What the funk?

 

The Funk Hunters: No relation to "funky headhunter" MC Hammer.

The Funk Hunters: No relation to “funky headhunter” MC Hammer.

 

LAURA WILLIAMSON has a word with Canadian cognoscenti of the crossfader The Funk Hunters.

Electronic pioneers The Funk Hunters are heading our way this summer to treat the crowd at Rhythm & Alps to one of their legendary DJ sets, featuring live mashups and custom synched visuals. On caught up with Funk Hunters Dunks and The Outlier to find out more about this dynamic duo.

We were excited to hear that you’re Canadian. We love Canadians! Where are you from?

We are based out of Vancouver on the West Coast.

Apparently Canada leads the world in maple syrup and asteroid impacts. Anything else you’d like your homeland to be known for?

Maple syrup for sure. There was actually a recent $18 million dollar maple syrup train heist here that apparently will become a Hollywood movie! But I think we’d also like to be known for our electronic music and festival scene here. It’s pretty strong and vibrant, especially in Western Canada.

You have a reputation for genre-busting sets that betray a love for all sorts of music. What sort of musical background do the two of you have?

We both grew up listening to all types of music. We love a lot of classic rock, golden era hip hop, and old disco and funk. It was when we discovered electronic music and remixed stuff that we were able to merge our love of it all together into a kind of funky package! As far as musical backgrounds, neither of us are “musicians” in the old sense of the word, but being raised on computers and coming from working in film and video, it was a welcoming transition into production and DJing.

Have you been to New Zealand before?

No, this will be our first time. Stoked as!

What kind of sound can the crowd at Rhythm & Alps expect from your set?

A funk-fuelled mix of fat beats ranging from soulful mid-tempo to jackin’ house and drum & bass!

Can you share the origin of the name “Funk Hunters”? (Be honest!)

It came together at Shambhala Festival here in Canada back in 2008. We were having a funky chat about “hunting down the funk” and our friend was like, “you guys should be called The Funk Hunters!” That’s how it came about. But ya, a lot of people think we are trying to be crafty with dirty words.

You’ve played more than a few of the classic Northern Hemisphere music festivals, like Burning Man. Which one is your favourite and why?

It would have to be Shambhala Festival. It’s been a big inspiration for us. Not only did it introduce us to a handful of artists that helped push us to get to where we are today, but it’s also family run, without corporate money. Because it’s on a farm, the infrastructure is permanent so every year the stages get bigger and better! We’ve been fortunate enough to play there for the last four years, but we’ve been going for over 10 years now. It’s like our home in terms of festivals.

How on earth do you pack four turntables?

I’d like to give you some clever answer and brag about our epic packing techniques, but the truth is venues supply the turntables for us. We just bring the funk.

Do people ever get you mixed up with the MC Hammer album ‘The Funky Headhunter’?

Not often enough. But I think Hammer has fallen off a little bit as of late. Too bad really, he had some pretty wicked rhymes and dance moves.

Tell us something about The Funk Hunters that nobody knows.

The first proper show we ever played in 2009 was recorded and is on our SoundCloud page to this day (soundcloud.com/thefunkhunters). While a lot of people may have listened to it, I don’t think they realise that’s the set that kind of kicked things off for us.

 

Catch Rhythm & Alps 30-31 December 2013 at their new venue in the Cardrona Valley,

just up the road from #gigatownwanaka !

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