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Quora Answer : Why is Future Funk becoming more popular?

May 30, 2020

Future Funk is an offshoot of vaporwave, ie. a genre based on sampling old 80s pop, soul and funk music.

What makes it more significant in the ecology of modern music, is that some of these melodic and harmonic ideas had been lost from a lot of popular music.

Sure, they were still there in R'n'B and sometimes hip-hop. But most electronic dance musics ... house, techno, trance, drum'n'bass, garage, dubstep etc. had sort of forgotten about them.

So vaporwave was partly exciting to people because it brought those harmonic ideas back.

"Normal" vaporwave was kind of an experimental, trippy music that concentrated on making the banal sounds of the 80s sound weird by looping them in odd ways, and chopping and screwing them into slow motion.

That vaporwave wasn't particularly focused on dance or rhythm. But almost immediately some people realized they wanted to have that sound in a more danceable format.

Hence Hard Vapor and Future Funk

Over time, it seems that FF is becoming increasingly cross-bred with contemporary EDM.

In the late 90s, early 2000s we had a synthesis of 70s disco with contemporary house music. Particularly "French House" seemed to be bringing the tougher drums of House (and even Trance sonorities) together with the harmonies and groove of 70s disco, into a very slick, crowd-pleasing package.

Future Funk is basically the return to that French House sound of people like Cassius

and where Daft Punk started

But effectively pumping it up even more with the production style of contemporary EDM genres. And perhaps a bit more of the manic energy of J-Pop / K-Pop.

In a sense you can see a fairly straight continuum of "hard but fun dance" music from disco, Italo-Disco through to the eclectic proto-House of Ron Hardy's Music Box, House itself, Happy Hardcore, French House ... through to Future Funk.

It's really all the same stuff, just each generation of technology makes it bigger and louder.

What tends to happen in rave culture is that sometimes the "more serious" (progressive house) or "more abstract" (techno) offshoots of this start to build up in the rave scene, like a kind of sclerosis.

And then people remember they want rich harmonies, big tunes and fun again, and something like Future Funk comes back on the scene.

FF still has some of the weird messing about with varispeed and awkward chops etc. that vaporwave liked. But packaged in a club friendly form.

EDM has become boringly formulaic, infected with bland "indie rock" style song-writing and vocals. So, by bringing the harmonic colour of even minor 80s soul and funk music back to the dance-floor through samples, Future Funk injects a much needed musical interestingness.

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