Thursday, 4 March 2010

Hard Sell

Continuing my spirit of musical-exchange w/ you good people, here's some UK funky house tracks I've found awesome this last year that I'm going to try and persuade you are worth yr attention. Kind of a hard sell maybe, but Bob, Dave J & Lianne have all at least quasi-appreciated some of these so I'm hopeful. These songs owe more to UK garage than US house, the shows, radio &c., largely but not entirely centred round a certain part of east London, w/ strong ties in style &/or personnel to 2-step and grime. As is not unusual right now, a lot of the music exists only in digital form, but more than that, a lot of songs are not just unreleased (or slow to be properly released) but only found in DJ sets, not showing up consistently in any definitive form. Which is actually sort of great.

Crazy Cousinz have had a few well-known tracks, notably Do You Mind, and Bongo Jam, which had enough of their goofy charm to get them ripped by Harry Hill. Inflation is my pick here for a few reasons: plenty of funky's tuned percussion in evidence (& we all love that), it's amazing, it's free of any of the elements of funky some of you might find more offputting, and most of all the structure is exquisite. The way the steady cymbals, synth-string stabs and whoops combine with the looser snare builds a lot of anticipation for when the xylophone kicks in w/ that righteous riff. As I said elsewhere, 2009 was a great year for synth-xylophone.

Some pre-song chatter that is on the mark when it points out this song "has a lot of energy". Real strong Caribbean feel in the piano and snare, a great beat and a girl telling you to suck her balls. No need for me to contribute beyond that.

This song is really tight and w/ the bass tone has an 80s US house vibe. Listen to the beat here, sounding wrong at first as the kickdrum comes in too early every other bar but starts to make sense as the song develops. If something as specific as diva vocals is getting in the way of yr enjoyment then you need to pull an Axl Rose/John Cage analysis of yr dislike.

A Rihanna remix to play spot the funky with. More build&release in evidence; some great cowbell&similar & haunted house bass whistle and then the almost niche/bassline crash cymbal chorus that is ridiculous fun. Rihanna is a great fit for funky, and DJs seem to have a great ear for sympathetic songs to incorporate, rewriting their own canon in the process.

If yr enjoying those at all you have to hear a proper set, there are some great ones at and sometimes on BBC 1xtra (DJ Q/Cameo). There's some good DJ Reflex mixtapes you can find by yourselves also.

More on the way.

1 comment:

  1. Love it when you start talking tunes. Some reservations on the Rihanna remix (i prefer the original. plus have you seen the video-? awesome!) but my opinion might change slightly if i listen again. Down with the crazy cousinz. Can you point me in the direction of some decent, less frenetic r&b/house/hip hop tracks/full set downloads? x