Funky to me sounds fruity; it’s quick little beats and a little bit of vocal. I go deeper, I spend a lot of time on the production’. Her debut, ‘Narst / Love Dub’ 12"/digital EP is released on Hyperdub records. UK funky is making heavy moves on the underground with its soca infused beats, house tempo, big bassed smooth grooves and that all important hint of dirt. It’s the juxtaposition of light and dark vibes that makes UK funky so absorbingly interesting; when added with the massively danceable beats of course.
Singer and producer Cooly G - hailing from South London, a place where so much UK bass music has been pioneered before - drops her debut 12” for the forward pushing, genre spanners Hyperdub who always seem to uncover exciting musical hybrids. The first track ‘Narst’ comes on like a dirty grime infused dance floor shaker reminiscent of recent instrumentals from Nocturnal fed via old school Chicago house. It kind of sounds like the most gritty of super hero’s theme tunes, but one with a bit of slinky class like the latex clad Cat Woman. The strings build and dub out before big house kicks propel and the other percussion funks it up into a big danceable beast as the chest beating bass throws down on you. The flip which features ‘Love Dub’ and its stepped up refix is definitely the highlight. The intricate soca drum patterns flow, shake, bump and groove in every possible direction and make you want to wind your body in new and emphatically sexy ways.
Cooly G sings snippets in her sweet and slinky way as silky chords get all warm and fuzzy above the bass punches below; its all so spaced out and mellow yet insanely danceable at the same time. This is the undoubtedly the smooth loved up end of UK funky; pure vibes. Labels: bass, cooly g, dubstep, funky, hyperdub, kode 9 - Metafiction Promo Mix SONIC ROUTER .BLLOGSPOTS Comfortably the UK’s only semi-pro footballer and professional DJ/producer (I may be wrong), Cooly G is bringing a deeper flavour to Funky that I for one am welcoming with open ears. Funky - for any of you unaware - takes the broken rhythms of soca and the 4/4 undercurrent of house and plants them both on the solid bassline attitude of dubstep. Artists such as Roska, Apple, Lil Silva and Hard House Banton have provided the high points thus far and there’s even been a bumrushing of the charts via K.I.G’s faintly ridiculous Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes (not to mention the forthcoming Tribal Skank / Migraine Skank debacle - watch this space). All of these have had a strong jump-up or dirty grime feel to them, but Cooly G takes it to a darker place without compromising the infectious dancefloor potential of Funky.
The use of space and more intricate rhythms suggest classic techno but it’s the marrying of this with the insistant beats & bass that makes it truly special. The physical and the mental - yes, I want to have my cake and eat it. Or think about it. Or something. The subtler textural and melodic elements are more in common with producers like Martyn, the Dutch wonder who turned me onto Funky in the first place (with his set at FWD) and turned me onto Cooly G.
Her tune Narst has just been signed to bass tastemaker Kode9’s Hyperdub label and you can hear it on this excerpt from Martyn’s recent set at BLOC festival. Download it here, it’s the first tune. And it’s the shit. Funky - for any of you unaware - takes the broken rhythms of soca and the 4/4 undercurrent of house and plants them both on the solid bassline attitude of dubstep. Artists such as Roska, Apple, Lil Silva and Hard House Banton have provided the high points thus far and there’s even been a bumrushing of the charts via K.I.G’s faintly ridiculous Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes (not to mention the forthcoming Tribal Skank / Migraine Skank debacle - watch this space) All of these have had a strong jump-up or dirty grime feel to them, but Cooly G takes it to a darker place without compromising the infectious dancefloor potential of Funky.
The use of space and more intricate rhythms suggest classic techno but it’s the marrying of this with the insistant beats & bass that makes it truly special. The physical and the mental - yes, I want to have my cake and eat it. Or think about it. Or something. Cooly G takes funky into a whole other deep direction.
The bass is huge and the beats remind me of that really old minimal / stripped back Chicago house but with a mad little London skip, grime and edge to them. Awesome stuff, she is going to be huge on the dance floor this year I reckon. There are big things coming from her in the form of a Hyperdub release as well, you don't get much cooler than that! DUB OrGANIzER Vol.1 is a wicked collection of deep and lilting funky it manages to be sophisticated and sexy sounding yet a little bit raw all at once. First track Dis Boy Pt.
4 has a low slung steel drum and trumpet vibe to it but they don’t sound like your regular drum and horn combo as all her percussion is really deepy, skippy and clicky like its made by machine and filtered through and organic funk grinder. The horns are deep in the mix and filtered low, they give it a nice grimey sound. Little soulful vocal snippets and samples give all these tracks a really nice housey style. On track two Ya Instrumental you can really hear the bass working and the African rhythm’s that are so prevalent in this vibrant funky scene at the moment, this track really reminds me of Township Funk by DJ Majuva but a lot more mellow and spacey. If you don’t know already funky is a dirty London swung house hybrid that kind of echoes past swung and housey scenes that seem to come out of our capital city, you know the ones UK Garage / 2-Step which mutated into Grime / Dubstep.
Funky is another beast though it takes elements of house that has always been a big part of UK club culture and mixes it with the rhythmic flows of Africa. Not unlike house has done in the past, I mean in the early days house from Detroit and Chicago was a lot looser than some of it is now. The strict four to the floor kick patterns kind of took over really. But anyway funky brings the funk back by adding a new variation on swing by joining the dots somewhere between house, grime, dubstep and African style drumming.
It’s kind of a UK version of Kwaito but that’s a whole other kettle of fish for another time… Back to Cooly G, Craze Refix pounds and skips while ghostly vocal snippets usher the track in and melt into an acid line. Acid has always been a big part of house things really kicked off when someone got hold of a 303 and got tweaking. So the Craze Refix follows this tradition and puts a deep and hypnotic twist onto it. What I love about this funky scene is that it’s putting the bass back into house again, it’s something that has been lost a little over time, it’s like the second coming of the bleep and bass manuva of Warp in the early 90’s but with a slight contempory flavour.
The final track on the EP is Floating a mellow little number with some really cool lyrical samples that flow over the soul drenched house patterns. There is something really compelling about Cooly G’s take on funky it strips away everything that I can find a bit annoying about the scene, which is the overly cheesey stuff with dance moves and just down right blatant rip offs of old house. She’s not as dirty and grimey as people like Lil Sillva, Apple and D Malice she has her own deeper style that puts her out on her own at the moment. Cooly is pushing it in her own little direction and it’s very refreshing indeed. I can see her getting picked up far and wide by house and minimal heads as well as funky and dubstep DJ’s. You can buy the DUB OrGANIzER Vol.1 EP direct from her myspace: http://www.myspace.com/coolyg WWW.TWITTER.COM/COOLYG Kode9’s support for the sound has also extended to the artists signed to Hyperdub.
Forthcoming is a 12-inch from Brixton’s Cooly G, who makes funky with an avowed dubstep influence. Her tracks carve out a dub-conscious cavernous space, but her singing is a clear point of departure and marks her music firmly as house. All of this might suggest that we’re inevitably going to see funky ‘go dark’ in the same way that UK garage did, but although many good tracks make use of darker sounds, there are plenty which don’t. The Crazy Cousinz remix of ‘Do You Mind?’ is a case in point, and much of funky’s appeal lies in its willingness to engage with a variety of emotions. It would be of no benefit to the genre if it were to adopt the guise of its predecessors, grime or dubstep, with a slower tempo and a couple of extra snare hits thrown in. It’s important that funky maintains the visceral energy that it’s capable of while not just retreading familiar sonic territory, ideally by finding a balance between the light and the dark. As with any kind of dance music, the best place to experience funky is in a club.
Most nights tend to have a strictly enforced ’shirts and shoes’ policy, but there are now more nights that don’t have any kind of dress code. For those that don’t mind dressing up a bit, it’s worth keeping a look out for Cooly G’s monthly night The Producer’s House at Babalou in Brixton. At times the dance music scene seems to be a male dominated genre, but UK producer Cooly G is a fine representation of females in the game. When it comes to deep house that’s cutting edge and pushing the envelope, her name is one that keeps popping up. Her remix of Zero 7’s “Medicine Man” is a great example of her versatility.
Dark and melodic, the track makes a nice weapon, especially with the urgent drum shuffles. Don’t let this be the only Cooly G song you check out, her back catalog is full of many more dance floor kilers like this one. Zero 7 – Medicine Man (Cooly G Remix) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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