Pet Scenes: Let’s Get Funked Up

Which is the worst Funk sub-genre? Cod-funk? Jazz-funk? Funk-hop?

FAIR WARNING: clicking on any of the above links might cause confusion, headaches or, in the case of the Jamiroquai one, suicidal thoughts.

Very few musical styles lend themselves so readily to woeful niche spin-offs as funk. None of this worried Pet Scenes, of course, who have happily named their new EP Funk, possibly in an attempt to muddy the waters a little further.

Of course, there is not a whiff of real funk in their music whatsoever. Indeed, their scuzz-heavy spazz-rock is so comprehensively, aggressively widescreen that there is just no room for either slap-bass solos or sax grooves.

I suppose there’s a possibility that Purple Old might benefit from some deep basslines and a wacka-wacka guitar rhythm, but such fanciful thoughts will last as long as the song’s first thrashed-out, crunchy chords take to unpack themselves.

Angular is an overused word, but this kind of ruggedly ragged rock is exactly that. Pointy.


>Today’s New Band – Hinariku216

>Of all the types of music in the world, the one that makes me want to rush outside and jump in front of a bus is Funky House. If you haven’t ever heard of Funky House, you’re a liar. If you’ve ever been in a knowingly cool shoe shop or walked past a soft-top Audi TT driven by the owner of a knowingly cool shoe shop or been put on hold when you call a knowingly cool shoe shop, you’ve heard Funky House.

It’s dance music that’s so middle-of-the-road, so bland and so inoffensive, that it actually travels full circle, straight back into the category marked ‘Über-offensive’, and is guaranteed to sap your will to live. If you had synesthesia, if you heard some Funky House, you would visualise nothing but a flat, infinite wall of greyness.

Today’s new band is Hinariku216 and seems to bridge that gap between quirkily interesting electronic music and Funky House – a gap which probably never wanted to be bridged. I stumbled across his MySpace page – and almost instantly moved on, but something made me stay and listen. His music veers between mid 90’s French dance, weirdnik squelching and vocodering, and the Devil’s choice, Funky House. It was strangely compelling, a bit like when you just have to poke a dead animal with a stick to see if maggots come out.

N.B. – A friend of mine is travelling around Australasia at the moment. In a few weeks he’ll be visiting Tokyo. When he told me this, I dipped my toes into the icy waters of casual xenophobia, and jokily asked him to bring me back the usual stuff – worryingly bizarre manga porn, photos of Engrish, things like that. I didn’t ask for any music, though. Perhaps that would have been a better idea, and less insulting to an entire race.