What We Talk About When We Talk About Funk

February 13, 2013 · Print This Article

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This month’s On Moves YouTube Round-Up is about FUNK.  There’s no Funkadelic or Parliament because this isn’t about painting a portrait, it’s about juicing a feeling.  It’s not about a history lesson, what’s essential, or what’s relevant, accurate, etc. etc.  This is my own public research into the nature of Funk and you’re just along for the ride.  Is this an overshare studio diary kind of thing?  Some West-Coast feelings-meditation-slime-spill?  Probably.

Within the last few weeks, any number of people with the misfortune to be saved in the address book of my bargain bin cell phone have received brief text messages about Funk.  These messages are a sentence or less, a word, an idea, never an image because my phone can’t do that.  These Funk-waves from the void are research, like I said.  Rather than take notes in my sketchbook, I’m taking notes in our telecomfriendship.

Am I trying to find out what Funk really “IS” beyond just a genre of music?  Not really, I’m secure in my relationship to the Funk but I think I’m playing with it now, using it as a raw material, a building block towards something.  Where it comes from or who does it best and truest are irrelevant for my purposes and I believe for the purposes of intentional Funking everywhere.  It’s a conundrum.  As Bootsy says in “The Pinocchio Theory:” “If you fake the funk, your nose will grow.”  But Bootsy, if you won’t tell me what it is how do I know if I’m faking it?

Oh, well, if you say so.  Let’s look at some more examples of technique from Bernard Purdie and Buddy Hankerson (Slave, Aurra, Young & Co, etc.).

 

 

 

Uh-huh and now let’s look at this stuff in action, chronologic-ish.

 

I’ll be expecting your report.

xo
sd

One Response to “What We Talk About When We Talk About Funk”

  1. [...] Jeffrey Songco interviewed performance artist Renne Rhodesabout her background in dance (among other things) during which they discuss Rudolph Laban’s “Labnotation” — as a means to score dance moves — an image of which you’ll see above. As I have been thinking a lot about transcription lately, and since so many of this week posts focused on the transmission of knowledge or experience, this seemed like a particularly lovely moment. The image of those static, abstract footprints(?) have been in my head every since. That they would somehow convey movement in time and space is beyond me. Sam Davis follows suit with a suite of videos that try to articulate what FUNK really is — namely … [...]

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