In the strange wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.

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Artist: Dâm-Funk

Title: Toeachizown

Label: Stones Throw (Lincoln Heights)

Format: 5LP in collectible box with magnetic clasp

“Ain't easy to make these things,” reads the entry in the Stones Throw news feed announcing a fresh run of Toeachizown box sets, but that statement's only half true. While this luxe box set surely does require feats of modern manufacturing to justify its 50-dollar price tag, knowing Dâm-Funk's creative fecundity, he probably could've dropped three such collections in 2009 alone. For those just arriving at the Funkmosphere, Toeachizown (“to each his own”) compiles the inaugural salvo of releases from one of L.A.'s most hotly tipped talents — a man who has an unbelievable knack for reviving the synth sounds of '80s — from New Wavers like Human League to electro rap pioneer Egyptian Lover — without inviting irony into his house.

But just because it was easy for Dâm to do it — word is the album was delayed because he couldn't stop making songs for it — doesn't mean its as easy as that to pigeonhole. Funk's approach to, well, funk is all-encompassing, dipping into the epic-length, free-flowing groove of pioneers like Parliament and Zapp, and borrowing much from this city's own early '90s G-funk movement. And while his compositions are indescribably smooth (one can't help but imagine a world where all elevator and waiting room music is replaced by these feel-good songs), they also display Funk's musicality and penchant for experimentation. Frankly put, the guy is the real deal, and the Toeachizown set an apt new cornerstone for any good funk collection.

Here are a handful of streaming tracks thanks to SoundCloud:

DOWNLOAD: Dâm-Funk – “Hood Pass Intact” [MP3]

Purchase at your local independent record vendor (INCHES recommends Origami or Vacation), or right now via the Stones Throw web store.


Origami Vinyl's Top Ten Best-Sellers: May 17 – 30

01. The National – Hight Violet (4AD)

02. The Young Veins – Take A Vacation (One Haven)

03. Band of Horses – Infinite Arms (Sub Pop)

04. Big Whup – “Boniz Heart” 7-inch (self-released)

05. Flying LotusCosmogramma (Warp)

06. Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime (In The Red)

07. Abner Jay – Folk Song Stylist (Mississippi)

08. Kurt Vile – Square Shells (Matador)

09. Best Coast – “Sun Was High” 7-inch (Art Fag)

10. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor (Frenchkiss)

Origami Vinyl is located at 1816 W. Sunset Blvd., 90026 (213.413.3030).

LA Weekly