Friday, 30 July 2010

Funk Assessment

The word funky is often misused these days. In teenage fashion mags it seems to mean something like errmm this looks good and/or cool but we can't think why. Originally, of course, the term funky meant that something smells strange, odd, weird or perhaps unwelcome. But the true meaning of funky is that it is something that makes you feel like UH! Shake dem hips or whatever. We're talking Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, and Wilson Pickett type definitions here, kiddos.
So here at Xorg Intergalactic we are launching an occasional series of 'Funk Assessments' in which we will attempt to explain why a certain piece of music is funky. Relevant contributory factors will include the correct use of a baritone sax, the dropped third bass line, a very tight brass section, a clavinet, Bernard Purdie playing the drums, and so forth.
First up is this item by Tower of Power; 'In The Slot'. It is the bass that provides the focus, and the drums are understated. The brass section is chopping things up. But notice how they have the guitar, the Hammond organ and the clavinet all playing the rhythm part. This is what makes it funky.

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