Steve Arrington & Dam-Funk - Higher
Label: Stones Throw Records - STH2324 • Format: CD Album • Country: US • Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul • Style: Electro, Funk, Neo Soul
Instead of aiming for retro-funk bullseye, they made the weirder, more ambitious Higher. After a successful solo career stretching through most of Ibo Lele At Night - Fabio Frizzi - Amore Libero - Free Love (Colonna Sonora Originale) 80s, he left the business at the turn of the 90s for the ministry, about the same time as g-funk was starting to mine his catalog for inspiration and a kid from Pasadena named Damon Riddick was traversing over that same turf for his own early demos.
Played straight and aiming right for the retro-funk bullseye would probably result in one of the most effortlessly crowdpleasing Steve Arrington & Dam-Funk - Higher records of the year.
That's not quite what they did. Higher is messier than that, and weirder, and ultimately more ambitious. Instead of a straightforward selection of boogie jams that effortlessly recall and leave it at that, Arrington and Riddick put together something spontaneous, potentially polarizing, and joyously strange.
Arrington's lost none of his range or power over the years, and he sounds instantly recognizable as the same man who laid a rubbery, often unearthly voice over tracks three decades ago. That means a lot of similar tempos, boom-clap drum machine patterns, and flowing chords-- sounds that barely stray from the Toeachizown palette-- and the musical simplicity threatens to fall into a droning sort of repetition, albeit a pleasant one. And this is where Higher really shines: this is a genuinely sincere, silly, joyous record that seems difficult to actually look down at.
This album has been in the works for something like three years, but it sounds like it was thrown together off-the-cuff over a weekend by two musicians with a lot of good, pent-up ideas. That's to its benefit, and it makes the Steve Arrington & Dam-Funk - Higher feel extra-human.
There's a real spiritual vibe that Arrington brings to the table, too, albeit laid out in secular terms, and he seems more like he's ruminating or meditating than singing sometimes. Skip to content Search query All Results. Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music.
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