Nothing But Net presents “Perceptions”, the debut LP from Los Angeles producer/beat maker Jamma-Dee aka Dyami O’Brien. Jamma-Dee has been a figure in the west coast modern funk and boogie scene, both as an accomplished DJ and music producer, having released records under his own name and producing for the likes of Joyce Wrice, Mndsgn and others.
From a musical upbringing in Los Angeles, Dyami’s adolescent obsession with record digging and beatmaking eventually led him to Dam-Funk’s renown Funkmosphere parties where he built friendships with key players in the LA funk scene and began to make a name for himself as a DJ and producer. In the second half of the 2010’s he released a series of EPs on Arcane and hosted the legendary Soul In Paradise show on NTS radio.
His first full-length, “Perceptions” is a long time in the making. Beginning with studio experiments nearly a decade ago, a version of the album found its way to producer and Nothing But Net label boss Onra, who helped guide the project to completion. The album artwork was created by outsider soul music conceptualist and painter, Mingering Mike, whom O’Brien felt compelled to reach out to after discovering his work years earlier. Thematically, the artwork, record, and its title touch on very modern themes: the alienation of life in a world of instant-gratification, an overly-connected society of masks, distorted realities and shifting identities.
Musically, “Perceptions” is the culmination of a life lived under the groove. Featuring a long list of collaborators, including Benedek, Mndsgn, Koreatown Oddity, the legendary Craig T. Cooper and fellow NBN labelmate, Devin Morrison, the double album touches on all of O’Brien’s musical influences. Album opener “Up N Down” sets the scene with it’s syrupy g-funk impressionism, before “Jamma’s Jam” bounces out of the speakers through an auburn-colored sunset haze of lush Rhodes chords and sparkling vibraphones. “It Takes A Freak” and “Datafile Groove” shuffle westward, re-imagining New Jack Swing grooves through a distinctly Californian lens. Elsewhere, the album touches on classic deep house rhythms (“Tic Toc” and “Silly”) and crystalline, downtempo R&B and UK street soul (“Joy”, “Saturday”).“U.R.” features legendary L.A. guitarist Craig T. Cooper laying down a network of stunning, silken guitar lines with absolute class.
Over the course of these 15 tracks, Jamma Dee consolidates, renovates and perpetuates the sound of his influences. “Perceptions” is a masterclass in modern funk and soul production.