Saturday 2 May 2015


Here's a lovely rich and crunchy gravel-zest slice of future funk from a producer called Lancaster. What do you need to know? His real name is Luis Rodriguez and he is from Philadelphia and from the looks of things he was born in 1996, making him like 18 or 19. As many other talented purveyors of future funk are, he is an associate of KEATS//COLLECTIVE – spiritual home to other creators of modern funk/disco/soul classics, including Skylar Spence (fka Saint Pepsi), Harrison, and Rollergirl, to name just a few on their long and illustrious roster.

Looking at the lists of artists included in their compilations sometimes it's like… Pokémon, or something equally collectible. Each of the numerous artists exists in this stylistic, aesthetic-led, nostalgia-breathing space, yet they're all different people, with their own individual styles and flairs. Let's get going on the Future Funk Trading Card series – that would be suuuper fun!

Anyway, here we are with Lancaster (a fine name) and his track 'Sunset Dance'. It begins with a sample of some sort of interview with… some punk people (forgive me for not knowing), something which pops up throughout the track; they talk about being individual, and not wanting to wear Lacoste clothes, and how punk is "overwhelmingly loud". An interesting thing: the interviewer notes that in being different to everybody else, punks end up looking the same. More on this in a second~

This song is thick with funk, a multicoloured miasmia of music that samples a lo-low pitch-shifted version of '80s group Manhatten Transfer song 'Spice of Life' , distorted and overdriven, with classy-breezy horns added along with semi-brutal ricocheting drums – it's even tagged "oversaturated".

Now, this could be a reference to the actual music itself, or something else: if you take the snippets of punk interview present here and equate them with future funk, this track could be taken as a message about the current online music scene being oversaturated. Maybe. Rodriguez also says in the SoundCloud description, "this song means a lot to me." On the other hand, the insertion of this punk interview could just be ascribing to a punk aesthetic, a rebellious spirit, alive in the sample-heavy music of future funk; this kind of attitude, just because it's not distorted guitars and gobbing on people, can thrive in any new music form. For me, chopping up old songs and making new jams outta them, well, I love it, and I definitely think there's something punk about it: nobody's asking permission here, it's about producers using raw materials (samples, sounds, effects) in any way they want in order to portray a fantasy, an idealised throwback to the past, a netting of old music bent to the will of the producer and moulded in whichever way they want: it's freedom.

Another note in the SC description simply says "press play pt 2," which – judging from the title of his 2013 Bandcamp release Press Play, could be heralding a brand new album from Lancaster. Hooray! (maybe)

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