Mob Fandango are a 10-piece soul and funk band from Dublin, Ireland
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Mob Fandango are a 10-piece soul and funk band from Dublin, Ireland. They have played every major venue in Dublin over the past few years and released their debut E.P. Dig in May 2011. The band are known for their energetic live shows. Mob Fandango won 2009's Rising Stars competition and in 2010, headlined the Dublin City Soul Festival in Dublin's Merrion Square.
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid to late 1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and R&B. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground. Funk songs are often based on an extended vamp on a single chord, distinguishing it from R&B and soul songs, which are built on chord progressions.
Like much African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, Hammond organ, and drums playing interlocking rhythms. Funk bands sometimes have a horn section of several saxophones, trumpets, and in some cases, a trombone, which plays rhythmic "hits".
Many of the most famous bands in the genre also played disco and soul extensively. Funk samples have been used extensively in genres including hip hop, house music, and drum and bass. It is also the main influence of go-go, a subgenre associated with funk.
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A great deal of funk is rhythmically based on a two-celled onbeat/offbeat structure, which originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions. New Orleans appropriated the bifurcated structure from the Afro-Cuban mambo and conga in the late 1940s, and made it its own. New Orleans funk, as it was called, gained international acclaim largely because James Brown's rhythm section used it to great effect.
Funk creates an intense groove by using strong guitar riffs and bass lines. Like Motown recordings, funk songs used bass lines as the centerpiece of songs. Slap bass's mixture of thumb-slapped low notes and finger "popped" (or plucked) high notes allowed the bass to have a drum-like rhythmic role, which became a distinctive element of funk.
In funk bands, guitarists typically play in a percussive style, often using the wah-wah sound effect and muting the notes in their riffs to create a percussive sound. Guitarist Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers and Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic were notably influenced by Jimi Hendrix's improvised solos. Eddie Hazel, who worked with George Clinton, is one of the most notable guitar soloists in funk. Ernie Isley was tutored at an early age by Jimi Hendrix himself, when he was a part of The Isley Brothers backing band and lived in the attic temporarily at the Isleys' household. Jimmy Nolen and Phelps Collins are famous funk rhythm guitarists who both worked with James Brown. On Brown's Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (1969), Jimmy Nolen's guitar part has a bare bones tonal structure. The pattern of attack-points is the emphasis, not the pattern of pitches. It's as if the guitar is an African drum, or idiophone. Note that the measures alternate between beginning on the beat, and beginning on offbeats.
Funk utilized the same extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths. However, unlike bebop jazz, with its complex, rapid-fire chord changes, funk virtually abandoned chord changes, creating static single chord vamps with melodo-harmonic movement and a complex, driving rhythmic feel. Some of the best known and most skilful soloists in funk have jazz backgrounds. Trombonist Fred Wesley and saxophonist Maceo Parker are among the most notable musicians in the funk music genre, with both of them working with James Brown, George Clinton and Prince.
The chords used in funk songs typically imply a dorian or mixolydian mode, as opposed to the major or natural minor tonalities of most popular music. Melodic content was derived by mixing these modes with the blues scale. In the 1970s, jazz music drew upon funk to create a new subgenre of jazz-funk, which can be heard in recordings by Miles Davis.