Let’s Get Funky

Funky House. The words make you recoil don’t they? They long reminded me of the empty music played in the upmarket George Street watering holes that I so revile. However, London has a long history of pulling amazing music from the unlikeliest of situations, and the Capital’s latest target is Funky House, or just plain old Funky, as it is being called.

The stir first seemed to start a few years a go, when suddenly every grime MC was shouting about The Cure and the Cause, a vocal house track by Irish producers Fish Go Deep. It was billed as one of the tracks of the summer, and I really liked it; I thought it slinky and subtle pop at its best. However, investigations into the scene didn’t turn up too many other tracks I was into, until last year when I got into Apple. His poly-rhythmic, half house and half grime tracks set me hunting again, but the things I heard on Marcus Nasty’s shows at the end of last year still failed to excite.

So, prophecies of a new ‘nuum mutation seemed like they were destined to come to nothing, only some other people were apparently much more far sighted than me. I now can’t stop listening to this stuff. A new wave of producers has moved in, turning out grimey house reductions with skittering Caribbean beats at around 130bpm. The music at the moment seems like it has started moving in loads of different directions, with each producer carving out a little niche for themself. Here’s a little run down of things I’ve been enjoying recently.

Marcus Nasty on Deja Vu Fm

This is a good starting point, he’s definitely on the grimier side of the divide but the set is pretty varied. The MCs on this are good – they know how to ride the house without cluttering it up, and have a rather infectious enthusiasm. “We don’t talk about a knife, we don’t talk about a gun, we’re just here to have fun.”

Smoovie T on Touch Fm

An excellent selection of the more interesting side of Funky from a DJ I’d not heard of before.

Individual producers –


One of the most interesting, his beats are amazing. He’s got another page at this location with slightly weirder stuff on it.


His “Tell me” is a big girly vocal anthem but I love its paranoid vibes.


He used to dj grime, made tunes as Wizzbit and has been involved with Rinse FM from day 1. Now he’s making house, sometimes alongside ZInc, the d n b producer who also invented breaky garage with “138 trek.” Stuff like “Yellow Tail” sounds like a more robust Innervisions.


“In the air” is another pretty good vocal tune, while “Hypnotic” is a wonky minimal influenced thing.

Babyface Jay

“Tribal Zone” is a rolling, weirded out house tune.

Martina Mitchell

I assume that must be the name of the singer on that 12″, I don’t know who the producer is, but I like the schizo nature of the song. A diva doing it differently.

The scene is fairly embryonic at the moment, and admittedly there is a lot of dross out there still, but if you wade through it you can find a few real gems, and it seems like the bigger tunes are the ones hinting at interesting developments. For further reading, I’d suggest checking out Blackdown’s blog, especially this piece, and Tim Finney’s piece on Funky over at Idolator.


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