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British Funk Music
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Author:  Soul-Boy [ Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  British Funk Music

Brit funk is a musical style that has its origins in the British music scene of the late 1970s-80s. It mixes elements from funk and soul music with original jazz-funk and Caribbean overtones.

An important stylistic element of Brit funk is the dominant role of the bass and rhythm guitars. With a hard funky rhythm, a cross between James Brown and Earth, Wind & Fire, the Brit funk trend reached its peak in the mid-1980s.

Brit Funk Bands
The Pioneers of Brit funk were Hi Tension who had hits with "British Hustle" and "Hi Tension". Hi Tension a band north west London started as Hot Waxx, which included Phil Fearon (Galaxy and Kandidate) and Lloyd Phillips, brother of Paul (Kandidate) in the early '70s before becoming the Hi Tension. The Real Thing, Heatwave (led by the destined-for-world-domination Rod Temperton) and Gonzalez were also pioneers from the late '70s, adding their own slant to the American melodic funk/R'n'B sounds of the post-disco era. However, the first time the term was use was in reference to bands like Light Of The World, who though obviously influenced by the funk scene from the USA were happy to acknowledge their UK roots without the need for adopting American accents on stage. So the phenomenon has its roots in North and East London where the band members were born.

Groups such as Light Of The World were among the first after Hi Tension to have major hit records in UK and international charts. Their eponymous debut spawned 'Swingin', a driving piece of thunderous funk - especially the guitar and perfectly timed horn stabs. 'Round Trip' followed with the soul weekender anthem 'London Town'. After their split, the most notable part was Incognito. Headed by former LotW Jean-Paul Maunick and Paul Tubbs released one of the definitive Brit-funk era albums called 'Jazz-Funk' plus a couple of notable singles such as 'North London Boy'. They reformed 8 years later on Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud label in 1990. The duo Lynx should also get a mention as being one of the quality acts following their eponymously-titled sparkling debut album from 1981 which included 'You're Lying' and 'Intuition' (David Grant and Peter Martin)- followed solo careers around 1983) .New Wave rock bands could be considered part of the Brit-Funk movement of the '70s and '80s. Other bands that rose above some of the bandwagon jumpers were The Inversions, Shakatak (Drivin' Hard and Invitations are classics), Paul Hardcastle and Derek Green of First Light, Central Line ('Walking into Sunshine' must not be missed), Morrisey Mullen, UK Players, Atmosfear ('Dancing in Outerspace'), Paz, Beggar and Co (further splinters from LotW), Second Image (in particular 'Special Lady' and 'Sing and Shout'),Imagination (notably 'Changes' and 'Burning Up') and Freeez, whose 'Southern Freeez' must rank as one of the greatest British club tracks ever released - regardless of genre. Loose Ends could be included but weren't really part of the movement, though they carried the torch into the second half of the 80s.

One of the most influential and commercially successful bands deserving of their own mention are Level 42. Mark King, their lead singer and bass player, took up the slap and pop style created by artists like Larry Graham and Stanley Clarke brothers johnson and developed his own sound which became the Level 42 sound. Working with Earth Wind and Fire producer Wally Badarou, their self-titled album and tracks like 'Turn it on' and 'Love Games' was unique and crossed the water spurring US interest in remixing their tracks for club use. They produced three albums that were associated with the movement: 'Level 42', 'The Early Tapes' (released a few years later following their rising success) and 'The Pursuit of Accidents'. A best visual example of this period is on Level 42 at 'Rockpalast', recently released on dvd and representative of a band at their peak.

Spandau Ballet and Kajagoogoo are other examples of peripheral Brit-funk bands. Record companies and music press of the time wanted to change the face of brit funk so the soul Boy movement was started with bands like haircut 100 sounding very Brit funkish and wham as a way to commercialize the music. The sound had out-stayed its welcome by 1985 with the rise of the stripped-down 'house' music sound and Brit-funk - along with related forms of Soul, Funk and Boogie - had become a footnote in music history. The best of it lives on and remain classics.

Author:  Dancer [ Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

That's a great article Soul-Boy!!!!
There was a serious scene at UK,back in the early 80's with Hi Tension,Lynx,Atmosfear,Paul Hardcastle,Junior and Central Line!!!
This sound was the major influence for many pop groups from ABC and Haircut 100 to Blondie (Rapture) and Ian Dury (Spasticus,Hit Me)!
But for me,the best group of this period was the Level 42,I am still a huge fun of their first years (Weave Your Spell,The Chinese Way,Micro-Kid,The Sun Goes Down,Love Games,You Can't Blame Louis,Last Chance) :D
Thanks for the memories!!!

Author:  DanPooch [ Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

Very well written there soul-boy. I myself played a lot of that when I was touring the UK. thanks for bringing back some memories.
Pooch

Author:  Discoguy [ Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

Soul-Boy,

Thanks for this great piece of history.
Brought back LOTS of memories. I do remember every single act you mention there as I listened, played and loved all of them.
Just like Dancer I would say Level 42 has got a very special place in my heart even today.

Great read ! :D

// Discoguy

Author:  barbarella [ Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

Soul Boy you really know your subject to come up with such interesting and informative articles! 8)
I've always wondered if the trick for British Bands was to try to sound American. Certainly some of the American output was more polished in its' production, and I think that Freeez captured the American feel perfectly; Southern Freeez and I.O.U. are superb tracks.
I'd also like to mention The Average White Band who had their own distinctive sound. I love "Queen Of My Soul" and "Atlantic Avenue", and Imagination. These guys really did it for me in the '80's! :lol:
From sassy Dance tracks to sultry and seductive slow numbers - "Changes" and "Flashback" are my faves :)

Author:  Soul-Boy [ Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

barbarella wrote:
Soul Boy you really know your subject to come up with such interesting and informative articles! 8)
I've always wondered if the trick for British Bands was to try to sound American. Certainly some of the American output was more polished in its' production, and I think that Freeez captured the American feel perfectly; Southern Freeez and I.O.U. are superb tracks.
I'd also like to mention The Average White Band who had their own distinctive sound. I love "Queen Of My Soul" and "Atlantic Avenue", and Imagination. These guys really did it for me in the '80's! :lol:
From sassy Dance tracks to sultry and seductive slow numbers - "Changes" and "Flashback" are my faves :)


Man!....are you gonna love this forum..
As you explore this forum a little more, you will discover that there are a lot of Imagination fans here and you also have a couple of fanatics in me and Jay Negron. You will find a lot of remixes posted, which you can download. The Larry Levan remix of "Changes" is a must and is a big favourite with all the members. My advice to you, is to explore the MUSIC thread where we would be very interested in your opinion on the great subjects in there. Also check out the members section, where you can post and downloads lots of great mixes. We have a lot of great Dj's covering the globe who post there sets there. We have Jay Negron from New York, who now resides in Florida. He is a pioneer dj who has been spinning since 1973 check out his bio on the home page. We got Paul 'Flex' Taylor from Austraila who has been dj-ing since the late 70's. We have Paul Goodyear who presently dj's all over the world and who is constantly in demand for his remixing and production work. Then we move over to Greece, where we have Giorgio 'Dancer' Siras. He is probaly one of the best dj's who is currently working in Europe. We also have his partner in crime from Greece Constantinos 'King C' Carvounis, who has the potential to be a world beater with his mixing skills. Back over to the US and we have Dan 'Pooch' Pucciarelli, one of the big disco pioneers from BITD, check out his bio on the home page..These are just a few of the main contributors on this forum..
Anything that is soul-based, you will either read or hear about it on this forum...
Hope this info helps while you find your way around the site..
Speak soon!

Author:  darren [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

hi soulboy.

went to summer soulstice 3 on saturday.they had beggar & co on stage.
it was absolute quality mate.

there might be a few clips here of them.
also noel mccoy amongst others joining in the fun.


www.summersoulstice.co.uk

ktf.
darren :D 8)

Author:  Soul-Boy [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

darren wrote:
hi soulboy.

went to summer soulstice 3 on saturday.they had beggar & co on stage.
it was absolute quality mate.

there might be a few clips here of them.
also noel mccoy amongst others joining in the fun.


http://www.summersoulstice.co.uk

ktf.
darren :D 8)



Hi Darren,
I was also at a soul event this past friday. Great night had by all, even got myself half a dozen classic 45's from the record fair that was held before the main event. You can catch some of the jams I was gettin' my hustle on to in the "What are you grooving to at the mo " thread!....Let's us know what you had your groove on to in the same thread bro!

Author:  barbarella [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

I think this record definitely deserves a mention, partly because it was huge in the Clubs round here and also because it captured the mood of the era perfectly. It was guaranteed to fill the Dancefloor every time; One Of The Best British Disco Tracks Ever!! :D

The Real Thing - Can You Feel The Force

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwobZWQIAiU

Oh, And Just Before I Forget!!

Billy Ocean - Are You Ready

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSYoyRaN3hk

Author:  darren [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

not gonna argue with that babs.

ktf.
darren :D 8)

Author:  DJDroppedIt [ Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

Great article soul-boy! very interesting! And similarly to darren I think I'm gonna enjoy this forum a great deal! :D :D

Image

Author:  DJDroppedIt [ Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

Heatwave with the genius of Rod Temperton probably my favourite Brit funk band

Author:  drewwilliam [ Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: British Funk Music

I just got back into the gap band and was wondering what some other bands like them are. What are some of your favorite old funk bands?

funk bands   

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