Category Archives: Funk

9 of the best – sounds of 2018

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus for the festive season. As is my way, I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2018. They are in no particular order. Merry Christmas, have a great holiday and see you in the New Year, when I will whittle 12 to 9. (Done!)

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talking Straight

Father John Misty – Just Dumb Enough to Try

Natalie Prass – Lost

The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land

Stephen Malkmus – Solid Silk

Vasser – Valerians

Let’s Eat Grandma – Donnie Darko

Oscar L – Monster Tube

Kokoroko – Abusey Junction

Honourable mentions also go to: Childish Gambino for ‘This Is America‘; Phum Viphurit for ‘Lover Boy‘; Fake Shark for ‘Wake Up‘; Phosphorescent for ‘New Birth in New England‘; Bodega for ‘Jack In Titanic‘; MorMor for ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful‘; Kanye West & Kid Cudi for ‘Reborn‘; Christine and the Queens for ‘Damn, dis-moi‘; Lana Del Rey for ‘Mariners Apartment Complex‘; The Voidz for ‘Leave It In My Dreams‘; Nilüfer Yanya for ‘Thanks 4 Nothing‘ and DJ Koze for ‘Pick Up‘.

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Cave – San’ Yago (2018)

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What was once a space rock side project has now become something much tauter. The Chicago quintet Cave have channelled the syncopated sounds of jazz, jazz funk and afrobeat to create ‘San’ Yago’. It features on the new album Allways.

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Anderson .Paak feat. Kendrick Lamar – Tints (2018)

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Good morning! I am really high on Anderson .Paak. He makes funky music which is unfettered by too much trend. His latest single ‘Tints’ features Kendrick Lamar and Paak’s signature funky guitar and pocketed drums. Have a great week.

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Eric Burdon & War – Spill The Wine (1970)

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Ex-Animals frontman Eric Burdon sang the lead on ‘Spill the Wine’. The song was released as a single in May 1970  and was War’s first chart hit. Paul Thomas Anderson used in the movie Boogie Nights as part of a pool party scene. R.I.P. Burt.

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Childish Gambino – Redbone (2016)

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In 2016, after more than two years of no music, Childish Gambino resurfaced with his third studio album Awaken, My Love! Zeitgeist Gambino showed that he had been wasting no time. Channeling the sound of Prince and Connan Mockasin (now there’s a notion), he carefully moved away from rapping; listening to the standout single ‘Redbone’, you can hear, funk, soul and sadness. Talent.

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Cola Boyy – Have You Seen Her (2018)

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Matthew Urango, aka Cola Boyy, is a 28 year-old multi-instrumentalist and singer from Oxnard, California (hometown Anderson .Paak). Like .Paak he blends disco, soul, funk and his own groove to create something sunny and joyous. And I love the piano. Have a great weekend.

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Christine and The Queens feat. Dâm-Funk – Damn, dis-moi (2018)

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A day for something francophile, something for the World Cup semi…’Damn, dis-moi’ was released in May by French singer Christine and the Queens. It features American funk musician Dâm-Funk and a very transatlantic sound. As a nod to Prince, the English version was called ‘Girlfriend’.

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Sly & The Family Stone – Everyday People (1968)

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The classic single ‘Everyday People’ from Sly & The Family Stone. This was 1968 – an annus mirabilis for popular music. Different strokes for different folks. The song would feature on their 1969 album Stand.

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Parliament – Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop) (1978)

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On reflection, George Clinton’s ‘Atomic Dog’ may have provided us with the G-funk groove, but it was not without its precursors. ‘Aqua Boogie’ is bonafide mad. The extended Parliament/Funkadelic troop included George Clinton on vocals, Bootsy Collins on bass/guitar/drums/vocals and Bernie Worrell on keyboards, who between them were happy to draw upon jazz fusion, disco, funk and bird calls. Have a great weekend.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Hunnybee (2018)

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s song ‘Hunnybee’ is off their latest record Sex & Food. The song’s title stems from the middle name of Ruban Nielson’s (vocalist/guitarist) daughter. Enjoy. Have a great weekend.

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George Clinton – Atomic Dog (1982)

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George Clinton had become famous for some of the most adventurous funk out there. In 1982, he was striking out from Parliament-Funkadelic ensembles, but still recording with the same players that could deliver the otherworldly. The LP Computer Games featured the woof woof of ‘Atomic Dog’, a song that provides the groove that would become the cornerstone of G-funk a decade later.

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Khruangbin – Cómo Me Quieres (2018)

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The Houston-based trio Khruangbin create music to drift to. Thai funk, Iranian soul, Avon breakbeats, Texas music… whatever the influence, me like. ‘Cómo Me Quieres’ is teh opening track off the most recent album, Con Todo El Mundo.

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James Brown – Talking Loud and Saying Nothing (1972)

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DJ Koze’s most recent work has me thinking about other examples of hypnotic sound. Derrick May once described techno as sounding like Kraftwerk and George Clinton stuck in a hotel lift. Just imagine if those Germans were to stumble across the JBs instead. Listen to the precision of Bootsy Collins’ bass playing on ‘Talking Loud and Saying Nothing’. This is as a tight and mesmerising as funk gets. A relentless rhythm overseen by the taskmaster extraordinaire Mr Brown.

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Janelle Monáe – I Like That (2018)

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I listened to a lot of Janelle Monáe on release of her 2010 album The ArchAndroid. I had been drawn in by the Outkast-inspired single ‘Tightrope’ that she produced with Big Boi. This year, I am pleased to see she’s back again with something bigger and more critically acclaimed. Dirty Computer features a roll call of diverse stars – Brian Wilson, Pharrell Williams, Grimes – reflecting Monáe’s appeal. ‘I Like It’ is a standout song from the album.

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Khruangbin – Friday Morning (2018)

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This track has been following me on YouTube. So Khruangbin, over to you: it’s ‘Friday Morning’. Have a great weekend.

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