The funkiest, skankiest electronic music in the UK – Bristol legends KOAN Sound are undoubtedly the leading producers and songwriters in the Glitch Hop scene.
Dynasty isn’t just straight forward dance music. It is so much subtler than that – the focus in Glitch Hop isn’t all on the melody or the bass line, it really works by showcasing groove, funk and flawless electronic sound design. KOAN Sound have consistently released EP after EP that does nothing but solidify those traits, with their latest opus laying down four tracks worth of pure funky hips-moving ass-groovin’ filth, Dynasty is a gorgeous extended play and I would implore each and every one of you to get out there and purchase it today.
7th Dimension opens with an in-your-face bass line with an unmistakable disco vibe that honestly, I cannot help to bop every part of my body too. The eponymous track two is easily my favourite, it really plays around with the dynamics: easing one into the track with a quiet and vaguely oriental sounding build up, before…boom.
One of the dirtiest, glitchiest, funkiest drops I have ever heard – the sound design is incredible, the rhythm is both unexpected and defiantly unmistakable, and the mix sits right there in between “perfect” and “spot on, mate.”
Track three, Infinite Funk, is precisely that – I have already overused the word incredible enough but that is the defining element of KOAN Sound, they incorporate incredible usage of slap bass and glitched-up synthesisers to provide a bass-driven feel that doesn’t require a melodic upper end to drive the catchy element to their music: their lower end works just fine, which is rare for most electronic musicians.
Glitch Hop is still quite new genre, rising around the same time as Ghetto Funk, of which they share many traits. KOAN Sound was my first foray into glitch, but since then I have fully immersed myself into the UK Glitch and Ghetto Funk scenes and found a virtual ocean of talent that I feel I have still only probed the skin of. I live down in Cornwall and we are lucky enough to house a fantastic scene down-inna-Falmouth-town. A good example are Falmouth’s own Hong Kong Ping Pong. Signed to Ghetto Funk Records and represented by Scour Recordings, these three old’uns bring a solid and consistent set wherever they play, including Boomtown Fair, Glastonbury and Shindig Weekender (The worlds first ever Ghetto Funk Festival!) amongst others.
I first saw KOAN Sound at Glastonbury of 2013. It was one of the hottest days of the year and I was lucky enough to be in the shade, behind the bar, serving thirsty punters overpriced and watered down Tuborg. I asked my team leader if I could take a twenty minute break, as I knew they were playing on the other side of the campsite… I should have known twenty minutes wasn’t enough. If you have ever been to Glastonbury then you will know that the festival isn’t just big… it’s fucking huge. I sprinted from the bar through a veritable army of fellow sweaty human beings to arrive twenty minutes later (yeah, already late) at a tiny little boat stage with the two Bristolians stood next to a small, but formidable Funktion-One stack. If you have never heard a Funktion-One before, you are seriously missing out, these beasts were made for quality – They are by far my favourite rig choice for EDM: lucid, crisp and a perfectly neutral frequency balance.
I could only stay for four songs before having to sprint back to work, but those four songs I skanked my ass off, I can tell you straight. These guys tear it up live even with a measly crowd of only about thirty people – those four songs were one of the highlights of my weekend, bearing in mind I was sober and I had just run about a mile. Their set outperformed The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons and Dizzee Rascal combined. Thoroughly impressed. Like I said earlier, if you haven’t heard of them, I implore you to purchase their discography. Start with Funk Blaster and proceed from there. You will not be disappointed.
Long live the Funk!