Break Out The Funk Thursday

For lack of a catchy alliterative title (that I could have easily saved for Friday), I present to you Break Out The Funk Thursday.  Everybody loves funk music; no matter what decade it was produced in, it reminds us of the 70s – and everybody loves the 70s.  Therefore, everybody loves funk music.  Nobody correct me on that.

This is my attempt at putting together more unique content for the blog.  Make no bones about it: I am blatantly trying to keep your attention so that you don’t wander off somewhere else before the next podcast arrives (which won’t be until next weekend).  And I already established that everybody loves some good funk music, so I decided to hit up the Free Music Archive to see what was offered.  I sorted by “Most Interesting” and here’s what I found for this Thursday playlist.

To reduce confusion, here’s how I’m writing the songs: Artist – “Song Title” (Album, Year / Label).  Links go in that order too.

Patrick Lee“Quittin’ Time” (The Last Thing, 2010 / Bad Panda Records)

If you’re going to release a funk tune, you better have some great song titles, and “Quittin’ Time” fits the bill for me.  More info after listening again.

Juanitos“Soul Africa” (Soul Africa, 2010 / Independant)
Pure funk; the lyrics aren’t the deepest in the world, but since when is funk deep?  The guitars – especially the bass – are delicious, and has just the right kind of percussion thrown in.  Beautiful track.  The Juanitos hail from Chambry, France (a country I’ve come to know as reknown for reggae and funk), and have been around since 1991.

Juanitos – “Black Samba” (Soul Africa, 2010 / Indpendant)
I had to put in this track – probably the only artist to deserve double-billing – because of the organ on the track.  Some great work in there.

James Curd“Back Off Move Away (Treasure Fingers Remix)” (James Curd – Greenskeepers – Ziggy Franklin – Studio 11 Sampler, 2011 / Studio 11 Chicago)
They make it on today’s playlist simply for being different.  “Back Off” still has plenty of funk elements (else, why would it be here?) but it is also deeply rooted in the pop/house music scene.  It blends the two worlds very well, and the bass line is nice and thick.

Pierlo – “Barbarian” (Olivetti Prodest, 2010 / UpitUp Records)
A case of an odd one out, this is more of a showcase of electronica than of funk – but I think you can appreciate the funk-laced beats in this enough to include it in the playlist.  This electronic artist is from Rome, Italy!

Mystic Morrison Visions – “Impressive” (Fuzzy Set, 2010 / Accessory Takes)
While most of the songs on Fuzzy Set seem to be more jazz-laden, “Impressive” has more of a funk twinge to it.  It still is more freeform jazz than traditional funk, I still liked the sound of it.  So here it is.  Also, these guys are from Russia…might explain a few things, maybe.

Javelin – “On It On It” (Javelin Live @ KEXP 5/3/2010, 2010 / KEXP)
I’m calling this one “video game funk” – it’s a faster beat than everything else on the playlist, and it has some interesting sounds that seem like they’re straight out of a video game.  Javelin is a duo (with friends) out of Providence, Rhode Island.

Prepare to Meet Thy Broom! – “High Like it’s 1989” (This is the New Yeah! / lalala4e)
Easily my favourite track from the bunch, if you don’t recognize the song sampled here then I don’t know what’s wrong with you.  Just in case you don’t recognize it, it’s Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches and Herb.  Prepare to Meet Thy Broom! is a duo from Mexico – it’s two brothers, Timmy (18 years old) and Kevin (14 years old); apparently they only use a MIDI keyboard and laptop to make their music.

Stanton Moore Trio – “Pie Eyed Manc” (Live at KEXP, 2010 / KEXP)
Neat little instrumental number, tons of funk oozing from this track.  That’s right, I said oozing.  The eponymous trio is from New Orleans, and you can tell from the sound.  Very enjoyable.  I think if I can find more tracks like this from New Orleans, it may be enough for a special podcast episode.

Jimmy Cousins – “Living Proof” (Crime Spree & the C.S.C. / Mass Dist)
I really like the voice on Jimmy Cousins.  He has a real primal scream and some smooth funk grooves to back it up.  From what I gather he’s originally from New Orleans, moved to Philly, and is now somewhere on the east coast.  I’ll take that as “another New Orleans native for a special podcast”.

Smoked Meat Fax Machine – “The Waste” (Slums of Heaven, 2009 / Ancient Robot)
With a name like Smoked Meat Fax Machine, would you pass up putting them on any playlist?  Luckily their sound is sort of a distorted funk – almost punk-like – and fits with this playlist.  SMFM (my acronym) is actually John Constantinides.  By the way, isn’t Ancient Robot a cool name for a label?  They’re based in Montreal!  I’m going to have to keep tabs on this label.

Ex-Friendly – “Simply Bootieful” (Best of Breitband Vol. 3 / Breitband)
Oh man.  This song is just exquisite.  It’s slow, it’s soulful, and just listen to that full bass.  It totally sounds like it’s out of the 70s.  I can’t find much info on Ex-Friendly, and it looks like Breitband is a German netlabel – but if the rest of their music is like this, then go download it now!

Tha Silent Partner – “Billy (Starsky Instrumental)” (Starsky (Featuring Seti AKA K9), 2010 / Blocsonic)
This one is not exactly funk, but gives off an ambient 50’s music quality.  I thought it was a fitting track to put at the end of the playlist.

I really like the songs on this list.  I think I’m going to create an actual mix (songs may appear in an order other than that given) out of this and put it online.

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