We’re pleased to have teamed up with the fantastic writers over at music website The 405. With a shared passion for discovering new music, they’ll be making the most of the Last.fm Hype Chart by doing a weekly exploration of the latest rising artists, based on the scrobbles of Last.fm music lovers. So without further ado, it’s over to The 405′s Larry Day:
We love finding new music at The 405. It’s pretty much the main thing that gets us out of bed in the morning (that and breakfast). However, sometimes it’s a bit of a slog to trawl through the Internet’s vast offerings – if only there was an easier way. That’s where Last.fm comes in. They’ve got some brilliant, intuitive Hype Charts, allowing you to search by genre or region (or both) for the sounds making waves at any given moment. Here’s some of the treasures we found from those charts. This week in our trend-hunt, we scrutinised the hottest funk in Russia. Y’know, to commemorate this wonderfully camp rendition of ‘Get Lucky’.
The Funk Hype Chart in Russia
Ukrainian funk-rock outfit Green Grey are attempting to resuscitate the corpse of nu-metal lately, spouting a genre titled ‘dubcore’. Guess what that’s a fusion of? In the past, the Russian-speaking group propelled a kind of funk-infusion pop-rock, and have succeeded at becoming one of the most prolific groups in the region. There’s DJ scratches, hip-hop cussin’, funk organs, ’60s rock guitars and shuffly ’70s beats… if mid-’90s Red Hot Chili Peppers are your thing, chances are Green Grey will find a special place in your heart.
Classic ’70s electro-funk/jazz experimenteurs Pleasure – hailing from Portland, Oregon – have had a strong showing in Russia lately, especially their track ‘Joyous’. Best known for ‘Glide’, they’re relics of a time when disco didn’t suck and Nile Rodgers ruled the roost. It’s traditional, shoulder-popping, dancefloor scooting, flared-trouser funk build for nothing but boogie-ing late into the night. Also, who can resist a bit of slap-bass?
FKJ – French Kiwi Juice – is an indie-funk/downtempo-disco producer, who wouldn’t sound out of place on late night quiet storm stations of France’s Ed Banger dance institution. It’s sultry funk, poised for bedroom grooves and hip-oriented gyrations. It’s not promiscuous though, it’s a sensual, elegant funk sound – this is the kind of funk you’d take to meet your parents, not just hook up with for a few weeks and stop calling.
The Child of Lov (pictured)
The Child Of Lov, AKA Cole Williams, AKA Martijn Teerlinck, the Belgian/Dutch funk wunderkind, is getting a deservedly strong showing in Russia at the moment. His eponymous debut record was a fantastic first step – we said that “it’s filled with fragile emotion and chest-pumping pomp, there are moments to boogie and moments to cradle yourself in tears.” – that included collaborations with Damon Albarn, Thundercat and MF DOOM. He was a rare talent that screwed with funk, soul and R&B in the most forward thinking ways, creating a sound on the frontier of the genre that caught everyone’s attention. Sadly, he passed away away in December 2013 at the age of 26.
Two forces join together here – Shawn Lee, veteran producer and composer (who’s worked with Jeff Buckley and on video game OSTs, amongst other numerous projects), as well as the mysterious Clutchy Hopkins, a hip-hop DJ from the ’70s (maybe) whose existence still hasn’t been verified. Rumour has it that Shawn Lee is Clutchy Hopkins. Together (or not), they form a wild funk-noir sound on collaborative records Clutch Of The Tiger and Fascinating Fingers – experimental jazz-funk/instrumental hip-hop LPs with a dark edge. The milieu surrounding this project is rife with suspicion and strange goings on.