For the past 12 years, Dave 1 and P-Thugg of Chromeo have been waging a two-man crusade in the name of electro-funk, the vaguely defined genre that connects everything from late-’70s soul groups to early rap producers to New Jack swing boy bands. While they’ve spent much of that time working from the underground, their years of hard work—including an endless string of reliably high-energy live shows (see below for dates)—have finally earned them a pop audience. Their most recent album, this spring’s White Women, charted around the world including a No. 11 debut on the Billboard 200.
Hot on the heels of the unveiling of their capsule collection with the fashion label Surface to Air and a concert in Central Park, the pair took a break to put together a playlist themed around sexiness and the letter S.
Sylvester – “I Need Somebody to Love Tonight”
One of the baddest bass lines in disco history coupled with pining vocals from the genre’s true unsung hero. And it’s 7 minutes long.
St. Lucia – “Elevate”
I’ve been meaning to bring back “All Night Long”-style tropical funk—complete with horn hits and percussion breakdowns—but this guy beat me to the punch.
Squeeze – “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)”
Embarrassingly enough, I just discovered this seminal 80s Brit band—starring Jools Holland, no less—a couple of months ago. With their clever, angular rock, I somehow get the impression that they’re in Phoenix’s lineage.
S.O.S Band – “I’m Not Runnin”
S.O.S are the kinds of crispy 808’s matched with a massive Moog bass, but this number stands out because it sounds like their take on Moroder’s italo groove.
Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown – “Call Me Crazy, But…”
This song harkens back to the classic mid 90s RnB of–another S group–SWV and the like. I don’t know much about Ms. Streeter, but I love it when an unassuming gem of a jam like this pops up on iTunes.
Sister Sledge – “Thinking of You”
One of Nile Rogers’ less celebrated—but always genial—guitar riffs. I spent months trying to play it like him. No dice.
Stunt Taylor – “Fefe on the Block”
I love Chicago bop music: the effusive counterpoint to the city’s drill rap scene. Over major chords, they guys come up with endless catchy autotuned melodies…not to mention new slang. “Fefe” means “fiesta.” “Bring the liquor and a thot.”
SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig – “New Dorp New York”
Little known fact: Before Vampire Weekend, Ezra was a rapper. Effectively, in this tune he spits, and he’s got bars, too. “Gargoyles gargling oil” is one of my favorite lines of the year.
Steve Winwood – “Higher Love”
Here’s the kind of laid-back, ’80s breezy feel that doubtless inspired the aforementioned St. Lucia track. The whole song is incredible. It’s basically the musical equivalent to an open Hawaiian shirt.
Soul 4 Real – “Every Little Thing I Do”
Speaking of cute ’90s RnB, this was my jam. Heavy D produced this band of boys with ill-fitting suits and miniature Afros and their greatest hit is this beautiful harmonizing over The Gap Band’s “Outstanding” drums.
CHROMEO FALL 2014 TOUR DATES
9/25 – Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Festival
9/27 – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus
9/29 – Washington, DC- 9:30 Club – SOLD OUT
9/30 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club – SOLD OUT
10/2 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel
10/3 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
10/5 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
10/6 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
10/8 – San Diego, CA – Soma
10/9 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Expo Hall *
10/10 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
10/12 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
10/13 – New Orleans, LA – Republic
10/14 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City
10/16 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
10/17 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre – SOLD OUT
10/18 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/Eagles Club
10/20 – Winnipeg, MB – Garrick Centre
10/22 – Calgary, AB – Flames Central
10/23 – Edmonton, AB – Union Hall
10/25 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
10/26 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
10/28 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
10/29 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theatre
10/31 – Oakland, CA – Spookfest/Oracle Arena