Woebot on funky house

MATT MAson

Streetonomics
Thought this post on funky house, a genre that has proved to be hard for people (me included) to write about convincingly, was great:

http://www.woebot.com/

C'mon - seriously, it's much more fun than dubstep...

(and ammunition haven't taken it over yet)
 

elgato

I just dont know
i wonder how much experience in the flesh he has of the genres which he so willingly and colourfully dismisses

i really hate it when people use their intelligence to dress up taste as objectivity and denigrate the work and art of others
 

MATT MAson

Streetonomics
I agree. I had the same problem with a lot of peoples reaction the very notion that a funky house scene even existed.
 

nomos

Administrator
Mmmmm... wish I had time for this today. Had a quick read. Some good points. I've been wondering how Funky House can, in fact, be inherently evil. Seems just as ripe for perverse mutations as Acid, breakbeats, and 2step. And are there no echoes of early UK Garage here?

But, jeez, still with the dubstep digs (and from someone who's been spotted paying top dollar - and I mean TOP - on eBay to pick up the 'classics' ;)) Still banging on a fixed image of dubstep at its worst and painting the whole genre with the same brush.

Funky House at its best makes a complete mockery of the portentous riddimic theorising of Dubstep or Micro-House by actually out-stepping it in practice without resorting to drawing the listener into a state of emotional torpor.
Not sure what that means (but I've got a theory). I mean if you're looking for the vibe of 'ardkore at a dubstep gig you won't get it, but that doesn't mean the music doesn't have its own ecstasies. Not sure either how the Burial LP can be "purely retrograde" but Funky House isn't (or much-lauded Ghost Box for that matter).
 
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swears

preppy-kei
I was under the impression that the term "funky house" was coined in 2001/2002 to differentiate the four to the floor 90s DJ-led garage as played by say, the Dreem Team from "street garage", a genre associated with the MC-orientated, hip hop influnced younger producers. You'd get flyers promoting "urban house" or "funky house" nights that before So Solid et al, would have been considered garage events. This causes confusion because "funky house" was already being used to describe mid to late 90s cheeseball disco-sampling fare like Phats and Small.

So what does it refer to now? :confused:
 

elgato

I just dont know
funky house i believe now is just a loose umbrella phrase which relates more to a scene and networks of djs, clubs, labels etc than any particular form. it used to be all live bass and soft keys and saxophones and such, but now its anything from deep to electro to funky to whatever else
 

Tyro

The Kandy Tangerine Man
More fun than Dubstep and Grime

The only two Rinse FM shows that I regularly tune into now are those of Dj Ng and DJ Superior.
 

nomos

Administrator
So what does it refer to now? :confused:
I think I've heard a fair bit on Rinse by this point but I still couldn't tell you. Sounds like everything-but-the-kitchen-sink House but without the abandon of ardkore's sampling practices.

It's tempting to include here The Wire magazine's endorsement of Dubstep into the litany of crimes committed in the name of specious, bourgeois, pseudo-historical engineering**
I don't know the Wire reference for this comment but this question (if that's what he's talking about) of Dubstep intersecting with bourgeois, specialist listening culture* is a worthwhile one. Still it's so problematized by the link to JA sound system culture that it that it ultimately can't be discussed in such simple terms.

* e.g. Jonathan Sterne's work
 

MATT MAson

Streetonomics
Funky house refers to all of the above, and lots more besides.

I think that's one of my favorite things about it. Lots of people who like it are actually listening to very different strands of house music. Which of course, will only end in tears and pigeon holes in the long term, but the sun is still shining, and there is hay to be made...
 

Tyro

The Kandy Tangerine Man
funky house i believe now is just a loose umbrella phrase which relates more to a scene and networks of djs, clubs, labels etc than any particular form. it used to be all live bass and soft keys and saxophones and such, but now its anything from deep to electro to funky to whatever else
DJ NG has coined the term Urbance:


''Devised in the summer of 2004 by DJ NG (real name Alexander T-K Ng), URBANCE is the term used to describe the overall style of NG's performances as a DJ / Music ‘Selector’.

The name ‘UR-BANCE’ came about when the British music genre of UK House & Garage (wholly speaking) developed away from its original “Dance” media bracket of music, and more towards the “Urban” music bracket used for commercial marketing purposes. At this time, there were a lot of off-shoot styles within the UK Garage scene...

(ie, 'Dubstep/Foward', 'oldskool', '2-step', 'breakbeat', 'Grime/Eski/Sublow' etc...)

...creating a lot of confusion, and a misinterpreted face to the core culture of the music could be witnessed from those unfamiliar to the music genre –this reflected (wholly speaking) by the changes acknowledged with the dress culture, down to the crowed mentality of people attending UK Garage club nights/raves. It was at this point that NG felt tangled within the UKG sub-scenes and was trying to cater for all the sub genres spawned from garage music.

URBANCE was his answer to the problem of both 'fitting in' & ‘belonging’, not just into a music scene, but similarly into societies sub-cultures. It suitably balanced him in between all the confusion. Similarly, “Dance” and ‘Urban” styles were two of his main sources of influence and scenes that he was most involved in as a DJ, thus he used the “URB” from ‘Urban’ and the “ANCE” from the ‘Dance’ music term to create “URBANCE” -a category that best describes his identity as a DJ.''
 
I think people in the Garage/post Garage scene have of late made too much of the extent of their role within the 'Funky House' scene. In the grand scheme of things the input of Garage people is small, Funky House is a concept embraced by that many people who dont even know Garage fucking exists. That this type of music is now becoming popular among Black Londoners is interesting, but I doubt this pheneomenon will be a talking point for many people outside London (or forums like this). Dont expect front page coverage in Mixmag, or Europeans or Americans to care that much. Regardless of your views on the tag, lets keep things in perspective.
 

Tyro

The Kandy Tangerine Man
I think people in the Garage/post Garage scene have of late made too much of the extent of their role within the 'Funky House' scene. In the grand scheme of things the input of Garage people is small, Funky House is a concept embraced by that many people who dont even know Garage fucking exists. That this type of music is now becoming popular among Black Londoners is interesting, but I doubt this pheneomenon will be a talking point for many people outside London (or forums like this). Dont expect front page coverage in Mixmag, or Europeans or Americans to care that much. Regardless of your views on the tag, lets keep things in perspective.
NG started promoting his night in Northampton before taking up his spot on Rinse,so I dont think this pheneomenon is resticted to London by any means.
 

UFO over easy

online mahjong
Mr. Woebot - I like dubstep, and I think funky house is complete pap, and there's nothing you could possibly write to convince me otherwise :p

Woebot said:
Funky House at its best makes a complete mockery of the portentous riddimic theorising of Dubstep or Micro-House by actually out-stepping it in practice without resorting to drawing the listener into a state of emotional torpor.
I'm surprised to see him fall into this trap too, quite lazy really. I've not seen any major producers theorising unnecessarily about their music - it'd even be a struggle to find Kode 9 actually applying the concepts he talks about to the music he makes. Seems like Woebot has been paying more attention to forum threads about dubstep than to the music itself.

As for any inherent value there might be in 'response-centred' music.. personally I'm more interested in listening to music than I am in observing people's reponses to it.
 
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gumdrops

Well-known member
Mmmmm... wish I had time for this today. Had a quick read. Some good points. I've been wondering how Funky House can, in fact, be inherently evil. Seems just as ripe for perverse mutations as Acid, breakbeats, and 2step. And are there no echoes of early UK Garage here?
agreed. i think people expected the next 'big thing' to draw incestuously from what has gone before, and continue this apparent 'british rave continuum' but forgot that pretty much everything that preceded funky house was pretty much a brit reaction to foreign genres to begin with (even grime, for all the big deal made of it taking from garage and jungle, was pretty much a reaction to american hip-hop). rave used to be all about US imports no? i cant wait for people over here to start mutating funky house and creating something new. its inevitable i hope.
 

UFO over easy

online mahjong
Would people contest the idea that funky house is purely functional music? It seems to me like formulaic, predictable stuff for people to ignore whilst they dance and hook up. I can't help but think that the responses to it that Woebot references are completely unconnected to the actual music in the clubs, and more to do with the general vibe of people having a party.

Maybe this is supposed to be a good thing, and I'm just struggling to shrug off my 'cynicism and self-consciousness'... but it still doesn't interest me in the slightest.
 
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I wasnt making any reference to DJ NG (or really to Woebot's blog for all that matter).

Funky House is probably the biggest dance music in the UK, I wouldnt be surprised if it is very big in Europe. It has NOT got to this stage of popularity by being boosted by evacuees from the Garage scene, simple as.
 

nomos

Administrator
i cant wait for people over here to start mutating funky house and creating something new. its inevitable i hope.
yeah exaclty.

as for the "portentous riddimic theorising" bit, i can't help but take that a tad personally (though not too seriously either). seems like a pot and kettle scenario.
 
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Chris

fractured oscillations
...This causes confusion because "funky house" was already being used to describe mid to late 90s cheeseball disco-sampling fare like Phats and Small.
Yeah, I was wondering what you guys have meant by funky house all this time because I only know this kind. Does anybody have a link to a streaming radio station, or dj/producer myspace where where I could hear some of this "urbance" funky house stuff? (..or is it not actually a genre but an eclectic mix style of electro house, garage, etc?) I don't think we have anything like funky house here in the U.S.
 
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