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jacoti sommes reviving ohio’s electro-funk legacy

February 12, 2020
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Though the notion that the funky electronic music Jacoti Sommes makes in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio is somehow dis-associative in its relation between sound and place, nothing can be further from the truth. After all, the legacy of electronic funk from Ohio — encompassing everyone from Dayton g-funk cornerstones, Ohio Players and Zapp & Roger, to Cincinnati’s P-Funk bass-zilla Bootsy Collins, to Columbus underground techno funk master Titonton Duvante, among many — is long, deep and an essential part of modern Black music. Jacoti Sommes’s synths and drum machines are only tapping into that history, and bending it into now.

On Travel Time, his third long-playing project (but the first he’s releasing on a proper label), the space-funk sophisticate makes tracks that feel familiar in texture and melody, but extraordinarily current in mood and feel — as if Roger Troutman, Aphex Twin and Kaytranada had a love child who wanted to produce both disco-house hits and noir soundtracks. Listen to how smoothly “Pulse Start” glides from a moody, film score-like intro, into to an equally, moody boogie bounce, and you’ll get the feel for the expansion of electronic funk’s emotional palette in these trying times.

Jacoti Sommes’ Time Travel is out this week on Orange Milk Records, and playing a record release show in his hometown of Columbus, OH on Valentine’s Day