UK Funky’s Dead!!


If you agree with the above statement, I can already assume that you either weren’t into Funky in the first place, turned off as the fruition of MC tracks took place, or alternatively turned on. This is said because with empathy, it would be agreed.

The UK Funky sound grew much faster than any person could’ve anticipated. Many got accused of jumping on the trend because it was the sound of the moment, while others were turned off by some of the turns taken within the evolution of the music. Others stayed and continued to work on their own personal developments and signatures within their contribution to the music. All the while, what the basic definition of what ‘UK Funky’ sounds like, remained and still does remain undecided by the masses.

As it was the MC tracks that gained the most mainstream attention, this is the identification made by those who took notice, or walked away, at the point of commercial breakthrough. The MCs are getting the most blame for ‘killing the scene’ but it has to be questioned… Why are the MCs getting the blame? Surely it wasn’t the MCs playing the music, it was the DJs… Why were the DJs playing them? Was it the DJs getting hype in the clubs? A DJ is there to entertain, but if you’re a DJ who is also blaming the MCs, were you not wheeling up their tracks in hope to ‘shutdown’? The hype you helped to create is what led to A&R interests. Make it Funky for Me and In The Morning just about got savoured, but there were so many other quality vocal tracks which got left by the waste side. How many of those got wheeled up 6 times in the clubs? Are DJs not also supposed to teach their audiences about the music too?

The MCs never ruined Funky, they helped it gain attention. But for those that require an MC to acknowledge the music as Funky, your only hope is for Funky Dee to retain his throne with another Napa anthem this year. Or maybe the island will birth another star. If not Funky to you is dead.

It has to be begged to differ. Trilla was recently on Radio 1 in doing a live gig in a Newcastle University with Tim Westwood and Mista Jam, as was Funky veteran Donaeo. With both artists tearing the house down, how is it possible for the sound to be dead? One artist is from Birmingham and Funky is labelled a London sound. Surely for someone from the Midlands to get this kind of response in North Yorkshire shows growth. Evidently the borders have been truly demolished.

The sound of Funky has been making presence internationally, recognised and even being produced in countries that have never witnessed the London club scene. Some even boasting a club culture of their own. The DJs within these countries tend to be more supportive of the people making the music. So it has to be asked, how many DJs within the UK circuit really support producers by purchasing their music? With that said, if you’re a DJ, when was the last time you asked a producer to send you a track using your title as a reason why they shouldn’t decline? It doesn’t stop at DJs, how many ‘UK Funky Lovers’ invested in the music with an official compilation in their shopping cart? But when did you last download a mix CD? The MC tracks got signed largely due to the hype on the rave scene within the clubs, but how many felt they were worth the 79p?

The birth of UK Funky was first embraced for it’s rebirth of love and unity within the clubs and the control given back to the DJs. This unfortunately got lost along the way. But the lack of unity does not rest there, as the frequent highly political occurrences have resulted in a very cliquey music scene, in which everybody is accused of being out for themselves. It’s not expected for all to be sharing their Sunday dinner, but surely the scene requires a business-like element to it instead of friendship rings. If not, how heavy is the scene as a contender against the more business like genres within the other elements of the music industry?

The MCs have not been able to continue feeding their audience thus far, and the A&Rs seem to no longer be floating, so anybody wishing to make a quick buck or hoping the jump on a wave of hype can definitely say that their dreams have surely died. But the original sound of Funky has continued to progress within its soulful and tribal elements of the genre, therefore bringing the overall sound back to what the connoisseurs originally fell in love with. To them, Funky is not dead, but more revived, living under the House shelter in refuge.

In saying this, music does not die, it evolves. So unless you’re listening to it in the middle of a cemetery, any kind of music cannot be associated with death. But Logan Sama put across something similar to the above whilst the masses claimed that Grime was dead. Since then artists of the genre have topped national charts on a number of occasions, doing more for UK music that had taken place prior. So even if you’re one that is adamant that Funky is definitely finished, and all the above is garbage, keep an open eye glued.

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6 Responses

  1. Funky isn’t dead, but I think it has reached it’s peak, and is on the decline. A gauge of how funky is growing, answer this “how many BIG new funky acts with will b in napa ’10? or will it be 09 mc’s recycled?”
    Good thing is it’s going back to it’s true roots, soulful and non-mc based.
    On a side note dubstep is gonna by pass it, if it hasn’t done so already.

  2. UK funky is not dead its just split into 2 avenues; one creating the original UK funky sound (pre K.I.G). And the other creating actual house music which is being claimed as UK funky due to the nationality of the artist/producer (Hard House Banton, Geeneus etc.).

    Not a fan of people calling house tracks Uk funky tracks. Read in one mag that dennis ferrer’s hey hey is Uk Funky!!!! No serious people at all. And as for producers making house and it being labelled Uk funky, stop begging it. From when the sound has evolved into music that i consider similar or in the same category as Karizma etc. then its house not Uk funky. But thats just my opinion.

  3. Yeh I would agree…. Hey Hey shouldn’t be classed as UK Funky, furthermore Dennis Ferrer is from the US!!!

    Old skool Funky producers ie the one’s you mentioned beforehand are still making Funky tracks though. Their instrumentals may replicate what is heard from established House producers, but there are productions that they did before the MC spate and they were Funky then so why not now? ie Are Yellow Tail, Peek & Duck, Different and Hypnotic House or Funky?

    I wouldn’t say calling them Funky is begging…. Just remembering where they come from. Their progress in quality of production doesn’t automatically mean a change in the name of the genre. Especially as the House producers were their main influence from the start.

    Please refer to the first blog post: https://queenofsheba84.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/whose-house/

  4. dennis ferrer isnt ‘uk funky’ but whats him being from the Us got to do with anything, its just like saying an englishman cant make house because its american.

  5. be a shame if it is dead, its a great sound, cant imagine how it could be, lot of good stuff coming out this year, seems like

  6. QoS, You definitely nailed this one on the head., a must have discussion.
    UK Funky has rapidly evolved from what was a fresh era of sound.
    And I believe that this is due to all the people who woke up one morning and decided to become deejays, producers, artists and event promoters etc… The people responsible for the music just wanted a quick £££, and hood status fame. And the overnight deejays needed a bail out when thing weren’t going down too well on the dance floor.
    And I personally say “I play house not funky.” But I haven’t abandoned my fellow UK producers, There is without a doubt, alot of talent contributing to the music. I just simply refuse to play those tracks that I deem a mockery to good music.
    I think there should be a separate genre name assigned to these tracks, that way there will be no controversy. Producers and deejays will not have to reject the UK Funky label to avoid being in the same league as these overnight music industry peeps.

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