UK Funky House or just Funky is another branch of the ever flourishing UK electronic music scene. Deeply rooted in the Grime scene, the genre is also influenced by tribal sounds from Soca, Kuduro and Afrobeat through their rhythms and instruments such as congas and xylophone. Electronic music connections are also naturally coming from UK Garage and House. UKF quickly became one of the most lively branch of British urban music during the late 2000s.
The genre took off during the summer of 2009 but we can trace back the root of the mouvement around 2006. Although this is mainly a british story, some US producers were quite influential such as Karizma and his tune “Twyst This” or Dennis Ferrer commercial success “Hey Hey”.
The former pirate UK radio Rinse FM has been actively promoting the genre and Marcus Nasty’s weekly show was definitely an important catalyst of the UK Funky mouvement. He promoted all the earliest producers such as Fuzzy Logic, Apple, Roska, Champion, DJ Naughty…
At the beginning the genre was mainly instrumental but it didn’t take long before the MCs joined the party. 2009 was clearly the year that saw the rise of them when the contemporary R&B-style vocals had the first hits. Crazy Cousins, Luke Reid and his cousin Errol from south london, are a good example of the transition. They became one of the first major player to make it in the top 40 with the tube “Do You Mind” featuring Kyla and “Bango Jam” featuring Calista. As their videos and releases artwork suggest, they are completely comfortable with the commercial vision of UKF but in the meantime participated to make the genre more accessible to a wider crowd.
This music became so quickly popular on the British islands that mainstream labels such as Ministry of Sound and Rhino (Warner Music Group) starting to do compilations. But during 2011 the genre did not take a permanent seat in the mainstream pop chart or export itself as expected and like the Dubstep successfully did around the same time.
Did the genre moved too quickly in the mainstream game? Now it seems like its development is much slower or even went back to the underground. It might progressively rise up again as the Drum & Bass scene did. Anyway the genre isn’t dead and is still thriving in a quieter way. This music is probably just maturing for a stronger come back. The fresh beats from UK Funky have already influenced Dubstep producers and the whole Bass music scene.
Geeneus – Into The Future
Champion – Lighter
NB Funky – Riddim Box
Marc Ambience – Raindance
D Malice – Gabryelle Refix
Ill Blu – Blu Magic
Geeneus & Zinc Ft Nikki Benoit – Emotions
Ill Blu & Shystie – Pull It
Fuzzy Logic – In The Morning Feat. Egypt
FunkyStepz – For U Feat. Lily McKenzie
Photo: Ill Blu