Friday, 28 August 2015 12:47

Swedish band Beat Funktion bring jazz, soul and original videos

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Based in Uppsala, Sweden is the all-Swedish jazz-funk sextet Beat Funktion who pays homage to instrumentals from early ’70s funk, groove, soul, disco and afro-beat jazz.

Ever since initiating the band in 2007, jazz pianist, composer, arranger and producer Daniel Lantz, the man behind Beat Funktion’s musical approach, equipped the band with superb Swedish jazz soloists, such as trumpeter Karl Olandersson, sax player Olle Thunström, guitarist Johan Öijen, bassist Pal Johnson and drum prodigy Jon Eriksson. Percussionists join the band on occasion.

To re-shape the band's repertoire of old jazz standards, pianist Daniel Lantz took the liberty of borrowing inspiration from musicians and bands within groove-based genres in the 70s and late 60s, such as James Brown, Bob James, Eumir Deodato, Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers, Fela Kuti, Curtis Mayfield, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and others, not to mention film music by composers like Lalo Schifrin and Bill Conti.


By combining  jazz improvisation with a variety of commercial genres such as funk, rock, pop, disco and reggae it has enabled them to reach out to a broad range of listeners across different genres.

Below is the video of 'It’s About Time’ taken from 'Olympus',  Beat Funktion's fifth album. Composed and arranged by Daniel Lantz, it features South African soul singer Sani Gamedze on lead vocals. The creative style of the video is by Folke Lantz.

BEAT FUNKTION - IT'S ABOUT TIME

After their debut-album The Plunge (2010) had received praise worldwide with agents and reviewers of jazz, funk, soul and DJs, their 2nd album Moon Town (2013) was met with considerable enthusiasm and rave reviews in the US as it stayed among the top 10 on the US jazz radio charts for no less than 15 weeks in the summer of 2013.
 
Beat Funktion’s third album, Voodooland was commissioned by legendary Japanese funk-label P-Vine, a limited edition that has rapidly acquired a cult status among Japanese DJs and groove collectors. This funky collector’s item had its highly anticipated release in the US in the spring of 2014, where it knocked out all competition from major labels and artists on the US jazz charts; not only did it linger on the charts for 16 impressive weeks, but also rocketed to #1 for three consecutive weeks above major labels and artists, and stayed among the top ten on the Canadian charts for eight weeks.

Following the success story of Voodooland, the band’s fourth album, Mandy’s Secret, saw its global release in late September of 2014, timed to coincide with the band’s first US tour. Ten fresh compositions penned by Daniel Lantz combined with high production values in the hands of co-producer Mats Björke, pianist from famed rock band Mando Diao. It peaked at #3 on the US charts and #1 on the Canadian charts, lingering for a total of 21 consecutive weeks, and was accompanied by the release of 5 official music videos.

BEAT FUNKTION - WHERE'S THE SUNSHINE? (Swedish pop singer Rebecca Laakso)

Beat Funktion’s November tour in 2014 of the US had the band play at the legendary fusion venue The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, and a Las Vegas session led to the affiliation with famed rapper and producer Damon Elliott, associated with global stars like Beyoncé, Pink and Gwen Stefani, who in turn became a featured guest on their fifth album, Olympus, released in June 2015.

Olympus is the band’s most elaborate concept album so far, its music themed entirely on legends and characters of Greek mythology.

Olympus peaked at #2 on the US charts and at #3 on the Canadian charts in the summer of 2015. The band is currently planning their second US tour this autumn.

See Beat Funktion LIVE, 12 September at Katalin in Uppsala, Sweden!

Related items

  • Paper Girl Adée ain’t jivin’ in new Beat Funktion video

    Grab your popcorn and journey back to the 70’s with a retro inspired video from the Swedish soul funk masters - Beat Funktion.

  • No more waiting for the Green Man

    Fast forward just over a year from the release of Olympus (what was for me one of 2015’s best releases) Uppsala combo Beat Funktion deliver Green Man, their 6th LP in six years, and their first that could be considered a vocal LP.

    I already knew that the band could play, but when word of the vocal guests who would be appearing on the LP hit my ears I was initially intrigued. With each announcement of vocalists my intrigue turned into eager anticipation, and having listened to the LP for the last few weeks, that anticipation has turned in to deep appreciation.

    Simply put Beat Function have delivered an LP steeped in the heady brews of 70s Soul, Funk, Jazz and Fusion and it sounds like heaven.

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