Excerpt from a feature article & interview with Dam-Funk in Fader #64. Story by Felipe Delerme, Photos by Jason Nocito.

Dam-FunkRiding north up
Arlington Avenue toward a downtown rehearsal studio, Dam-Funk points
out a dark, thin stream of smoke billowing high above the San Gabriel
Mountains – a sign of what will, a week later, be declared one of the largest
wildfires in Southern California history. The last time his Leimert Park
neighborhood endured any type of cataclysmic fire damage was during the
Rodney King riots of 1992-the point when a decade of gentrification boiled
over and South Central burned. Almost two decades later, "South Central"
has officially been renamed "South Los Angeles," and this particular area is
rich with afrocentric boutiques and soul food restaurants, home to popular
jazz den The World Stage and birthplace of Project Blowed's influential
hip-hop open mic night. Dam-Funk's street is the picture of suburbia,
rows of single-family homes with Spanish tile roofs and children bouncing
unsupervised across well-manicured lawns. And yet for the past four years,
Dam (pronounced "dame") has lived quietly among them, burying his
unique prowess deep within the community that inspired it.

It's an eerily comfortable 90-plus degrees as we drive, but Dam expresses
concern for the crates housing his life's treasure and their ability to
withstand the inevitable warping this kind of heat brings. Back in Leimert
Park, packed into a one-car garage behind his house, is a colossal record
collection spanning decades of his objectively soulful musical interests,
dense with early '8os funk and boogie. Also in the garage are turntables,
recording equipment and vintage synthesizers, yet something is definitely
missing. Three weeks ago, Dam tracked down and bought a vintage keytar,
which he's since mastered. Most recently cast as visual gag in Snoop Dogg's
retro-tourist "Sensual Seduction" video, the keytar is Dam's latest joy.
Later in the evening, during the rehearsal for Master Blazter, the band he's
recruited to blow out his entirely self-produced compositions, he fingers
the instrument as he sings through a vocoder, effectively altering time and
space. Behind pitch black sunglasses, under one red light bulb in the single-
room practice space, he looks like he fell off the back of one of the album
covers he has filed somewhere deep in his vault. Dam has become a god
of funk.

Read the rest: Fader – Dam-Funk Redefines Borders

Toeachizown Vol. 1: LAtrik $6.93, Album, 40 min., 320 kbps
Toeachizown Vol. 2: Fly $5.94, Album, 37 min., 320 kbps
Toeachizown Vol. 3: Life $5.99, Album, 32 min., 320 kbps
Toeachizown Vol. 4: Hood $5.49, Album, 30 min, 320 kbps
Toeachizown Vol. 5: Sky coming soon

related artists Dam-Funk