T-Funk’s ‘Nebula’ is an Enthralling Mix of Hip Hop, Rare Groove and Ambient Soul
Londoner T-Funk cleverly combines rare groove and RnB gloss, hip hop knock and, in an age where the lines between RnB, hip hop and EDM are increasingly blurred (often detrimentally), a thankfully tasteful use of synths which has shades of 90’s UK dance and ambient music thanks to their lush, psychedelic and ‘trippy’ vibe.
‘Nebula’, his debut EP on French label Cosmonostro starts off in fine fashion with ‘Groove With You’, a slick hip hop track built around an addictive 80’s funk jam, which features charismatic Philadelphia rapper DistantStarr on vocals. With its feel-good Saturday night swagger, insanely catchy hook and polished production, this is a great start to the project.
‘Nebula’ then takes an unexpected but pleasant detour into lounge territory on ‘A Cocktail With Bruce Wayne’, the soundtrack to an imaginary Parisian romantic comedy. Bright and breezy, ‘A Cocktail…’ is sprinkled with just the right amount of glitch, filtering and snappy drums to add a slight sense of drama to this otherwise tranquil jaunt. Très bon.
From hereon in the project immerses the listener in a spacey, sensual world full of dramatic synths, drums and vocal snippets. These tracks all successfully merge the hypnotism and ethereal beauty of ambient and dance music with the grandeur and polish of 90’s RnB. Gated synth chords, galloping drums and a New Age vocal sample make ‘Seventh Dimension’ easy to get lost in. ‘Metropolis’ ups the drama, with its hip hop thump and rock guitar solo. ‘Jam Slow’ and the title track, which closes the project, are slinky, sensual numbers which take T-Funk’s signature sound of well-placed drums, hypnotic but engaging synths and clever vocal samples into the stratosphere.
T-Funk’s eclectic sound is both widely accessible yet very individual. Nicely mixed, cleverly sequenced and thoroughly enjoyable and engaging throughout, ‘Nebula’ should more than satisfy existing fans and, for the uninitiated, serve as the perfect introduction to this rising star.