Even though everyone’s music tastes change over time, one genre has always been among my favorites: funk. Part of what I like so much about funk is its ability to blend in with and fit in easily with many other genres.
My first exposure to funk was when I stumbled across Snarky Puppy’s song “Quartermaster.” Snarky Puppy employs a sound of jazz funk fusion and uses many types of instrumentation to create songs that are often loud and fast but sometimes smooth and rhythmic. In “Quartermaster,” the composer wrote the song so that it sounds like each part is trying to do their own thing, and the result is hectic and sounds pretty cool to me.
I’ve always been a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, but only after I started listening to more and more funk music did I begin to truly appreciate the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. This album is a great example of funk being synthesized with other genres; RHCP’s unique blend of punk, rock, and funk are awesome. The Chili Peppers don’t really sound that funky in some of their more recent stuff, but BSSM has some of the greatest funk rock grooves I’ve ever heard.
Another one of my favorite funk bands is Vulfpeck, a band that takes a more minimalist approach to funk than other bands (like Snarky Puppy). Vulfpeck consists of drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals in a few songs. I really like their bass-heavy grooves coupled with high-pitched vocals, like in the song “1612.”
BadBadNotGood are another band who combine funk with another genre to great effect. Their funky style and collaboration with hip-hop and rap artists like Ghostface Killa and Tyler the Creator. Their music is very experimental and avant-garde, and some may say that is transcends all genres and creates something unique.