Via Bandcamp – Most bands end up in court or the members try to kill each other by the third album, so to make it to the seventh means two things: you’ve got funk tenure and a wicker chair is in your near future. Jay Mumford (drums, percussion, keys) and Pablo Martin (guitar, bass and keys) have managed to soldier on without repeating themselves or falling into expected retro-funk tropes. Plug It In gets straight to the point with its title – it’s the band’s funkiest album.
It’s not as psychedelic as their magnum opus, 2020’s A Funky Bad Time, but the title cut borrows some of that mojo to make a party-starting funk tune. It’s not as jazzy and complex as last year’s Pressure EP, but Jay’s ride cymbal grooves and the ‘60s Dave Pike influence of guest vibraphonist Tre D’Ambrocia push “Hole In The Wall” in that direction. The fusion-funk influences on “Penny Loafers” are rooted in private press releases from a decade later. The gumbo of modern and vintage influences from their 2016 debut reappear on lead single, “Bay B. MoMa,” but the groove is a lot stronger these days. The cinematic vibe of 2018’s Gamma Ray Jones resurfaces on “Tripwire,” but this time with Jay’s never-used-before kalimba as a lead instrument. Pablo’s experiments with Monotron, Vocoder, use of distortion and vintage drum machines playing counter to Jay’s drum grooves lend a fresh layer to the band’s sound, while “Funk Monk” (featuring Beastie Boys’ keyboard wizard, Money Mark) closes out the album with a whirlwind and brings it all together. Swinging, hard driving, dance floor-ready funk peppered with all the above. Then there’s “Asbestos,” the hardest-grooving tune in the band’s catalog. And it grows out of a growling, gnarly organ solo from Pablo. But it’s still trademark Du-Rites: largely instrumental funk – with occasional vocals from the band, mysterious street luminary, Broughamin Fred, and vocalist, Marianna D’Ama, who sings entirely in Italian on “Tioli” – that pulls from everywhere, but mimics nothing.
Outside of The Du-Rites, Jay is a session drummer, who has recently done sessions for Dan Auerbach, Danger Mouse, Adrian Quesdada, Just Blaze and countless others, in addition to being sampled by super producers Mark Ronson and Madlib. Pablo holds the lead guitar chair in the legendary Tom Tom Club, leads punk/rock/soul duo Lulu Lewis and works closely with Argentinian legends Sergio Rotman and Mimi Maura as a producer. Plug It In is where it all comes together…and then some.