In the way Garage music can be heard across the 2010’s in vain of a revivalist fashion, Funky deserves that second treatment of new life
Words by Brinsley Chidavaenzi
House is still prominent and a party starter across the world across the different decades of the genre and now with the latest iteration of soulful/post-Dilla house (Kaytranada, Flying Lotus, Disclosure) and other forms of four on the floor (Peggy Gou, Flava D), funky can translate well internationally. Ironically when Drake sampled Crazy Cousinz and Kyla’s Do You Mind for One Dance it opened a huge well and opportunity for people to discover the funky sound for a new generation.
But the UK mainstream has had a history of trouble in pushing genres into the mainstream with an uneasy to define sound (luckily now this is less of a problem.) There are new infrastructures that govern the success of music which aren’t dependent on radio (streaming/YouTube and general sharing of music) which weren’t fully realised at the height of first-generation funky which bypass gatekeepers. The goal isn’t just to have a revival and a stick ‘formula’ for what funky could sound but ultimately a template and all the possibility to transcend it’s starting point to add depth to the rich legacy where the genre grew from. We all determine every genre’s fate: the listeners, the music makers, the DJ’s, the promoters who book DJ’s that play certain styles. None of us are passive in what ends up with the most visibility, it’s a communal experience that each and every one of us participates in. I grew up hearing ‘Flowers’ by Sweet Female Attitude on the radio, I heard Crazy Cousinz’s ‘Bongo Jam’ as a young teen and now J Hus’s ‘Did You See’, I wonder what’s going to be next in the lineage of new underground British dance music.