These are trying times indeed. That's why I made the Lockdown Liberation Mix, which is a big phat dose of soul-soothing funky goodness for everyone languishing in lockdown.
Listen via mixcloud or wherever you get your podcasts.
James Mason - Free
Rachel Claudio - Freedom
Mood II Swing - It's Gonna Work Out
Uptown Funk Empire - You've got to have Freedom (Patchworks Rmx)
Earth, Wind & Fire - Freedom of Choice
Incognito - Freedom To Love
Jermaine Jackson - Feeling Free
René & Angela - Free And Easy
Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom
Ashford & Simpson - Stay Free
Soul II Soul - Back To Life
George Michael - Freedom! '90
Commodores - Free
Slave - Life Can Be Happy
Upon reflection, it's fair to say the last decade's been a great one for funky and soulful music, so I put together a Spotify playlist of my favourites from the 2010s. The decade saw new material from Jamiroquai, Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as a few albums from (the ever-prolific!) Incognito. But aside from these stalwarts, there were plenty of other producers of funky stuff (which is why the playlist is over 2 and a half hours long!).
Artists like Sam Sparro whose brilliantly bass-tastic and gospel-esque track 'Happiness', which was released in 2012 and went to No. 1 in Belgium, is one of my very favourites from the decade. In fact, I liked it so much that I even made my own extended version of it, which I might put into a future mix (the original mix featured in Mix 107). Other funky cuts from the 2010s worthy of noting include Steve Arrington's 'Nobody Else But You' (Opolopo remix), 'Got To Go' by The Boulevards, 'Infectious' by Charlie Wilson and Tom Misch's 'South of the River' (with THAT funky strings lick, which is just impossible not to whistle along to).
The 2010s was also the decade of two massive hit songs, which sparked a revival of funky bass grooves and guitar licks in pop music. I'm referring, of course, to Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' featuring Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams and Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Funk' featuring Bruno Mars. The former leading to a (richly deserved) second-coming for disco legend Nile Rodgers and Chic whose popularity reached such heights that they played in front of 100,000 people at Glastonbury in 2017 - and are now touring more than ever. Such was the strength of the 2010s funk revival that even Coldplay had a couple of tracks on their 2015 album that had a definite funky vibe to them. Finally, disco avenged its death at the hands of rock some forty years ago. Now they're even.
So, here they are, my top picks from the 2010s. Press play and enjoy some great funky and soulful grooves. If the embedded player below isn't working, then click here to listen.