J*DaVeY is Jack Davey and Brook D'Leau. Davey (the street name for Briana Cartwright) is the performer; D'Leau is the programmer. The two are based in Los Angeles and have been around since 2005. In their music, '80s new wave (Joy Division, New Order), electrofunk (Cybotron, Egyptian Lover), and R&B (Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) meet with a line of hiphop that was born in the mid '90s (Jay Dee). The result of this combination is a harmonic mode and mood that's related to the electroclash movement (posthumanist decadence, synthetic emotions, robot eroticism) and a beat that aligns them with the Dilla school of future funk and brohemian progressivism (Erykah Badu, Waajeed, Dwele, and so on).
But unlike Badu, the current queen of the crack-snap beat, and very much like the kings and queens of the black elegant moment in R&B (Evelyn "Champagne" King, SOS Band, Morris Day and the Time), J*DaVeY are resolutely apolitical. Nothing but the pleasures of sound, clothes, and sex thrive in the holographic world of their tunes. "You can have whatever you want, and baby I don't even care," sings a silky Davey in the track "No More," which brought them internet recognition three years ago and is now on their recently released double EP The Beauty in Distortion/The Land of the Lost.
The collection is not so much an album as an introduction to their old and new work. And so the best attitude to bring to these CDs is that of a person who is trying to catch up on something that has already happened and was somehow missed. When you reach the 25th track, you will know both where this talented duo are from (new wave, syth pop) and where they are going (the future of the funk).