Clubbers' Decktionary: UK Funky
Hobbes, resident at Devil Disco, guides you through the myriad genres of dance
UK Funky, aka ‘funky’, proper noun: British, characterised by syncopated, African rhythms, R&B-style vocalising, MCs and a four-four beat, c. 2006 – present day; influenced by (and often classified with) UK garage, grime, dubstep, jungle, rave, Afrobeat, broken beat, reggaeton/dancehall, 2Step, US house/garage, bassline, tribal, electro; 125 –135 BPM.
Origins After UK Garage morphed into grime in the early 00s, the music became more serious and moody and, towards the end of the decade, producers started looking Stateside again for their cues. The more soulful and funky US house scene, principally productions by Masters At Work, Spen, Karizma, Kerri Chandler and Dennis Ferrer, was widely perceived as being more classy, more friendly and, crucially, more fun – an escape from the dark, harsh realism of grime, which had itself become more focused on MCs and live performances than DJs and dance floors.
Key figures Marcus Nasty of grime’s NASTY Crew is widely credited as the most influential DJ/producer. The work of London’s pioneering former pirate, Rinse FM, cannot be overestimated. Head honcho Geeneus, plus Supa D, Kismet, MA1 and IC have all championed funky via the radio station. Roska’s star has risen phenomenally in the last 18 months, while Cooly G has made an equally big impact since debuting on Hyperdub in June 2009. Singers Donae’o, Princes Nyah and Katy B plus production oufits Crazy Cousinz and Champion have all played a part in the scene’s crossover/pop success. Also noteworthy are DJ Naughty, double-act Ill Blu, promoter/manager/label boss Soulja (FWD>, Ammunition, Tempa), plus DJs Pioneer (Kiss 100) and Footloose (1Xtra).
You’re likely to hear some UK Funky at Big’n’Bashy, The Bongo Club, Sat 4 Jun; Volume!, Sneaky Pete’s, Sat 4 Jun both Edinburgh, and Numbers, Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 3 Jun.