Funk

The only thing wrong with this slice of psychedelic funk is that it’s too short; far too short. Put all three parts together and the whole thing is less than two and a half minutes long.

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Three hundred million YouTube viewers can’t be wrong – when it’s time to celebrate, this is the song. And what better time to celebrate than the turning of a new year.

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Sault – Think About It

27th December 2023 · 2010s, 2019, Funk, Music, Soul

There are many things I love about Sault, not least their initial anonymity, their eclecticism, and their refusal to play by the marketing-led rules of the music biz.

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Spaghetti Head – Funky Axe

21st December 2023 · 1970s, 1975, Funk, Music

Bass lines don’t come much funkier than this minimalist drum-and-bass obscurity by a short-lived mid-’70s band called Spaghetti Head.

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When I think of funk, this is the sound I hear in my head. The fat bass (is that the “phat” bass?), the hissing hi-hats, the waka-waka guitar licks, the muffled exhortations of the vocalist… put it all together and that’s The Fatback Band.

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People were shocked when Grace Jones performed her “One Man Show” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in October 1981. Including me.

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This was the first funk I ever really “got” – I remember first hearing it in a pub on the Mile End End where there was a DJ who span tunes far removed from my usual New Wave and postpunk fare.

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Sticking with the No Wave post-disco sound of Ze Records, here is the weird, eclectic and infectious debut single by Was (Not Was).

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Butcher Brown are a self-proclaimed “proud throwback to the progressive jazz-funk bands of the 1970s with a 21st century twist” – a phrase that would once have filled me with horror.

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I never heard this when it came out back in 1975 – I was listening to Wish You Were Here until Horses came along – but I’ve heard that drum break sampled dozens of times in hip hop and house tunes since then.

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