Everyone has a pandemic story. Everyone. The Du-Rites have theirs. With past credits of backing on-record credits or playing behind artists from Eddie Palmieri, Ghostface Killah, and Robert Glasper (as The Du-Rites) and Tom Tom Club, Broken Bells, Danger Mouse & Karen O, Michael Kiwanuka, and Lord Finesse, the duo was on the rise. They went from two-man powerhouse being in the midst of transforming into a live, full-band on stage after the release of their live record Soundcheck At 6. Then COVID. But like so many artists, these two multi-instrumentalists took the bull by the horns and did things their own way (as they always have done). They hit us harder than ever with the funk on their latest (5th) release A Funky Bad Time. It’s like they just knew that they had to do it funkier than before if that’s even possible, and it certainly is. While the world was in utter turmoil and chaos, J-Zone and Pablo Martin went into the studio and have given us the funkiest record we have gotten our hands-on in the year 2020. From the opening track “Uptown”, filled with wah-wah and oozing raw heat, to the frank message to people who are gear sluts but can’t play on “Can’t Buy Groove” , to the off-kilter funk trip of “Arnold”, this is the funkiest we’ve seen these two get. Other standouts include “Done N Dusted” (a straight-up motorcitybootyaffair), the international flavors of “Jungle”, who’s organ and percussion conjure up some early ’70s over there shit, and “The San Remo Affair”, which is a library/ soundtrack music nod that smokes. The other track that grabs us in “Jamaica”, the ending track. Like the first, it’s a funky instrumental journey that we really didn’t want to end. So now it’s time to put the needle on the record once again.
Here’s the video for “Can’t Buy Groove”