Modern Funk Fest (Echo Park Rising Edition)
Multi-instrumentalist and Music Producer Jordan Chini armed with an array of guitars, basses, drum machines, and vintage synths has fused the spirit of lo-fi songwriting and psychedelia with the aesthetics of experimental funk and soul under his brand-new guise “BOY DUDE”. Sculpted using peculiar studio techniques, “Cassette For You” garnished its title, and was ultimately mixed and rendered through a Tascam Portastudio 4 track recorder, granting the album a warm and classic tape compression vibe. As a result, there is a distinct mood and atmosphere to his music, which traverses seamlessly through many eras and styles of music, without any specific destination in mind.
The LP was initially influenced by Jordan digging out some of his Fathers’ (Robert Chini – former Songwriter for Motown Records) recordings from the late 70's, which inspired Chini to begin writing and experimenting in a similar vein. The result was a stunning marriage of vintage moods with modern songwriting sonics, which transformed into the “BOY DUDE” project. Additionally, this LP is a result of Chini reaching a turning point in his own musical development: experimenting with blending his songwriting background with his "funky" side and his increasing love and understanding of vintage synthesizers. Each tune on the LP delves deep into the world of BOY DUDE, which can be fuzzy, emotional, trippy, dreamy, and well, let’s leave the rest up for you to decide…
XL Middleton is a musician from California whose format falls into the funk-laden style the region has long been recognized for. The Pasadena-based artist/producer has been hard at work for years crafting melodic, chord-heavy tunes which have earned him accolades on major websites such as Uproxx, Okay Player and HipHopDX, where a collaboration with Eminem signee Crooked I made the rounds, as well as national print coverage in the Washington Post and major local print coverage in LA Weekly, where his album Tap Water made it to a Best of 2015 list. He has toured internationally in Japan, Canada, and throughout Europe, catering to fans of the funked-out West Coast sound – a fan base which, although not the norm in mainstream music, has been finding its way back to notoriety, with artists like XL at the cusp of what has become known as the modern funk movement.
XL has released volumes of work, the sound of which largely embodies a party feel, bringing music back to where it was before it found its way into upscale clubs, while at the same time mixing it with a futuristic brand of funk inspired by legends such as George Clinton, Roger Troutman, & Cameo, not to mention hip hop funksters like Battlecat & DJ Quik. He evolved from his beginnings as a hip hop artist to a full-fledged modern funk musician, educated by the music he once sampled in the course of creating rap beats. At an XL show, you might find him singing notes through a vocoder, rapping, or shredding solos on a shoulder synth, or "keytar." He operates his own label, MoFunk Records, dedicated to furthering the modern funk sound, as well as a subsidiary label, Cavi Sounds, a home for any music XL seeks to put out that may not fall strictly within the modern funk canon, including hip hop, g-funk, and soul. He has also released music in conjunction with noteworthy labels such as Bastard Jazz, Omega Supreme, and Voltaire, effectively bridging the gap between fans of modern funk/80's boogie and 90's g-funk, both of which have been tremendously influential to the XL Middleton sound.
ZACKEY FORCE FUNK
Tales of sordid street escapades, drugs and fast women have been long running themes for Tucson, AZ’s Zackey Force Funk. Though these are themes that have been explored to excess in music over the years, his psychedelic, acid-trip style has been what places him in another realm. Three quarters singing and one quarter rapping, the Force Funk sound has been well-established in the world of underground electronic music over the last decade. With the arrival of his MoFunk debut album, Bodyrock Shotgun, ZFF is set to advance yet another level with melodic modern funk production that challenges him to expand his one-of-a-kind vocal style to new territory.
Moniquea was born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Pasadena, California. She vividly recalls watching her mother rehearse as a lead singer alongside other relatives and friends in the Pasadena-branded group The Roses. As a youth, she was exposed to countless volumes of 70’s soul, as well as the electrified musical production of the 80’s, thus shaping her own sound immeasurably. In particular, the synthesized, dance-friendly aesthetics of new wave and funk-laden R&B (later to be categorized as “boogie”) made a lasting impression on her, which she seeks to distill and reinterpret in the music she creates today.
No stranger to the spotlight, Moniquea solidified her local presence by singing at Pasadena’s world-famous Rose Bowl at only 15 years old. Quickly moving past hometown boundaries, she went on to open for Westside Connection during the height of their success, and has since performed at nearly every reputable venue in LA – The Whisky, The Roxy, Viper Room, Cinespace, The Echo, and more. She has also twice performed at the annual Taste of Soul festival, and the Kingfest at Leimert Park, both drawing crowds in the thousands; and has been a highlighted performer at Modern Funk Fests in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Moniquea and her music has also been featured in a number of music articles, magazines, websites and blogs, including: AllMusic, Do Androids Dance, Impose, Noisey Music by VICE, Okayplayer; and in Los Angeles’ biggest music publication, LA Record, where she landed on the front cover in 2015.
After independently releasing her self-titled debut in 2011, Moniquea partnered with producer XL Middleton and released the album Yes No Maybe in 2014, followed up by Blackwavefunk in 2017. It is through these records and her current and future musical endeavors that she delivers modern funk, as refracted through the lens of her early influences. What Moniquea creates is not ‘pastiche’ nor ‘retro,’ but a faithful reinterpretation of sounds that came from the dawn of the synth, perfectly balanced with one eye focused squarely on the future.
Los Angeles-based Adam Mori, aka, B. Bravo adds a touch of love to every soulful groove he gets his hands on. His signature sound, connecting cosmic g-funk, r&b, and dance music has made him a name in the electronic music scene as well a key player in the worldwide modern funk movement.
As a tasteful producer, party rocking DJ, master of the talkbox, band leader, alumni of the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy, Bravo is an accomplished performer both at home and abroad, with numerous tours throughout Europe and Asia. He’s played alongside artists like Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Dam-Funk, Hudson Mohawke, at festivals like Laneway Singapore, Raising The Bar in Kuala Lumpur, Detroit Electronic Music Fest, Sonar in Barcelona, Positivus Festival, Snowglobe, SXSW, Basscoast.
Bravo’s debut EP in 2009 ‘Analog Starship’ on Salva's Frite Nite Records became an instant classic among beat heads and his massive tune ‘Computa Love’ gained international acclaim as one of London tastemaker Benji B’s ‘best of’ selections for his BBC 1xtra radio program, and as the lead track and 12-inch from Gilles Peterson’s 2010 Brownswood Electr*c compilation. Following his third EP ‘Kiss & Tell’ on the London based Earnest Endeavours imprint, Bravo teamed up with fellow SF synth and turntable wizard, Teeko to deliver the superb ‘Starship Connection EP’ in 2012. In 2013 the two were commissioned by Bastard Jazz Recordings to compile vol. 2 of their ‘Tempo Dreams’ series which was received with much acclaim and included their smooth 2-stepper, ‘We Can Go All Night’. In 2014 and 2015 he produced much of the original soundtrack for Red Bull’s BC One World Breakdancing Finals in Paris and Rome. His own solo full length album is also set for release in 2016 on Bastard Jazz Records, following the release of the first single ‘Energy’ and it’s captivating music video.
Mr. Bravo's band 'Starship Connection’ with fellow funkster Teeko and vocalist Rojai kicked off in 2011 and has lit up festivals in the US like Northern Nights, Forward Festival, Decibel Festival, HARD Summer LA, SF Modern Funk Fest, Oakland Music Festival and a legendary Boiler Room set at Red Bull Studios LA.
Randy "Hotthobo" Ellis is a co-owner and label manager of Hobo Camp Records and Voltaire Records in California, longtime vinyl DJ/collector, host of the NTS radio program "Mint Condition", as well as a producer, re-mixer, arranger, event promoter/coordinator and frequent contributor/collaborator to projects like Loose Shus, Chautauqua, Elegant Borzoi and Relish. His DJ sets journeys deep into an abyss of new, classic, and obscure 12" and 7" records, with a focus toward high-end boogie, disco, two step, sweet soul, italo, house and modern funk.