The FADER editorial chain gang heads down to SXSW this Wednesday. In NYC that same night, J*Davey will be making their Noo Yawk debut at the Canal Room. FUUUUUUCK! Missing this show is a bummer of cosmic proportions - which is why we urge y'all in the area to go check it in our absense. We've been waiting to see J*Davey live since we put them in the magazine a year ago, and if we can't be here for the gig than damnit, we're SO going to live vicariously through anyone who actually goes. After the jump, read the original Gen F piece from F30, and please don't sleep on Wednesday night.
The outcast afropunk experience of J*Davey
By Will Dukes
The majors want neo-soul, but quietly bubbling underground is J*Davey, a duo that avoids the big money clichés and instead leaves shards of discordant yet mind-fucking-ly melodic tone poems cutting bare feet open on LA’s living rooms and park lawns and dancefloors. J*Davey is made up of Brook D’Leau and Briana Cartwright, a cosmically sloppy conglomerate creating music that’s a wanton clusterfuck of funk, stoner soul (no neo) and what could have been trip-hop if it wasn’t dragged through muddy layers of feedback as blistering as a Nona Hendryx rendition of “Strange Fruit”. Think a late impressionist, sonic version of those sexed-up “freaks” Cannonball Adderley envisioned on “Soul Virgo”…basically, they're on that next shit like clairvoyant flies.
Some five years ago, St Louis expat Cartwright met D’Leau in his hometown of LA and the two developed an instant friendship sustained by a shared interest in the sort of eclectic, racially wrongheaded music that would have forever rendered them peerless outcast afropunks—had they not become a part of the same burgeoning LA scene that has spawned like-minded souls such as Georgia Anne Muldrow and SA-RA Creative Partners (both Cartwright and D’Leau have actually performed as de facto members of SA-RA in the past). But while the aforementioned artists all coexist as contemporaries presiding over a communally freeform artistic nexus, it’s important to recognize J*Davey as distinct, in that their songwriting is tighter (check their cheeky “Mr. Mister”), the melodies—emboldened by Cartwright's freaked out phrasing—are more refined, and D’Leau’s broken, bipolar beats seem more funktionally literate.
When Cartwright claims, “We’re unlike anything else that's out there right now,” it’s difficult to say otherwise—J*Davey appear to stand out amongst the outstanding. If the response the group has garnered since its music was first posted online is any indication, the masses may also be ready to embrace J*Davey by the time their Beauty In Distortion EP is released early this summer. In any case, what’s clear for now is that D’Leau and Cartwright have a bold, impossibly polyglot sound you can either fight, fuck, or dream to.