Modern Griots Reviews: Daví


“Got the Seed”

It’s not that often today that I come to witness an artist who reminds me of some of my favorite musical artists and excites me because of the force of the creativity that they bring to their performance and musical work. One of them is artist, choreographer and DJ, Daví

I first saw him at a Brooklyn Museum Off The Wall tribute to Wangechi Mutu’s Fantastic Journey exhibition, where he put together a multi-media performance incorporating Mutu’s short film, The End of eating Everything. His performance, The Beginning of Everything eating, is an inverted extension to the spiraling cycle of metamorphosis giving a musical and poetic voice to Mutu’s work about self-destruction and self-indulgence turning into transformation and hope.

Dressed in an angelic outfit and unicorn-like headdress, the performance involved throughout the narrator (Joyce LeeAnn) who acts as an archivist/writer introducing each scene of the show with her words that expand on the opening lines from Mutu’s film, “Hungry, Alone and Together.” With each scene, Daví, along with LeeAnn, his accompanying background vocalists (Julie Brown and Jasmine Burems), Go: Organic Choir, background dancers (Crystal Craigen and Ernest Baker), and animated videos, goes on a Orphic journey of a spirit descending and striving to survive in the madness of physical/social tyranny around them until they find an opening for transcendence. Daví glued together the entire performance with his dynamic moves and soulful covers of well-known songs like “Mothership Connection,” “Space Oddity,” and Fela Kuti’s “Gentleman,” in addition to his own, like “Great Beyond.”

 

Daví brought the same galvanizing spirit to his first EP, Got the Seed, again taking his listeners to his church of cosmic funk; his style is reminiscent of Parliament Funkadelic, LaBelle and Prince. In his introduction to the album, he even mentions George Clinton and Prince as two of his influences, along with his and my favorite Chaka Khan and Rufus. Describing his style as Afro-Electro-Funk, which he breaks down as “Afro: sounds ground in the waves heard before me,” “Electro: infused by the masking of technology and electricity,” and “Funk: what you feel in the groove and your heart…there’s a part of our technology, part of our social conditioning that is sometimes dehumanizing.” Wanting a freedom beyond what’s pre-determined, remarking on humans inventiveness and passion, Got the Seed is meant to drop a seed in minds of listeners to challenge the status quo and inspire them to follow their passions.

Every track is a soul experience incarnated in machine from “Got the Seed’s” heavy bass and drum and haunting bass voices to “I’m a Fool for Black Silhouettes'” also heavy but heavenly harmonizing, which is in turn sampled in the pop, dance-floor track, Love’s Tanqueray, the fierce electronic sounds of “Reptiiiile,” to the 80s funk dance track, “That Thump (New Music In Yo Ear), the alt-rock, new wave edginess of the social critique in “When the Ceiling Is Gone,” and bringing the laidback groooves of late 90s r&b in “Wonder on a Lump.” No track is a waste, giving a seed of uplifting and wise presence through each no matter how electronic or danceable the sound. It is as he declared dancing funky with a universal consciousness, putting the seed in the dirt for it to grow.

“Got the Seed”

“Wonder on a Lump”

Look out for his video release of “Clear” with FAKEPAKT x Atilla on April 1st.

 

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