LAYERS: Drilling For The Funk Center Of Benedek And Dam-Funk's "That's My Jam!"
Last fall, Proximal Records dropped its first official release by a member of their roster, and to bolster the funk revival spirit, they pulled Dam-Funk onto the track. “That’s My Jam” is the title track and original version of Benedek‘s debut EP of the same name. The sheer density of boogie on this track makes it nearly indistinguishable from the decades-old musical tradition that inspired it, and Dam-Funk’s impassioned vocals are authentically 80s sexy as well.
Benedek’s a young buck, still in college, but he’s dropping vinyl gems with one of the most respected keytar masters in the scene. Though the genre of funktronica (yes, that’s annoying, but it’s totally a thing) is relatively young, Benedek is a prodigious contributor, bending virtual instruments into to accurate recreations of the classic hardware that inspired their sound.
Breaking down a track of this funkitude (I’ll keep doing that) threatens to unleash tremolo that could shatter your glasses, sawtooth waves that can pierce skin, and bass that can scramble your insides, so we’ll be extra careful when dissecting this particular creature from the funk-burst nebula (last time, I promise). Alright, let’s do this… Scalpel!
Drums & Percussion
For my tracks I usually start with the drums. These drums are mostly samples of old school drum machines that I threw into Ableton’s Drum Racks. I don’t remember the exact samples I used, but there are layers of a few different ones. The claps and shaker were recorded by me and my homie Carl Burgin (Sahy-Uhns) in my bedroom at my parents’ house in LA with a bootleg Radio Shack mic, I believe.
The synth bass part is actually two sounds that I layered. One is a sound I made with Ableton’s Operator plugin and the other is Ableton’s Analog plugin which has a more round, warm sound to it.
There are two main rhythm guitar parts, chords and plucking, and two lead parts, one with an octave effect on it. The guitar was all recorded with my Telecaster through a piece-of-shit DigiTech effects pedal directly into Ableton. Not ideal, but I got it to sound pretty good.
There are two main synth rhythm chord tracks, that I programmed in Ableton’s Analog soft synth plugin. At the time I didn’t have my Roland Juno 106 that I use on most of my tracks so I tried to make the types of sounds I love from that synth.
The lead synths are all sounds I made with Ableton Operator and Analog. Sax is actually Garage Band’s stock sax sound. Gotta love the fake sax :+).
We certainly do. Let’s put this animal back together and see how it sounds.
Previously: LAYERS: A Gem Of A Beat From Berlin’s Torky Tork