Tag Archives: Funk

Beyond Italo Disco: The Sounds of Neapolitan Funk

Italo-disco-1244.jpg“Italo disco is not a genre. It’s everything made for the discotheque in 1980s Italy,” says Dario Di Pace via Skype from his home studio, West Hill, outside of Naples. Di Pace, who makes music as Mystic Jungle, is chainsmoking as he speaks. His longtime friend Raffaele Manny Arcella, aka producer and DJ Whodamanny, is beside him. “When you get the people dancing to these Italian records, you get them dancing all night long,” says Arcella, with a bit of self-assured bravado.

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Album of the Day: Harry Mosco, “Peace & Harmony”

After relocating to London in 1973, Nigerian Afro-rock stars The Funkees made the decision to obfuscate their mighty Igbo roots and tip the band’s stylistic scales in a more westerly direction. When the group broke up in 1978, co-founder Harry Mosco reoriented himself as a breezy funker-for-all-seasons on hit singles like “Country Boy” (1978) and “Sugar Cane Baby” (1982).

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Ibibio Sound Machine Radiate Genuine Positivity on “Doko Mien”


Photography by Angela Stephenson

It’s a fraught task to take on, combining and innovating traditions, sounds, and languages belonging to specific regions of the world in order to create a universal piece of art. However, London’s Ibibio Sound Machine (featuring members from Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil, Trinidad, Australia, and elsewhere) have effortlessly done just that over the last few years, drawing upon elements of groove-heavy funk, Afrobeat, American soul, and Ghanaian highlife, and blending those influences with Ibibio folk story and British’s penchant for partying.

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The Funky Reinvention of Jaye P. Morgan

Jaye P Morgan

Jaye P. Morgan was a true celebrity of the postwar era, a jack-of-all-trades entertainer who set up residency in the pop charts during the 1950s with her glitzy big band numbers and swooning ballads. She was a fixture on American TV screens, too, appearing in a string of variety shows and even helming her own twice-weekly showcase, The Jaye P. Morgan Show, on NBC in 1956.

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Ivan Conti’s Free-Thinking Samba Legacy

Ivan Conti

For the past 40 years, Ivan Conti has been at the heart of some of the most progressive samba music coming out of Brazil. Known affectionately as Mamãowhich means papaya in Portuguese—Conti, the drummer for the legendary eclectic trio Azymuth, has already released multiple solo albums (throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s), and collaborated with the producer Madlib (as Jackson Conti). As the backbone of Azymuth, Conti took the traditional—and varied—stylings of Brazilian samba and mixed them with heavy funk and regional folk rhythms. This has become known as samba doido—or, as it translates to English, “crazy samba.” Now that Conti’s in his 70s, you’d expect his musical output to slow down somewhat. But that’s far from the case.

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Swindle’s New LP of U.K. Jazz & Funk Gives Him His “Mainstream Moment”


A decade or so ago Swindle, aka Cameron Palmer, was an up-and-coming South London grime and house producer who had released a solo mixtape and a couple of singles. But even then, his palpable love of vintage jazz and funk, and his way with a wild synth or vocal hook that sears itself into the memory, marked him out clearly as capable of so much more—both creatively and commercially. That he would one day have a “mainstream moment” didn’t just seem likely, but inevitable.

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Album of the Day: Various Artists, “Italo Funk”

Don’t worry Italo-disco fiends, you’re not missing a whole subgenre in your collection of sought-after 12”s. Italo Funk is a new-school gathering of underground heads who helped shape the country’s dance scene from the ’90s onward. Curated by Soul Clap co-founder Eli Goldstein (aka Bamboozle as of late), the compilation doesn’t stick to one record store aisle. It starts with more outré strains of house music, and only gets weirder and wilder from there.

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Album of the Day: Will Sessions & Amp Fiddler ft. Dames Brown, “The One”

Detroit funk band Will Sessions have helped put bounce into the music of a galaxy of Motor City hip-hop stars—from Slum Village to Danny Brown, Guilty Simpson to Eminem. On their new album, The One, the group revel in the sounds of the 1970s and ‘80s that would later inspire a thousand rap producers. Teaming up with producer Joseph “Amp” Fiddler, a former George Clinton lieutenant and a one-time mentor to J Dilla, and vocal trio Dames Brown (LaRae Starr, Athena Johnson, and Teresa Marbury), the squad deploy live and electric drums, retro synths, slap bass lines, Fender Rhodes electric pianos, peppy horn sections, and live strings (among many other toys) to lovingly construct eight songs that heavily nod to the disco-soul of Chic, the spaced-out funk of Parliament-Funkadelic, and the talkbox-doused grooves of Zapp.

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