550 Music

This duo (Dave Borla, Chris Scianni) have amazingly disguised themselves as a band. Together with producer and co-writer Brendan O’Brien, they plow forth through comfortable and familiar R&B territory while constantly fusing fresh injections of stuff; Latin funk, a muted French horn chorus, Hindi chants, strings. Or perhaps a burst of jazz, sitar, theremin, B-3 or drunk clarinets. Some tracks may remind you of four or five things, but you can’t put a finger on them. Not because it’s some brand new kind of music, but due to the textural surprises and unique choices made. It’s some of the most difficult to describe, crossing so many barriers while holding strong to others.

It’s backbeat funky — but rock solid. It’s rock ‘n’ rootsy, but fully illustrated with cool modern gizmos. If Bowie/Lennon’s “Fame” was sung over “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” atop a dub groove, well, I tried. Lyrically they stay common and simple, sort of like Joe Jackson’s first album.

Whatever it is, Dangerman is Cool. http://www.dangermannyc.com

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