Dâm-Funk Working on Albums With Steve Arrington, Nite Jewel [MP3]
Cooler than everyone you know.
Stones Throw head honcho Chris Manak, a.k.a. Peanut Butter Wolf, has just confirmed that Leimert Park funkernaut Dâm-Funk is working on two collaborative records to be due out some time in 2010. Giving further gravitas to the rising artist's credo, "Funk is not a fad... It's a way of life," Dâm will be reaching into his native genre's colorful past to bring the former singer of Ohio funk band Slave, Steve Arrington, back into the realm of secular music. As if that weren't enough, Dâm and Stones Throw have begun talks with L.A.'s own Nite Jewel in order schedule recording for an upcoming joint LP. In the word of the late, great, godfather of soul, "Good God!"
Before we go on, here's a little refresher on Slave.
The Wolf weighs in on the backstory after the jump.
According to Manak, Dâm (real name Damon Riddick) and Arrington have five or six songs in the bag, with "all of the instrumentals coming from Damon, and Steve writing his own vocal melodies and lyrics. It's fifty-fifty."
Fittingly, it was a love for Slave that brought Dâm to Stones Throw in the first place.
"When I first talked to Damon, we bonded over an appreciation for Slave," said Manak. "He told me that he had video of Steve Arrington performing in the early '80s, and I'd never seen live footage, so I was excited to check it out. When Dâm and I met [in person], he gave me a copy of the DVD, and I thought, 'I've gotta stay in contact with this guy.'"
Though Manak said he had his doubts about Arrington's willingness to collaborate when Dâm broached the topic -- Arrington left funk for the ministry in 1990 after experiencing a religious conversion -- emails were exchanged and the former Slave singer was apparently wooed by Dâm's take on the medium. A release date is still pending.
As for Nite Jewel's Ramona Gonzales, she and Dâm recently made a "Tune In An Afternoon" for XLR8R TV but until today, no news of any further output from "Nite Funk" had emerged. While recording hasn't yet begun -- both have been spending a lot of time out on the road -- Manak said they all "sat down for dinner" last week to figure out a schedule. And here, not that you need it, is a refresher on Nite Jewel.
The impetus for WCS' call to Stones Throw came with this release from the label a couple of days ago, accompanying the leak of a brand new Dâm-Funk track:
"Besides putting together the forthcoming STEVE ARRINGTON (Formerly of SLAVE) LP for Stones Throw as well as collaborations with NITE JEWEL, production for JODY WATLEY, various remixes for XX & the Hyperdub label, Exclusive Mix CD's for 101 Apparel, forthcoming collaborations w/ JOKER + traveling all around the world w/ the 'Modern-Funk' sound in tow...this is the newness that D-F has been up to 'so far' in 2010"
You can download said "newness" below. As for the work with former Shalamar singer (and Soul Train dancer) Jody Watley, Manak said he thinks Dâm's only produced a track or two for her. He also mentioned that Monsieur Funk just wrapped up some studio time with Raphael Saadiq, so we've got that to look forward to as well.
And, not to be outdone, here's Dâm himself:
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