad quickly put himself on the map as part of a growing neo-disco/neo-funk movement that includes several mainstays including Dam-FunkEscortRene LopezMark Ronson (in particular, his mega-hit “Uptown Funk”) and several others.

April 1, 2016 will mark the anticipated release of Boulevard’s full0-length debut, the aptly titled Groove!, and the album’s first single “Cold Call” is indebted to 80s synth R&B and pop as layers of wobbling and  shimmering synth stabs are paired with a sinuous bass line, Rashad’s seductive cooing, warm blasts of horn and an anthem hook in a slow-burning jam that channels Cameo’s “Word Up!” and “Candy,” Oran “Juice” Jones‘ “The Rain” Adding to the period specific feel, are the brief interludes with Rashad seemingly flirting and coming on to the listener. Simply put, it’s the sort of song that you can do that old-fashioned two step to — while flirting with hat pretty young thing you saw across the club.

 

 

Over the almost 6 year history of this site, Dam-Funk has not only seen his profile grow both nationally and internationally for a sound that channels Parliament Funkadelic, 80s synth-based funk and R&B, Parliament Funkadelic-inspired G Funk and for collaborations with Slave’Steve Arrington and Snoop Dogg in their funk project 7 Days of Funk, but he’s also become a JOVM mainstay artist, who I’ve written about on a number of occasions.

Last year was a rather prolific year for one of Stones Throw Records better known artists as Dam-Funk released a 4 song instrumental EP STFU that he wrote and recorded while on tour opening for Todd Rundgren. His long-awaited solo effort, Invite the Light was one of my favorite albums last year — and I’m looking forward to the sophomore 7 Days of Funk album. But in the meantime, In the meantime, Stones Throw Records and Dam-Funk released album single “O.B.E.” on vinyl with the B side single “Special Friends,” a track that pairs shimmering layers of cascading synth stabs, squiggly and funky bass with handclap led percussion. Sonically, the song will further cement Dam-Funk’s reputation for crafting silky smooth and danceable funk that channels the synth funk that I remember listening to when I was a child.

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past two years or so, Vancouver, BC-based producer, electronic music artist, Pat Lok has quickly built an international profile. Lok’s 2013 remixes of Cashmere Cat and Justin Timberlake, along with his own original single “Remember” received BBC Radio One airplay – and an AlunaGeorge bootleg, which was praised by the renowned electronic act received over 300,000 plays. Original singles like “Move Slow” and “Same Hearts” were released to critical praise from the likes of Vice’s THUMP and iTunes — and at at one point, the Canadian electronic music artist received over 1 million Soundcloud plays. Adding to a growing international profile, Lok has played clubs across Canada, Western Europe, Mexico, Columbia and the US.

Lok has been rather prolific this year, releasing a number of high profile singles that have captured the attention of this site and other blogs — and he ends the year with the release of “Your Lips” feat. Dirty Radio, a single that has seen airplay from BBC Radio 1Xtra, as well as spins by a number of renowned DJs including Tensnake, Moon Boots, Goldroom, Just Kiddin, Nick Catchdubs and others. And when you hear the song, you’ll see why it’s received such attention early on as the song pairs layers of cascading synths and skittering drum programming with Dirty Radio’s sultry vocals to create a song that possesses a seductive and dance-floor ready groove — while nodding to synth pop and R&B. Sonically, the song reminds me a little bit of a house music-version of Michael Jackson‘s “I Can’t Let Her Get Away.

The Vancouver, BC-based producer and electronic music artist recently announced the release of the “Your Lips” remix package, which features remixes from Dutch producer Tony Tritone, Leeds, UK-based artist Crvvcks and renowned Chicago-based duo Christian Rich.  The Tony Tritone remix (below) retains the soulful vocals but pairs them with hard hitting drum and bass and atmospheric synths to give the song an airy and  funky soul-leaning feel that makes the song sound as though it were drawing from Dam-Funk and 80s synth R&B — all while remaining dance-floor friendly.