This current hybridized Funk mixes global genres, and styles, and utilizes modern, high-end production (even when it’s done on vintage gear). Sometimes it feels inspired by the great genre-bending 1970s jazzy, funky, fusion pioneers…and yet it sounds unique & current.
It might have African rhythms with a house beat & live instruments too. Maybe it’s got a little mix of Afrobeat & modern Brazilian music, or a funky wah-wah along with Malian guitars. And, it can come from anywhere — Brooklyn, LA, New Orleans, Sao Paulo, London, Paris, and many other musical hot beds.
Read this post because it will point you to the dynamic, hard-working musicians around the world that make genre-defying, provocative Funk music. Listen to, and follow, the three Spotify playlists below to get a carefully curated compilation of intoxicating, funky music highlighting some of the most impressive grooves of the past few years…
Watch this whole stellar performance of The Polyrhythmics live in Seattle.
3 Spotify Playlists of
Dynamic, Divergent, Dope Music
Listen to & follow this Spotify playlist of music
that’s too cool to categorize…
This first Spotify playlist highlights some of my favorite bands & producers that are making exciting music. It’s funky, dynamic, deep, and soulful. If I were to play this for someone and they asked me, “What kind of music is this?” — I’d just tell them that it’s funky new genre bending ear candy that’s too cool to categorize.
It isn’t important what you call it. What’s important is that you get into it, that it makes people feel good in some inexplicable way.
So, enjoy it. This is my favorite genre — Funky Genre Bending Ear Candy That’s Too Cool To Categorize — so there will be much more to come like this.
Play it for your friends and let me know what you call this kind of music when they ask you, “What kind of music is this?”
One of the highlights is Orlando Julius & Heliocentric’s cover version of James Brown’s classic rare groove, dope instrumental Funk tune, “In The Middle.” It comes from their astounding album, Jaiyede Afro, one of 2014’s best records. Hear more music from that list, with songs by The Funk Ark, Akale Wube, and Ikebe Shakedown.
Watch the official video for “Rice & Peace” & see how Lakuta jams live…
I know you’re gonna dig this…
Here’s another hour of the choicest cuts of
genre-bending funky grooves from around the world…
Like I said before, the difficult to categorize music that blends elements of various genres & diverse cultures is my favorite kind of music. Even if there isn’t one great name to classify it, that’s OK, it’s part of its appeal. This second Spotify playlist highlights exciting genre-bending grooves from the last several years.
Then, listen to the Macrotones, a fun Boston band blending Afro-Beat, Funk, and lots of horny horns & propulsive percussion. Check them out if you get to Boston.
The Monophonics & the great Karl Denson team up for a real nice funky nugget, featuring Karl’s superb sax.
One of my favorite bands, Ikebe Shakedown, comes through with another terrific track from their Stone By Stone album, by far one of the best albums of 2014. And, they followed that awesome album up with 2017’s The Way Home on Colemine Records — one of the best albums of 2017.
My favorite Reggae producer, Prince Fatty, teamed up with Nostalgia 77 for some originals and super dope dubs of their older tunes. They make for a particularly “Positive Force” here.
Orlando Julius & The Heliocentrics make it again with one of their best Afro-Jazz-Funk collaborations — “Love Thy Neighbor.”
Jungle Fire made my favorite record of 2014. Their debut album, Tropicoso, is sabrosísimo Latin Funk! Listen to “Los Feligreses” — smoking hot Afro-Latin Funk at its finest.
Then, keep listening to all the funky genre-bending goodness. You’ll be worshiping at the shrine of the multi-cultural musical gods, dancing around, feeling funky, and loving life.
Watch a wild video: Hard Proof live, playing some Ethiopian Jazz Funk inspired music. Austin, TX band, Hard Proof, tightly fuses sounds from sub-Saharan Africa with adventurous Jazz and deep Funk to stimulate your brain & move your feet…
Feel free to get a little weird & wild with this Spotify playlist of
8-Sided Genre Bending Grooves.
Yet another playlist full of too-cool-to-categorize, resistant-to-labeling, marvelous modern music…
Polyrhythmics‘ 2015 record Octagon is outstanding! Octagon is dope, dark, funky, fun, and of course poly-rhythmic. Give it a listen — it’s one of the top 10 best albums of 2015. Then, get the vinyl because it’s a timeless genre-bending record worth keeping in your collection forever.
“War Gin” comes from Hard Proof’s terrific 2017 record, Stinger. It’s a genre-defying jam with an Afrobeat foundation that they’re quick to jump off of. Rip-roaring Rock style guitar soloing reminds you that these guys come from a city famous for phenomenal guitar players — Austin, Texas. The band grooves so hard that hard Rock sounds never overpower the song, and just serve to take the tune to new heights.
There are more guitar & effects on this album. “Jambú,” for example, is a pretty far out monster jam. Guitar player, Patrick Bailey, makes his own guitar pedals that create the psychedelic sounds on Jambú. When you’re listening to the album as some wild sounds follow the percussion storm, and can’t tell for sure what makes that sound…it’s Bailey’s creative use of guitar effects.
My favorite album of 2016, Out On The Coast, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble’s follow up to their self-titled debut (one of the best albums of 2015) does what I believe music should do — it makes you feel great when you listen to it. In this Spotify playlist, dig “Face 1” — a rousing number with a breathtaking interplay between organ, guitar, horns, and drums. It will make the Jazz cats and jamband dudes both happy.
You’ll also hear others from 2015’s best albums list — Bixiga 70, Dexter Story, and Caboose.
Then we finish it off the playlist with some wild-ass Afro-Funk flavors, and other spicy blends.
Get used to getting turned on to all kinds of funky modern hybrids of various genres of dope music from around the world here at the Funkish blog. I highlight many of the current leaders — artists pushing the envelope to get out amazing music that’s just too cool to categorize.
You’ll hear from artists like Quantic, Ikebe Shakedown, Polyrhythmics, The Funk Ark, The Brownout, The Budos Band, Karl Denson, Monophonics, The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, Bixiga 70, Orgone, Jungle Fire, and lots more.
The Funk will set you free…
Watch this trippy video for Eric Krasno’s 2016 song, “Curse Lifter” (featuring Derek Trucks). This is my favorite song from the record, and now this phenomenal video makes it even better…