Dusting Off... Damu the Fudgemunk's How It Should Sound Volume 1 & 2
What is it?
Hailing from Washington DC, Earl Davis, better known by the name Damu the Fudgemunk, is a hip-hop artist, DJ and producer who first appeared on the scene in 2007 as a member of Y Society, releasing their debut LP Travel At Your Own Pace in 2007, before releasing a couple of free mixtapes, Overtime and Spare Time, a year later.
In 2010 he released How It Should Sound Volume 1 & 2, a completely instrumental hip-hop LP featuring a hefty 27 tracks created over a period of around six years, but unlike something along the lines of J Dilla's Donuts, these aren't beat snippets; instead they are fully formed instrumental tracks showcasing Damu's impressive production abilities.
Damu's style is very much in the old-school revivalist vein, utilising an MPC, a couple of decks and a seemingly endless supply of vinyl, sampling everything from James Brown drum breaks to obscure film soundtracks. The result is a rich tapestry of sound that blends genres and styles together and takes in all kinds of instrumentation – there's brass ('Start Here', 'Tea Thyme'), copped up strings ('Figment') and mangled, processed guitar & bass riffs ('Gestation'), along with everything else you could think of.
There's a bit of a kitchen sink approach to How It Should Sound, but don't let that put you off – Damu is a producer with considerable craft and despite the range of samples at work, the whole thing still feels like a cohesive whole.
Why should I revisit?
Y Society were always a little overlooked but Damu is finally beginning to get some of the recognition he deserves, and the good news is he's pretty prolific, so there's already a healthy back catalogue to delve into, and you can be sure it won't be too long before his next outing, this year's Public Assembly being a case in point.
Who will enjoy it?
If you're a fan of instrumental hip-hop records like DJ Shadow's Endtroducing or Dela's Atmosphere Airlines and you haven't heard Damu's work, you really need to stop what you're doing right now and check this album out.