Friday, October 3, 2014

Fat Friday Feature: Vulfpeck's Joe Dart On "Beastly"

Awwww yeah:  after such a long gap, it's so nice to be doing another Fat Friday Feature!  Long time readers (if there are any) know that Friday is the day we showcase a bad ass bass player and/or smokin' bass part.  Today we have Vulfpeck's Joe Dart melting the fingerboard of his beautiful Fender Precision bass on "Beastly".

Long about last week, I was thanking my brother Paul for hipping me to, which, seriously, is the dopest funk, soul and hip hop programming I've ever heard.  He mentioned if I liked We Funk, I should check into Vulfpeck.  I've literally been listening to Vulfpeck exclusively since we had this conversation last week.

Although I didn't make the connection until right before I started working on this entry, I was reminded through some light Googling that Vulfpeck released an album of silence on Spotify in order to raise funds to record an actual album.  Of course, Spotify yanked it because they didn't like getting played like that.  I remember thinking it was a pretty clever little gaming of the system, but I didn't really think anything of Vulfpeck until Paul told me to check them out.

Vulfpeck is funk, but don't let that scare you. They're not the same as the stuff that gets passed off as funk these days - stuff like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For starters, their sound is stripped down to the essentials.  You get the sense from watching their videos that they might not even do overdubs.  They take what is great about 70s funk - the fucked up times, the slinky bass lines with fat tone, the Fender Rhodes piano - and drop it square into 1982.  There's an undeniable hint of 80s synth madness to what the do.  But never, ever do they come off as schlocky or novel.  They know what their doing, and it all sounds great.

Then there's Joe Dart.  He's pretty much everything you could want from a bassist, all in the same song.  Does he lay a groove?  Check.  Does he have great tone? Check.  Are his lines and fills totally unique?  Yep - check.  Can he solo?  Hell yes/check.  As I've stated before, I don't even really like bass solos that much, but he is definitely an exception.  Check out "Beastly" but for God's sake, don't stop there.  Vulfpeck has a truck load of kick ass to dump on you.