Tag Archives: The Du-Rites

This Week’s Essential Releases: Art-Soul, Replicant Jock Jams & Americana

7 essential

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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The Du-Rites Detail Their Seamless Funk Debut

J-Zone with Pablo Martin
J-Zone with Pablo Martin, The Du-Rites.

If you’ve followed MC/producer J-Zone over the past few years, you’re not going to be surprised by the mind-rattling instrumental funk of his new album, J-Zone & Pablo Martin are The Du-Rites. Before he was a hip-hop producer, lyricist, and a scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre, Jay Mumford was an aspiring funk/R&B bassist. In the years since 2013’s Peter Pan Syndrome, J-Zone has reemerged as one of the best live musicians in hip-hop, a break drummer in the tradition of Carlos Bess whose instrumental singles and b-sides—including “I Smell Smoke,” “Seoul Power,” and early 2016’s “Funky”— are up there with the likes of the Heliocentrics and the Budos Band as hip-hop compatible tracks with a singular funk focus.

It’s “Funky,” which appears on J-Zone’s solo record Fish-N-Grits, that made the Du-Rites inevitable. Pablo Martin—a guitarist, longtime cohort and latter-day member of Tom Tom Club, added the Telecaster flourish and twang/fuzz texture to the track that made their collaboration worthy of a dedicated two-man supergroup. J-Zone & Pablo Martin are The Du-Rites is fittingly steeped in nearly every permutation of funk thinkable. It’s wide-scoped enough to remind you how wild it is that both 1966 Booker T. & the M.G.’s and Funkadelic fall under the same genre umbrella, and it’s fearless enough to pull off both modes and then some. Some of Zone’s characteristic humor slips through with sample-laced soundbite asides, or the occasional nod to the idea of “cop show music” (one particularly murky plaid-hued track’s even called “The Chief & I”). The grooves and the chops are serious. We spoke with Zone and Martin about their new—and great—release.

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