When funk music spread its infectious, free expression across the airwaves in the ’70s, it entwined with the heart of Swedish artist M-Rock. Sadly over time, Swedens’s radio playlists narrowed to a pathetically narrow range of genres, driving the psychedelic groove of Funk underground, M-Rock and Wefunky Band continued to flourish. The bands’ latest 9-track album Celebration will leave you in no doubt.
Released on vinyl, Celebration by M-Rock & Wefunky Band has a striking illustrative design – colourful and wonderfully detailed. The fluorescent pink disc is bold and outlandish. It shouts, ‘being funking different is the point’.
Any randomly selected lyrics announce your entry into their lush garden of Funk.
/ Let’s dance, let’s shout, let’s turn this mother out
/ Bounce in your booty
/ Stomp your feet
Funk came into the world when liberty and freedoms were being explored, sexual and interracial barriers broken. In contrast, Celebration (a resoundingly positive statement) is composed in the wake of a global pandemic, increasing isolationism and war in Europe. So, can we still relate to the party vibes of Funk?
Unquestionably yes. This album is pure escapism, and it doesn’t disappoint. It uplifts, transports, and executes a forgotten side of music – the ability to make you smile.
M-Rock keeps the lyrics relevant to today’s word, as heard on the party-filling Method Funk, where he implores for a better way of living. The horn section impresses throughout with the soulful vocals of Johanna Hjort, always providing an excellent companion to M-Rock’ Emrik’s deeper tones.
Celebrate serves a Roy Ayres-Esque vibration that this reviewer immediately fell for. Superb percussion and lyrics born from post-pandemic times urge ‘Peace, Unity, Love and having fun‘ with a summery radiance. Mellower in tempo, the smooth and soulful Tenderness, with rap-style lyrics, provides a message to the world as he calls for more love and empathy in society.
A veteran of Funk, M-Rock encapsulates the bold, exuberant, and infectious energy the sound thrives on. The album resonates M-Rock’s attitude, celebrating life here and now – now is, after all, all we have. Through his music, he wants to make the world a better place.
Sadly, I still expect Celebration to remain excluded from Swedish radio’s playlists. However, it’s the album we all need right now. It’s a reason to smile.
Meanwhile, this ‘hunk of burning Funk’ keeps good times burning bright.
Celebration - M-Rock & Wefunky Band
This album is pure escapism, and it doesn't disappoint. It uplifts, transports, and executes a forgotten side of music - the ability to make you smile.