Monday, 31 October 2016

MUSIC REVIEW - Party Time - Father Funk

Max Golfar

Max Golfar reviews Father Funk's latest EP.

Father Funk has recently released his new 5 track EP ‘Party Time’ on Scour Records, and it lives up to expectations. When you hear one of these tracks, you’ll definitely know that it is time to get down.

With funky riffs and wobbly basslines throughout, you can instantly hear the Father Funk touch. It’s upbeat, happy and easily danceable music. I remember watching a Deekline interview and him saying that breakbeat isn’t dead; Father Funk is certainly proving that with his signature Ghetto Funk Breakbeat sound.

The first track on the EP is ‘Party Time’, it starts with a very uplifting build-up and kicks off the album with a different style of bassline to traditional Father Funk tracks. This one keeps you on your toes with plenty of variation throughout.

Next up is ‘L-I-V-I-N’, which for me is the standout track. Really strong start to the song, keeps you waiting for the drop and builds up really smoothly. The horns in the main chorus go perfectly with the bassline and neither one overshadows the other. The lyric sampling is non-overbearing and easy to sing along with. This track is a definite crowd pleaser.

Thirdly, ‘Block Party’, starts off with a strong traditional breakbeat that instantly grabs your attention and gets you moving. Soulful overtones throughout and a subtle guitar in the background which adds interesting layers to the song. A proper house party tune.

The fourth track ‘Rock The House’ starts off with a simple drum pattern, into another soulful breakdown. Wibbly wobbly galore and fun hype-man samples throughout. I feel like I’m at an American college party listening to this one.

‘Soul City’ is the closer to this EP, beginning with a groovy bass guitar and wicked piano riff. (Who doesn’t like a good piano riff?) I get some Miami Vice vibes going on this one too. Vocals throughout most of this track, and less of a focus on the wobbly sounds Father Funk usually centres on. A cool contrast from the rest of the tracks.

Read Max's Interview with Father Funk

A typical reaction to Party Time by Father Funk
All of the songs contain recognisable samples which keeps the tracks lighthearted. I find that too often, a lot of breakbeat has these hard basslines which can be a bit off-putting to the average listener. Contrastingly, Party Time manages to create basslines which aren’t too heavy, but still are powerful enough to give you a severe case of Bass Face.

For the DJ’s, the tracks are easy to mix and go nicely in many different kinds of sets. Whether you want to add more Wobbly goodness to your next Ghetto Funk set or throw in the occasional heavier tune in your soul or disco set, these will keep your dancefloor full!

Party Time on Juno:

Father Funk’s Soundcloud:

Party Time Minimix:

Father Funk’s Facebook:

The High Priest of Funk

Max Golfar

Max Golfar spoke to Will Williamson aka Father Funk, about his various musical ventures, including his new project Tuxedo Junction.

Father Funk at the Altar

Firstly, congratulations on releasing your new EP, was it difficult to make and how long did it take you?

Thank you! It's been a long time coming actually, most of my stuff I write really quickly but some of the tracks on this I started maybe as long as 3 years ago. Realistically though it came together in a few months earlier this year. I wouldn't say it was difficult to produce cause I love making music but I certainly tried to push myself to make it some of my best music to date. I've also been making an album and getting the Tuxedo Junction thing started so I think what's really been difficult is working on all these different projects at once!


What got you into the Ghetto Funk sound?

Really if I was going to credit one person it would be Tyler (Stickybuds). Someone played me one of his Shambhala Fractal Forest mixes a few years ago and instantly I was like "this is what I'm gonna do". Hearing him incorporate all my favourite styles of music into a seamless, fun and funky DJ set really inspired me to do the same, I've always been really into cross genre stuff and always made all sorts of music, so the Father Funk thing is kind of me combining all of my influences and production styles into one project. As you can imagine playing the Fractal Forest this summer was a bit of a dream come true, was pretty crazy playing the same stage that inspired me to start Father Funk in the first place. 

What would you say is the best programme for making those funky basslines you're known for?

I use mostly Massive and Serum but I'm gonna be a massive hippie and say your mind! Ultimately it doesn't matter what you use to make music, what matters is the outcome, and nothing beats a good idea. Also the most important part is the notes, not the sound, especially with funk. Too many people get caught up in making a crazy bass sound when they should be writing a dope bass line. Sometimes the simple stuff is what works best too. I remember someone asking me how I made the bass in my "Fuck Shit Stack" remix, I was like - dude, it's pretty much just a saw wave and a filter haha.

Which artists inspire you?

That's a tough one to answer. So many. But I think what I am most inspired by is my friends and my peers, people like WBBL, Slynk, Asa, Koan Sound, Featurecast... Seeing my friends killing it makes me super happy and inspires me to push myself too. Also I think I appreciate music on a much deeper level when I know who made it. Besides that though artists that have really inspired my music recently are Swindle, FKJ, Vulfpeck, Exmag, GRiZ, Document One, Haywyre, Skope... I could go on but I think I've waffled enough so far ;)

You've started a new duo with Bear Twists, could you tell us a bit about that.

Yeah Tuxedo Junction! My latest project, I have a lot of them now haha. Basically me and Angus (Bear Twists) got super into jazz recently, I've always loved it but we've started digging for it a bit more and we were like "why is no electro swing any where near as good as the music it samples?". A lot of it is just one little loop from a classic swing tune made into a house track... There's also so much amazing jazz out there, yet no one digs that deep for samples. Tuxedo Junction is us bringing jazz to the 21st century and doing with it what I'd hoped Electro Swing would have done. I wouldn't even call it Electro Swing as the whole point of it is that we're doing what no one else is doing.

You run your own night, The Church of Love, what's it all about and how did it get started?

Oh man the Church of Love... Another one of my new projects! Damn it's a good time. I think it might have been Aidan from Tremor Soundsystem’s idea, basically it's both of us that do the Church of Love, I've been working with Tremor for a few years now so this is us finally doing a regular thing together. I could easily play in Bristol all the time but as I can pull a big enough crowd to put on my own shows here now I'd rather do that - do a few a year, make them really special and get all my awesome friends to play. It's such an amazing vibe every time and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that everyone I book and everyone involved are bloody lovely people who love each other to bits. So many smiles!

What is next for Father Funk?

Well the next thing I hope to release is my debut album! Very exciting! It's completely different to anything I've done before (man I sound like a cliché here haha) - fully original, no samples, lots of my guitar playing and a few features from friends playing saxophone, singing etc. I'm really excited to finally get it out there as I've had it pretty much finished for a long time I've just got to make a few final changes and work out how I'm gonna release it. Hopefully it comes out by the end of the year as I'm a bit sick of hearing it already haha. Also got my Shambhala mix coming out soon which I'm SUPER excited about, never thought I'd be uploading my own Fractal Forest mix but there ya go! Oh and we've got another Church of Love coming up next month, November 12th, with Too Many T's! Busy busy...