The French Canadian Funk Duo You've Never Heard of

April 3, 2018

By now, you’ve probably noticed that old-school funk is making a bit of a comeback. Starting in 2013 with Daft Punk’s excellent Random Access Memories, and worming its way into the public eye through everything Bruno Mars has done since then, it would seem that the world is ready for a return to that bass-slapping, synth-powered glitziness that dominated the mid-80s.

 

The thing that sets Chromeo apart from the rest of their funk revival contemporaries is their persistence. They’re a French Canadian duo fronted by a French Literature Ph.D. candidate from Quebec, and they’ve been at this funk business since 2004. David Macklovitch, known on-stage as Dave 1, sings and plays lead guitar, while Patrick Gemayel, AKA P-Thugg, is on synths, keyboard, bass guitar, and talkbox.

 Jokingly, the two refer to themselves as “the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture,” and that bond absolutely shows on-stage. I was fortunate enough to attend a show with them some years back, and the sheer energy they brought to the Showbox Market has kept me excited for another opportunity to see them practice their craft ever since. They fuse their particular blend of rock, blues, and snappy funk with an elaborate light show, smoke effects, and a complicated mirror setup that allows fabulous special effects using a relatively simple light configuration.

 

If any of this sounds like it’s up your alley, you’re in luck, because Chromeo is once again taking the Showbox by storm, this time in Seattle’s SoDo district, on April 4th. I’m heading there myself and will be providing a breakdown of the proceedings after the fact, but these things are really best experienced in person. You don’t want to miss this one.

 

Photo: Google image, labeled for reuse

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