I explained that I was talking about underground American Funk from the 70s, through the last 15 or so years…plus music from Brazil, Africa, and beyond. As well as the music I love that blends genres & time periods to create timeless, deep music with lots of heart & soul.
He said, “That sounds cool. But, I don’t know where I’d find that kind of stuff.”
This is where I come in. I love looking for this type of funky, obscure music from around the world. For me it’s easy because I love doing it, and I already have a lot of time invested in the searching & know what I want and how to get it.
Enjoy these three FUNKY Spotify playlists of current instrumental Funk music that span the last several years. You’ll also get turned on to some obscure Funk gems from the 70s, whose style inspires today’s best Funk bands. Also watch videos of outstanding live performances from some of the tightest Funk bands on the scene today.
See Ikebe Shakedown play a HOT one live
at TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik’s facility…
There’s just So Much Dope Instrumental Funk out there
when you know where to look!
Dope Instrumental Funk Flavors…
It starts out with Blue Mitchell blowing his funky horn hard on this Jazz Funk classic (more Funk than Jazz). It’s followed by three more oldies but goodies — obscure old school Funk jams, one of which is a little known instrumental by Sly & The Family Stone. Then it gets into some of today’s funkiest bands, spanning the last ten years or so.
You’ll hear current heavy hitters like The New Mastersounds, Greyboy Allstars, Ikebe Shakedown, The Whitefield Brothers, Speedometer, Lettuce, and The Greyboy Allstars. There are some well known groups, as well as some obscure ones to make sure you have a funky good time.
Polyrhythmics make it super funky on “Le Hustle.” The New Mastersounds give us one from their phenomenal 2015 record, Made For Pleasure. The Soul Surfers, on Ubiquity Records, do “Astra.” All three records appear in the Funkish Best Albums of 2015.
Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, from San Diego, is one of the most talented new bands on the West Coast. Their 2016 album, Out On The Coast, was my favorite album of the year. The album’s first single, “Jeannie’s Getdown,” is one of the best instrumental Funk songs of 2016. Propulsive percussion and driving drums power this tune so Jesse Audelo can blow his sax all over the groove, as the rest of the horn section give it some Afrobeat brass swagger.
Let’s close it out with one of the funkiest instrumentals of 2014, by Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Australia’s funkiest band.
Listen to this ticking Time Bomb of Dope Instrumental Funk
before it explodes in your face…
There’s a lot of diversity to this album — from classically funky numbers like “Sweltering Heights” to Ethio-Jazz inspired “Lane Changin’” — these guys always get creative, and skillfully work a great groove.
All 12 tracks are tremendous. Each one has its own personality. The theme across the board is that this music makes you feel awesome when you hear it — the horns carry you away, surfing a wave of driving rhythms, struttin’ percussion, lilting guitars, and breezy funky flutes.
This dexterous San Diego band always innovates from the foundation of crafty Soul-Jazz Funk sounds, and never sounds derivative. I look forward to a lot more great records from these resourceful SoCal musicians because they always hit the perfect groove & come up with original, dope music.
It came out on Colemine Records, a fantastically funky, hard-working, dedicated label. They routinely put out a lot of new music with an old soul style. The songs from On The Spot Trio & The Jive Turkeys are also courtesy of Colemine.
The rest of the selections on this playlist are heavy instrumental Funk composed for getting down, and feeling good — coming from the best bands of the genre active today — The New Mastersounds, The Funk Ark, Third Coast Kings, Ikebe Shakedown, and more.
Watch The Funk Ark play “Doom Buggy” — a litle Afrobeat flavored Funk —
live at the Kennedy Center…
Listen to and follow Street Level Down & Dirty Instrumental Funk…
We begin this third Spotify playlist with the Soul Motivators — the hottest property in Canadian funk!
Formed in 2012 and inspired by a multi-cultural urban lifestyle in downtown Toronto, their repertoire blends funk, soul, hip-hop breaks and psychedelic beat. They bring to mind classic Blaxploitation soundtracks, b-boy dance battles, and car-chase funk. Their neo-soul style vocal tracks are outstanding also.
Pushing Fire, the 2017 album from Soul Scratch is serious Soul music heat. “Fireside Lounge” is another dope instrumental Funk song. It’s the outlier on Pushing Fire because it’s harder to pin down and categorize. The band is really spreading out on this one, and it sounds like it could come from the Brooklyn underground.
Get hip to a couple of cool new Australian bands — Kerbside Collection (whose record Trash or Treasure is excellent throughout; it made the Funkish Best Albums of 2015). And, hear The Francis Wolves, a brand new group from Brisbane — bringin’ the “Valley Heat.”
You’ll hear several from the last year or two, like funky favorites from 2014 by The Get Up & Analog Son. As well as modern funk classics from Greyboy, The New Mastersounds, and Breakestra.
Then we close it out with a few badass, underground old school Funk classics from the 70s that will have you “Getting Down”!
Watch Galactic “Go Go” live on KEXP in Seattle…