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Return of The Funk

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

It's April 2013, Coachella, and funk is filling the airwaves once again.

Daft Punk's, then unknown, "Get Lucky" teaser is played to an audience of unsuspecting music lovers. The robots are shown jamming a truly epic funk track with none other than the father of funk, Nile Rodgers on guitar, and Pharrell Williams doing what he does best. The significance of this moment cannot be stressed enough. Funk, which had been laying dormant for thirty years, had finally made its way into popular culture once again.

"Random Access Memories" started a funk revolution by establishing itself as the album of 2013/2014. In doing so, it set the stage for many great artists to capitalise on its success.

Pharrell Williams, Olly Murs, Robin Thicke, Nick Jonas and many others contributed to this renaissance with their own brand of funk, but it wasn't until Mark Ronson, with the help of Bruno Mars, released "Uptown Funk" that I realised how powerful this genre was.

The first time I heard "Uptown Funk" I knew I had no chance...

This was funk done right. Every aspect of the song screamed "I'm old school, and I'm cool with that". The bassline was beautifully simple, the guitar did nothing except add to the groove, the drums injected a beat which wasn't trying too hard, the horn section added the hook that made us lose our minds, and the vocals stayed out of every instruments way.

Two years on and funk is showing no signs of retreating. Even rapper, Kendrick Lamar, has embraced the groove in his new album "To Pimp A Butterfly".

Funks apparent grip on the human psyche is profound. As a genre, it has been experienced by two generations, separated by a wall of technological evolution. It is a testament to how good music will always be good music, invulnerable to opinions influenced by very different cultural environments.

"Funk is the absence of any and everything you can think of, but the very essence of all that is. And saying that, I'm saying funk is anything that we create in our minds that we want to do, what we want to be, but we don't have the resources." - Bootsy Collins


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