It’s no secret to anybody who’s been following my blogging the past couple of years that Los Angeles band The Internet is one of my favorite up, coming, and HERE musical entity’s of the current moment. Which is why I was somewhat worried when I heard that lead singer Syd the Kid would be pursuing a solo career, as I want her to be successful but I don’t want to lose the band. A few days ago, my friend Dimitri posted a song on Facebook that made me feel much better about that proposition. This song, “Diamond in Da Ruff” is by The Internet keyboardist producer Matt Martians. From the sounds of this first tune, Martians will be very successful from a musical perspective. “Diamond in Da Ruff” is my kind of music, grooving, funky, with a sweetly romantic, slick vocal.
The song starts off with pure groove, most prominently a funky drum beat that uses its snare and kick drum to create funky, push/pull kind of feeling. On the high range is a synthesized synth melody that adds musical drama to the movement. In between those is a super clean toned, jazz/funk/neo-soul type guitar strumming a funky, laid back chord sequence, the type you would hear in a funky coffee house like the one in “Love Jones” or on a Neo-Soul, Hip Hop inflected song like D’Angelo’s “Chicken Grease” from “Voodoo.” Underneath this the drums are also playing a syncopated pattern on the ride cymbal. The guitar changes chords in a turnaround to bring us to the top as the singer assures the target of his affection, “I Just want to be with you only.” From there, a luscious, direct sounding bass guitar comes in to support the melody, right in step with the roots of the chord progression. The vocals have an airy quality to them, but also have extra heft from being multitracked. The lyrical text of the song is an old school, earnest “Appreciation love song.” “I found you out of nowhere/They want you now it’s no fair/I want to be with you and only you”, the singer earnestly entreats. Before we know it, the song is fading out and a woman is bidding a man to pick up his phone. It’s indicated this is from “an old flame.” A new groove is introduced, with a heavy drum machine beat with some Prince like tom tom action on the tail end. The bass plays a semi-Walking type of line that goes through a bright chord progression played on a digital Fender Rhodes sound. The main text of this section is “What is this I’m feeling that I can’t let go?” The song then ends on somewhat of a topical cliffhanger.
Matt Martians single was a pleasant surprise to me when my buddy ‘Mitri posted it. It was the type of song that got me immediately grooving on a Friday night. If I were to play it at a club or lounge, I could see it being a dynamite early night party starter, or a great change of pace song, the type your girl pulls YOU out to dance on, and that’s no small feat! Syd the Kid and the other members of the band have indicated that their solo projects will not detract from their group recording and touring. From what I have heard of Matt Martians album however, he and collaborator Steve Lacy have a very unique sound to share all their own, that is definitely a musical relative of what they do with the group but also is worthwhile on its own merits. That sound always has an interesting break beat type vibe that is led by the drums, a full good time groove and a positive major key feeling to the melodies and harmonies. Even though it’s being released in the winter I can see it being very powerful in summer 2017! Be on the lookout for more from the album here!