Funkagenda’s outspoken Funk Farm imprint is back this month with a long overdue injection of progressive house talent. Last found flaunting the sound of London’s underground club scene, British breakout-turned-Ministry-of-Sound-resident Nathan C takes the reigns of the label’s latest compilation, nodding to the spirit of Ibizan club land whilst testing the waters of one of the industry’s most falsely labeled sub-genres to date.
British heavyweight turned Ultraviolet label head Paul Thomas kicks off the label collective with considerable force, uniting with Israeli duo Weekend Heroes to unveil the synth heavy styling of “Kimura” and formally set in motion Funk Farm’s apt re-imagining of the peak time experience. Whilst Nathan C’s own original offering “Armageddon” taps into the firm yet melodic principles that have reigned throughout Funk Farm’s dotted discography, British peers and Maquina Music forbearers Threesixty & Dirty Harris offer two tracks to the compilation’s progressive artillery, using the juxtaposition between the euphoric “Geist” and darker offering “Nerve” to showcase the sheer extent in sound still available to this often understated genre. It is Max Freegrant’s “Learning To Fly” that marks a definitive climax in the compilation’s original material. An epic closing nod to the heyday of Balearic clubbing and the outspoken euphoria that once formed commonplace throughout its hallowed nightspots, the track rounds off one of the more definitive examples of Funk Farm’s sparing yet quality ear for purebred progressive offerings.
With almost two years away from the compilation format, Nathan C’s accompanying mix was always to be sure fire asset to Funk Farm’s Ibiza Sessions installment. This masterful streak of programming offers a modern epiphany to what remains one of the more compositionally unique sub-genres to be so carelessly disregarded within the modern market. Never rushing and increasingly testing of the barriers between various underground spoils, the rhythmic digressions and constant plugging of sounds from across the musical spectrum makes for an engaging body of music from start to finish that at no point feels like a cramming exercise for the compilations exclusive material. Climaxing with select cuts from Save The Robot, Sydney Blu & Damaged Goods, Nathan’s Ibizan tribute opts for fluid maneuvers over mindless chart favorites to seal a seamless journey into the unlimited dimensions of his craft.
Whilst the keyboard warriors of this world continue to set the world to rights over the genre’s coinage, Nathan and this like-minded imprint lead with affirmative aural action over the mindless industry rambling to assert that for all the muddied waters surrounding the genre, Funk Farm looks like the force ready to reclaim the spirit of progressive house indefinitely.
Join Toolroom this October as they make history with the BIGGEST Toolroom Knights party to-date... a spectacular show with world class DJs to celebrate our 5th birthday!!
Since its launch in 2006, Toolroom Knights has always been focused on the music, a party founded on impeccable talent from guests and residents alike. They've spent half a decade packing out dance floors, arenas and festival stages the world over, from Space Ibiza to Pacha New York, Space Miami to SW4, Global Gathering to Ministry of Sound London, the list is endless. Yet the ethos still remains to put on the best party possible, a night you will remember forever.
And that's EXACTLY what’s planned for this milestone celebration. On Saturday 1st October at the capital’s most iconic venue, the legendary O2 Academy Brixton, 4500 clubbers will ensure that TK5 is one of the biggest house events of the year. With a vision of what the 5th birthday should represent, we will be levelling the academy dance floor with Toolroom fitting their very own sound system, whilst Mark Knight has handpicked a line-up that's well and truly going to blow the roof off.
As one of the most forward-thinking, in-demand, creative forces in global music, very special guest Fedde Le Grand arrives at Brixton Academy off the back of a huge residency at Space Ibiza and insanely busy summer schedule. He is joined by one of house music’s hottest properties right now Funkagenda, Ministry of Sound global resident DJ Michael Woods and Toolroom’s very own exclusive recording artist, D.Ramirez. With Toolroom Knights 5th Birthday showcasing four rooms of world class talent watch out for further lineup additions announced soon.
Tickets to Toolroom Knight’s 5th Birthday are on sale now priced just £20, a saving of £5 on the standard ticket price. With these expect to fly out in record time make sure you purchase yours today to take advantage of this exclusive offer!
"It's hard to believe we've reached five years already. From our humble beginnings in the back room at Ministry of Sound, to hosting this legendary venue, it's been an amazing journey, one we couldn't have done without the loyal support of you guys. This will be THE highlight gig of the year for me and a reflection of exactly what Toolroom Knights is about with an all star line-up that totally encompasses the sound of the label. Join us on the 1st October to celebrate!" Mark Knight
"I'm extremely excited to be joining the Toolroom crew on their 5th Birthday at Brixton. The venue is legendary and the lineup is huge so all you need for an epic night." Fedde Le Grand
Toolroom Knights: The 5th Birthday at O2 Brixton Academy
Lock N Load Events & Ministry of Sound present Toolroom Knights: The 5th Birthday
Date: 1st October 2011
Location: O2 Academy Brixton London
Time: 10pm - 6am
Lineup so far...
Mark Knight Fedde Le Grand Funkagenda Michael Woods D.Ramirez Umek Riley & Durrant Mark Storie Pete Griffiths George Andrews
UK house and tech-house producer Funkagenda has caused some stir in the dance music world this week, by launching an array of complaints in defence of a certain French superstar DJ.
"Just doing a little post after a convo I had on twitter with an EDM fan. He claimed that a certain French DJ had "sold out" and "bastardised" dance music. On the surface you might think he had a point, but you have to look a little bit deeper to realise what utter poppycock that is. True, the un-named Parisian artist in question now makes what is closer to pop music than house music. But is it selling out? Of course not. And I know this to be true because of the following:
I could play my favorite seminal Sasha set, recorded at Privilage in 2002, to one of these new wave of 'dance music' fans and they would look at me like I was just playing them brown noise. "Where's the vocals?". "How do you dance to it?".
But play one of monsieur's tracks to them + they will bounce around the room like a spastic woodpecker on Adderall.
See, the thing is, this person would have NEVER liked the set that I played him/her, because they just aren't wired that way. They want to hear simple riffs, hooky repetitive vocals and commands telling them to "Throw Their Hands Up" or "Rock The Party". Does that sound like a Sasha and Digweed fan to you? No, me either.
So then ask yourself this question: Would I have gone to a club to listen to pop music before HE started making it? The answer In my case is a resounding no (unless I was VERY drunk and thought I had a chance with some college girl possibly).
So my conclusion is thus:
I don't like pop music. I would rather listen to the wealth of more 'intelligent' dance acts out there...
Pop fans DO like this particular person's music but will probably NOT be attending gigs or buying music of the aforementioned more 'intelligent' dance acts...
Hmmm... So... What exactly has changed? NOTHING, that's what. He will continue to delight pop fans worldwide, and on rare occasions, will be a helpful gateway for newcomers to the EDM scene who might wanna do more than scratch the surface. However the more highbrow listeners out there will NOT be listening to him + will instead be prattling on about how things were better in the 90s, how everything is commercialised these days and generally dishing out vehemence about anything that anyone else likes..
Sounds like the same old EDM scene to me so you can all relax. Mr Guetta did NOT kill dance music...
Dammit... I was doing him anonymously wasn't I? Oh poo."
House / Electronic - Riva Starr And Funkagenda - Essential Mix30 April 2011
Funkagenda – Splinter [Funk Farm]
Da Fresh – Limoncello [Funk Farm]
Funkagenda – Budgie [Toolroom Records]
Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better (Tool) [CDR]
Funkagenda – Pebbles [Funk Farm]
Save the Robot – Party People [Funk Farm]
Missy Elliott – Lose Control (Accapella) [Atlantic]
Spektre – Together (Tomcraft Remix) [Craft Music]
Moby – Natural Blues (Sultan and Ned Bootleg) [CDR]
Funkagenda – The Beta Set [Toolroom Records]
Threesixty and Dirty Harris – Louka [Funk Farm]
Mark Knight and Funkagenda – Man With The Red Face [Toolroom Records]
Marco V – Reaver (Save The Robot Remix) [TAO Recordings]
Justice vs. Simian – We Are Your Friends (Accapella [International Deejay Gigolo]
Nero – Me and You (Funkagenda’s Us and Them Bootleg) [CDR]
Deadmau5 and Chris Lake – I Said (Michael Woods Remix) [Mau5trap]
Calvin Harris – Flashback (Tool) [Sony Music Entertainment]
Michael Cassette – Memories (90s Piano Mix) [Anjunabeats]
RIVA STARR 3 DEX and FX MIX
Frivolous – Ostalgia (Riva Starr Re-Touch) [Cadenza]
Cajmere – Brighterdays (John Made Remix) [Snatch!]
Adam Port – The American Dream [Snatch!]
John Made – Play [Snatch!]
Prince Club – Body Holly [Snatch!]
Sean Miller and Daniel Dubb – Sinnerman [Toolroom]
Pirupa and Federico Milani – La Noche [Snatch!]
Gabriel Rocha – Cars and Girls [Toolroom]
Mihalis Safras – Unknown [White Label]
Steve Rachmad pres Ignacio – Virton Upgraded [Music Man Records]
Santos and Alex Dolby – Avionic [Rockets and Ponies]
Unknown – In My House [White Label]
House / Progressive House - Funkagenda – February 2011 Chart – 01 March 2011
01. Da Fresh – Limoncello (Original Mix)
02. Cirez D – Full Stop (Original Mix)
03. Jordy Lishious – Radiator (Funkagenda & Jordy Lishious Re-Edit)
04. Olivier Giacomotto & John Acquaviva – While My Wiki Gently Leaks (Original Mix)
05. Manuel De La Mare & Marshall – Tam Tam (Original Mix)
06. Nero – Me & You (Original Mix)
07. Da Fresh – Pampushka (Original Mix)
08. Funkagenda, Sultan & Ned Shepard – Past Dreaming (Original Club Mix)
09. Steve Angello & Alex Metric – Open Your Eyes (Original Mix)
10. Paul Thomas – La Bombo (Funkagenda Remix)
Following a year that included no less than a Grammy nomination, an award for the best tech-house track on Beatport for ‘Good Times’ and smashing the biggest dance floors to pieces with his unique DJ sets, Funkagenda returns to Toolroom Trax for 2011 with another huge EP: ‘Budgie / The Beta Set’.
Since the back-end of last year, ‘Budgie’ has been a secret weapon in both Funkagenda and Mark Knight’s sets with countless emails and tweets requesting to know when and where this track is released, so here it is… A brutal, bass heavy beast of a tune that will be a weapon of mass dance floor destruction in your sets! Second track ‘The Beta Set’ is another monstrous track with chunky beats and a shuddering bass line making for a guaranteed sound system annihilator.
If you need something to blitz the dance floor with this weekend then Funkagenda’s latest Toolroom EP is all the ammunition you need.
Hello from a pretty wintry London town - how is the weather over in LA?
Well is a tad on the chilly side but the sun is out...it's not quite pool party weather yet though!
So what are the reasons for your escapade to the US, are you recording or just taking a well deserved break?
Well I am on tour, but I just got a place over here so I'm doing a lot of mundane tasks like buying lamps, plates, cutlery etc...’m also trying to find my mailbox. 2 days so far and I still haven’t come close. Yesterday I went through a door behind the security desk and ended up in Narnia...that Mr Tumnus is a knob...
So, Funk Farm is launching on Saturday 5th February, can you give us a quick spiel of everything and anything we need to know about the event?
Well it's a chance for me to give your clubbers a snapshot of what my label is about. Ever since I set it up my main goal has been pretty simple: to give people access to the awesome artists + tracks that I get asked about in my sets. For this first party I have my very good friend Paul Thomas playing; we've been mates for a really long time now and as soon as I started up the label I asked him to do me a track. La Bombo was a smash so it seemed perfect that he should be the first of the Funk Farm players to hit the decks.
What was the reason behind the choices of support artists?
Well we wanted to make a big statement with our first night but we didn’t want to just go for the same old “house” artists. Myself and Paul Thomas remixed Basement Jaxx’s “Raindrops” single together and the boys really liked it. I met up with them in Ibiza last summer at We Love... and we hit it off really well, so we asked them to join us!
A silent witness has you seen you representing in a pair of silver kicks with wings, are you a bit of a trainer collector?
I am yes...and amateur designer too! In fact we are gonna give away a pair of Mi Adidas that I designed. I posted them on my Twitter and everyone loved them. I thought that was pretty cool. But yeah I've got over 100 pairs of kicks now...I just moved 15 pairs to LA!
Aside from your shoe hobby, what else do you do in your spare time?
What spare time??? Haha seriously I think about music 24/7. I watch TV shows occasionally on flights but I mainly just make music, sound patches, samples, learn about all the plugins I have...I am a full-on nerd.
Can you give us an insight into your life? What is a normal day for Funkagenda?
Get up, grab coffee, go to an airport, fly somewhere, grab coffee, go to a hotel, make music, disco nap, play, pack, nap, go to airport, grab coffee, repeat until the whole world are my underlings....
It seems that artists are increasingly now hosting their own nights rather than just turning up and playing. Where did the concept of Funk Farm come from?
Well for me it's more about making a buzz for my artists. My label is a very selfless project to be honest. It's all about pushing the guys who produce music that I love. Labels don’t make a lot of money these days so I just want to make sure that the guys get the most out of being on Funk Farm!
Well...why NOT chickens?
Do you plan to take over with Funk Farm world domination? What are the plans for the near future?
Right now I just want to cement the label’s sound. I am taking on board a lot of what I have learned from my associations with guys like Toolroom. My main concern is good music. THEN we can look at world domination. Softly softly catchy monkey...
With the amount of daily tweets that you send we're surprised you aren’t suffering repetitive strain injury! Is this an addiction or just you giving something back to your fans?
To be honest Twitter just slipped into my life so easily. I am a pretty opinionated person. When I see something that amuses/angers/interests/disinterests (delete as applicable) me I like to tell people about it. Normally I would phone my best mat up and bore him with it, but now I have a stage to bore the whole world with it... seems a lot of people are up for being bored by me. I get a lot of flack sometimes for saying things that people reckon is “not PC” or whatever but I’m honest in what I say. The person you see on Twitter is the person I am. If you don’t like it then you know where the unfollow button is...
Is there anyone that you secretly check up on religiously via Twitter?
There are a lot of people I follow but I keep it to a minimum. A few of my favourites are @cuntoftheday, @antonvowl, @simonpegg, @TFLN...
Lastly, you’ve played at the club plenty of times before and you know what to expect so tell us what is so fucking great about it that you want to come back?
Well, Ministry of Sound is a legendary club. There has been so much history made behind those decks...it's an honour to play there!
After the clubland smash that was 'Man With The Red Face', dancefloor Dons Mark Knight & Funkagenda continued the story with 'Good Times', a twisted dancefloor anthem, former Beatport #1, which was smashed from Miami to Moscow this summer. But the story didn't end there. Up steps international globetrotting DJ Seamus Haji with his unique interpretation on the Chic classic, a feel good sonic bomb just in time for the festive season. A heavyweight package from a heavyweight team on the hot new label Missspelt Music. Look out for more from this label throughout 2010!