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Woebot
15-12-2004, 12:24 PM
Quite intrigued to come upon two genres of music recently which appear not to have been given a name at the time. The first I'd encountered before, most clearly in a selection of tracks which Afrika Bambaata put together as a list of his favourite tunes. This list was a guiding light to funk collectors for years, the likes of Patrick Forge et al, and recently got reprinted in the ego trip book of rap lists. If you'd been to one of Bambaata's early parties this is what you would have heard him play; music from the roots of rap. In Audiogalaxy's heyday I downloaded a load of these tracks, tunes like Yellow Sunshine's "Yellow Sunshine", Dennis Coffey's "Son of Scorpio" and stuff from the Willie Dynamite soundtrack. (I'll dig out the list in full and post it here) These tunes are dominated by huge congas and, perhaps surprisingly squalling guitars. They're quintessentially "Butch", with a capital B.

As I never tire of telling people, "Funk" was a teleological invention, thats to say (and I hope no-one minds me ditching the jargon) invented as a genre retrospectively. Only with the passing of years can it be pinpointed so crisply, it was almost defined by what Mid-Period Hip-Hop deemed worth sampling. In the seventies it was pretty much a mess of Soul, Rock, Jazz, Pop etc. Almost spite of this, the genre i've pinpointed seems distinct, ironically possibly even more distinct that "Funk Proper" which seems to exist nowhere outside of The Meters back catalogue and a few select James Brown records (fat drums, minimalistic interplay, guitars on a reign, vocals as instrument etc) and it's (roll of drums) "Rock Disco" (though "Dance Rock" or when it isn't so purely Rock (like Funkadelic fer instance) "Funk Rock")

What really set me on the trail of the beast, which must have filled the discos between 1971 and 1975 as the heat went out of the counter-culture (return to socio-normalcy, the heat moves off the streets, out of the fields and back to the clubs) before "Disco Proper", was the recent Nicky Siano "The Gallery" compilation. If you haven't checked this out, do. Again like the Bambaata selection it's very macho (in quite a noticably Gay manner) and strongly "rock-like", kind of a freight train out-of-control sound, rolling amplified frug music taking the lead from Sly and The Family Stone's "Stand"-era sound (less so "There's a Riot" which is more conspicuosly sinister, bloodless and synthesised.)

To explore the counter-cultural angle a little further it's fascinating to see how the forces of optimism and overthrowal embodied in the hippie avant-garde (epitomised I guess by music by Hendrix "Star Spangled Banner", the MC5 "Kick Out the Jamms", Dylan and The Beatles) end up on the dancefloor as transcendant "we gotta change the world" Rock Disco. On the one hand it's a pathetic sight, seeing how this spirit is crushed into baked-bean-tin-size, but on the other the spirit of those parties (The Loft and The Gallery especially) was supposed to be so powerful as to engulf people lives, spawning as it did a generation of nutters like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy who went on to light the wick of our Acid House revolts in the UK. You could trace a sketchy line in chalk between Woodstock and Castlemorton through those revolting home discos of this era. Anyway I'm meandering a bit here.

The second forgotten genre I'm gonna claim (with dubious right) to discover is what I'm gonna call "3-part Harmony Avant Bossa Folk" (YEAH! Watch that one take off!) Its the, mainly American, eclectic folk trio music of the late sixties and early seventies that dwells in some marsh between Jazz, Bossa Nova (big Jobim influence permeating), the Avant Garde, and "Soft" Psych punk. And it encompasses all manner of waifs and strays like Spleen (big iueke record!), The Free Design, The Silhouettes etc. Julian House is big on this territory....

"Bubblecrunk"- always like that and why has no-one coined a good term for the Grime-y R'n'B that we're hearing from Da Vinche and Aftershock camp (or did silverdollar have a go?)

Gido
15-12-2004, 09:34 PM
Interesting piece. Please do post that list as promised.


"Bubblecrunk"- always like that and why has no-one coined a good term for the Grime-y R'n'B that we're hearing from Da Vinche and Aftershock camp (or did silverdollar have a go?)
Skykicking came up with the term Grimette a long time ago.

Btw, i havent seen mr Finney around here?

&catherine
16-12-2004, 07:47 PM
Skykicking came up with the term Grimette a long time ago.

Btw, i havent seen mr Finney around here?
He's watching. Always watching.

MBM
17-12-2004, 06:11 AM
Grimella? Just being stupid now.

Where can I get hold of this stuff. I love the idea of Laydeez Grime.

Much more accessible for aging wussies like me.

xero
04-01-2005, 03:17 PM
Quite intrigued to come upon two genres of music recently which appear not to have been given a name at the time. The first I'd encountered before, most clearly in a selection of tracks which Afrika Bambaata put together as a list of his favourite tunes. This list was a guiding light to funk collectors for years, the likes of Patrick Forge et al, and recently got reprinted in the ego trip book of rap lists. If you'd been to one of Bambaata's early parties this is what you would have heard him play; music from the roots of rap. In Audiogalaxy's heyday I downloaded a load of these tracks, tunes like Yellow Sunshine's "Yellow Sunshine", Dennis Coffey's "Son of Scorpio" and stuff from the Willie Dynamite soundtrack. (I'll dig out the list in full and post it here) These tunes are dominated by huge congas and, perhaps surprisingly squalling guitars. They're quintessentially "Butch", with a capital B.

Woebot if it's anywhere to hand it would be great if you could post this list, I finally caught up with that Siano compilation and am loving it. Here's an arbitrary slection of some of my fave funknotdisco numbers:

Pat Lundy - Work Song
Patti Jo - Make me believe in You
Tommy Stewart - Atlanta Get Down
Bohannon - Gittin' off
Juggy Murray Jones - Inside America
T-connection - Groove to Get Down
Juice - Catch a Groove
B.T. Express - Peace Pipe
Dennis Coffey - Wings of Fire
Rhythm Makers - Zone

luka
04-01-2005, 09:59 PM
tim finney is loyal to ilx. he wantgs to battle us. 6 of the best vs six of the best. he said, and i quote

'we'll kick your scrawny arse, dissensus is shit'

satanmcnugget
04-01-2005, 10:44 PM
tell him we are THE shit!

blissblogger
04-01-2005, 10:53 PM
i know what you mean mr woebot about genres getting constituted retroactively, that always happens to extent, certainly the hardening of genre walls happens through the custodians of said genres (white men almost all)

however, there were a lot of songs in the early-mid70s that included the word 'funk' in the title, not all of them James Brown a la 'aint it funky now'

one of them -- fitting your funk-rock interzone point -- being the James Gang's fabulous "Funk 49" -- james gang being the band joe walsh was in before the Eagles

but there was definitely a hard funk genre emerging what circa 74-75, brass construction, Ultrafunk (ha!), Fatback Band, etc etc

and what about Kool and the Gang, Ohio Players?

i used to live for all this stuff, but now the idea of pure plain funk seems a bit boring

until i hear a Sly Stone record, that is

but yeah in terms of retrospective genre definition, it'd be interested to go through some media discourse of that era and seen when funk emerges as a term, like when did Blues & Soul have a 'funk' column, if ever

re. your counterculture vibes filtering into disco point, absolutely -- david mancuso was a total head -- i interviewed him and he played me some records on his legendary sound system and one of them was astral weeks! -- a lot of acid-heads were involved in those early underground proto-disco parties, the whole lighting thing was an evolution out of acid-tests and all that

one thing i've been meaning to blog, to annoy K-Punk, and i mean that amiably, honest, is something proving that Chic, far from being cold rationalists and anti-Dionysian, were children of the Sixties or at least shadowed by it. nile rodgers was in the black panthers, i think. "we are family" definitely has echoes of sixties type family discourse -- family stone, family dog, brothers-and-sisters-kick-out-the-jams, civil rights, gay rights. etc

nebbesh
04-01-2005, 11:32 PM
yeah, i do get worried about how important a hippy ethos was to dance music being what it was and (off topic) i think the whole eclectic/journey imperative that took seed in the early 70s will always play an important part of dance music.

but the early 70s parties do seem to have played muscular funk music grabbed from pretty much anywhere, music to frug to.

i like this comp from a few years back, it's tuff!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005A0XE/qid=1104881478/sr=1-11/ref=sr_1_11/103-6427377-6801467?v=glance&s=music

Jazzbo
04-01-2005, 11:37 PM
Re: "3-part Harmony Avant Bossa Folk"

Yes! See also Airto/Hermato Pascoal/Mtume (all Miles Davis collaborators)/Carla Bley and most esp. Kip Hanrahan

xero
05-01-2005, 09:48 AM
funk can be the most nebulous concept it seems - here's what one of the amazon reviewers said about vitamin c's inclusion on that funk rock compilation: 'whoever thought we'd see Can of all groups on a funk CD?!'

well just about anyone who has listened to their records I'd have thought but who knows?