WEEKLY FUNK INVOCATION
Afrobeat, Brazilian, Dub, Reggae, Cumbia,
Samba Disco, Batucada, Afro-Latin House,
Indian Beats, Makossa & other deep-rooted
Funk music from around the world
Thursday, January 26, 2012
With SEVEN, DJ CAM serves up his most personal album since the acclaimed Substances. Inspired as
ever by the original jazz and hip-hop influences that helped him become one of the founders of the trip-hop scene
back in 1995, this new album is also full of exciting new musical and visual influences.
As a mainstay of the French Touch (he started his career in the 1990s together with Daft Punk, Air, Cassius,
Bob Sinclar...), DJ CAM has released six albums, helmed a number of side projects and given countless performances
all around the world, helping him to acquire global notoriety. His 2002 single “Summer in Paris”with Anggun sold
over a million copies and remains an emblematic tune of the Parisian dolce vita.
He is now based in Los Angeles, where his musical and visual projects can converge, including production and
remixes (Michael Jackson, Serge Gainsbourg, Air, Miles Davis...), sound design (Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Sephora,
Agnès b...), soundtracks for both TV (“CSI: Miami”...) and cinema (Gus Van Sant, Wayne Wang...).
SEVEN has touches of well-crafted pop and folk (“Swim,” with vocals by Stateless’ Chris James and a video
directed by Sonia Sieff, reminds one of Radiohead, one of the album’s major influences. And Chris James is also
present on “Ghost” and “Uncomfortable”), hints of old school electronica (“Dreamcatcher”) and cinematic ambient
tracks that invite you to dream (“Seven,” “California Dreaming”). For a feminine touch, DJ CAM adds the vocals of
Inlove, a new signing on his Inflamable label, and Nicolette, long-time collaborator with Massive Attack, the
legendary group that DJ CAM feels closer to now than ever before, and to whom he dedicates the album.
DJ CAM: “After the acoustic album Soulshine and various projects with high-profile collaborations and large
groups, I wanted to get back to the essentials of being a producer: going into the studio alone, having total freedom,
and allowing my inspiration free reign. SEVEN has turned out to be so intimate because I approached it in the
same way as my earliest tracks; with experimentation and pleasure as the prime motivation.”
Written in Paris and Los Angeles, SEVEN is an album whose enveloping, melancholic tone and wide-open
soundscapes aresupposed to help make your mind wander. The release of the album is the moment for DJ CAM
– who admits to spending as much time in art galleries as he does listening to and composing music – to show us
his talents as a photographer through the Landscape Architecture project, a series of mysterious landscapes
where nature and architecture intermingle in a ghost-likeworld. An exhibition is planned, and the visuals will
projected on a big screen during DJ CAM’s concerts, as revealed for the firs time at the SXSW
festival last March.
listening party 9-10pm:
Wit, Wisdom and Soul from the King of Calypso 1962-1974"
Strut present a brand new retrospective of one of the Caribbean's most towering musical figures, Mighty Sparrow,
covering 1962 to 1974. During a career of over 40 years, Sparrow has been an unmatchable figure in the world of
calypso and a constant backdrop to Caribbean life, recording over 300 albums and winning eleven Calypso Monarch
and eight Road March titles at the annual Trinidad Carnival during one of the most competitive times in its history.
Scoring his first hit, "Jean And Dinah," at aged 20, Sparrow's style drew on influences from US street harmony
quartets to crooners like Nat King Cole, jazz greats – Ella, Sinatra – and the early calypso generation including
Lord Melody and Lord Kitchener. By the late '50s and in his early 20s, he was already an influential figure,
encouraging Trinidad's people to pay taxes with Carnival hit "P.A.Y.E." and highlighting cruelty to animals
on "Russian Satellite."
This new collection hones in on Sparrow's most creative years as he effortlessly surfed musical styles from calypso
party jams to hard-hitting boogaloo and soul. He had become a confident political commentator, tackling
subjects as varied as domestic economic hardship ("Ah Diggin' Horrors"), slavery ("The Slave") and the Cuban
missile crisis ("Kennedy And Kruschev"). Other tracks serve as a vital reference point for today's music. On
"Picong Duel," we hear Sparrow and fellow calypso legend, Lord Melody, trade insults, a direct forerunner to
later mic battles in hip hop culture. Elsewhere, Sparrow just plain rocks the party ("Calypso Boogaloo,"
"Jook For Jook") and turns in the odd choice cover – we feature here his lilting version of Otis Redding's
"Try A Little Tenderness" with Byron Lee. The album also documents Sparrow's fearsome live reputation
with two firing tracks from a late '60s gig at the Barbados Hilton and excerpts from a '70s concert in Brooklyn
featuring Sparrow's dynamite backing band, The Troubadours, at the peak of their game.
This is a long overdue retrospective placing Sparrow in his rightful position as a true Caribbean great, a cultural
and social icon on a par with Fela Kuti in Nigeria or Miriam Makeba in South Africa. As journalist Ric Hernandez
wrote in 1967, "It's all there with Sparrow – wit, wisdom and an earthy irreverence for the established order.
He sings life as he sees it, as one long boisterous contact sport."
(KCRW / TheLift / Musaics)
(Afro Funke' / Eclectica)
host / co:founder:
*Current album "Hymns for the Rebel Soul" on ITunes!
afro funke' co:founder, booker, photographer & producer:
*Currently has photography show at Dan Eldon Center in Malibu
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Thursday, February 2, 2012
AFRO FUNKE' LIVE PRESENTS