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Spin City: Modern DJs Look to 1970s Jazz for Beats and Inspiration

Jazz Funk illustration
Donald Byrd
Charlie Dark
Kirk Degiorgio
Creed Taylor and Freddie Hubbard
Creed Taylor and Freddie Hubbard (photo: Chuck Stewart)
Joel Dorn

Once dismissed as commercial trash and sellout music, the jazz-funk of the 1970s has made its way back to respectability as a whole generation of electronica artists have taken to the beats, timbres and harmonies of the era. These modern-day artists-such as Madlib, Charlie Dark, Kirk Degiorgio and more-use samples based on jazz-funk drum breaks and mix them with synth solos inspired by Herbie Hancock and deep bass lines that evoke the Mizell Brothers-all steeped in the sort of spacey production that recalls the work of Dave Rubinson.

Let’s get back to the future.

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Originally Published