Plateau. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I listen to this sublime joint by producer Damu The Fudgemunk. Hailing from Washington, D.C., Damu is a talented music maker, known for his eclectic tastes in records and samples, employing a smorgasbord of found vocal snippets, rare grooves, and booming basslines to make for understated tunes which match the musician’s reclusive tendencies. I came across his work nearly a decade ago, with Damu as one-half of the duo Y-Society, whose 2007 record Travel At Your Own Pace being a terrific throwback to the dynamic beats and rhymes of the old school. I think I spoke about this album a real long time ago…I think. From there, Damu has been under the radar but steadily working, founding a label known as Redefinition Records, and putting forth tons of great albums over the years, and producing for a few rappers too. He’s also a solid drummer as well, and you’ll hear his talents on more than a few of his tracks.
In early 2017 Damu dropped his long-awaited record Vignettes, a 2-hour instrumental epic, with his evocative beats front and forward. It’s an ambitious, unique album, tailor-made for light night vibes. There’s a lot to like on the album, and “The High Light Zone” is a knockout. At 12 minutes, this joint moves at a great pace, with an infectious melody, terrific percussion, and this steadily rising feel. Listening to this one is like being in a plane that’s rising up through the clouds, hitting that plateau at 35,000 feet, and just cruising. A lovely place to be.
Also, random aside: Facebook reminded me that 8 years ago to the day I, then an intern newly transplanted to the District, passed Damu outside the Gallery Place Metro station, and didn’t even realize it til I was down the block. Damn, missed connection, I guess!