Thoughts On: Funk Music

jamesbrown

So on my holiday break I’ve been finding ways to pass the time, alongside trying to find new topics to write about. And while browsing the net I randomly came across a new track I hadn’t heard before, it sounded really cool, so I looked further into the artist and found this apparent resurgence within the indie scenes with bringing back Funk music, and it made me think, heck lets talk about Funk! So yes, I like Funk. An odd choice of genre for someone that likes history and writing, you’d think I prefer classical orchestral pieces or jazz. Well, I do but Funk is usually something I can always fall back on.

Now personally, I’m not the type to sub-categorize music into thousands of little niches – rock music is rock music regardless of its little Progressive or Acid offshoots. The same is with Funk, you get all the Jazz Funks; Soul Funks and more modern variations like Electronic and French House, but to me it’s more or less Funk; simple labels for simple music for simple minds, as it might appear. One of my favourite things about the genre is its simplicity: short songs composed around a small group of chords and usually based on one catchy melody. With that foundation the energy of the artist and their band begins to pour passion into the written progression of notation, turning it into a track designed to twitch your muscles and tease your brain with dreams of the dance-floor. However, before you start to get cringe worthy images of me ripping it out on the dance-floor, I’d like to mention I never dance. I’ve never liked dancing. I was always that kid at the primary school disco that would skid along the floor in tracksuit pants, or hang out in the corner with mates with sore feet because of all the standing. Yeah I’m boring like that. But that doesn’t stop me enjoying Funk in private, I find the energy of it productive to me: if I’m writing, working or even driving I usually like to put on some funky tunes to keep my spirits up. I find its positive energy output quite interesting, because personally I’ve never really came across a sad funk song. While there’s not one solid reason for this I’m personally thinking it probably had much to do with time Funk became popular: in the 1970s, when the world was going through tough times, a lot of people would most likely want a spirit raiser, and this was an outlet for that.

I think this emotional energy is also one of its most intriguing attributes. I dare any of you to listen to a track like this and not have any reaction from your body, not even a foot-tap. It’s strange how it pulses through your head, forcing a reaction. It also stimulates thought; conjures up scenarios and ideas in your head you wouldn’t normally think of. I want to say something like lust, but that isn’t quite the feeling, I suppose the feeling is more like fun: the cheeky and almost flirtatious joy to get out there and have a good time. I don’t mean in this just a sexual way, but in general, Funk has they way of opening you and loosening you up a bit.

Yeah this was a short and strange post, but I thought I may as well share it. I know that some of you may have similar sentiments to their own preferred genres, as music is a very subjective medium and only specific tunes can impress upon specific people. I thought I’d write about Funk as being one of my main points of stimulus. But for those who have others, please, feel free to comment what types of music work well for you.