BOY DUDE: CASSETTE FOR YOU

November 2nd, 2017 | Album reviews

BOY DUDE
Cassette For You
Hobo Camp

Modern funk may be a thriving scene now with a lively cast of producers, DJs and labels churning out underground hits, but ultimately it’s still a subgenre defined by a somewhat limited sonic palette—a sound rooted in crate-digging, where new records approximate the old with a connoisseur’s ear. Boy Dude works with the vintage drum machines and electronic basslines of modern funk, but his new Cassette for You pushes the genre’s boundaries by working in other compatible styles of the 70s and 80s. As the title suggests, Cassette was recorded on a Tascam Portastudio, lending the recordings the lo-fi grit of a past era, but the production is clear enough that the songwriting shines through—which is what sets Boy Dude apart, with slick chords, detailed percussion and immediately catchy songs. Next to the signature synth bass and bumping drums of modern funk, soft rock seems to be the other touchstone for Boy Dude’s sound. At times Boy Dude might sound less than totally original—the bassline on “Mercury Satellite” sounds straight from Dam-Funk, and then there’s the Paul Hardcastle riffs of “Cyber Boogie”—but Boy Dude’s flare for songwriting helps make these homages his own. Opener “Funk on the Line” sounds like a 70s radio hit as covered by The Time, while the wistful vocals of “More Than Love” recall Ariel Pink. The best of the bunch might be the slow jams: “Cosmic Lines” and “Rainbow Waterfall” are effortlessly smooth blissed-out blue-eyed soul cuts.

—Joe Rihn

BOY DUDE’S CASSETTE FOR YOU IS OUT FRI., NOV. 3, ON HOBO CAMP.