Funk documentary focused on London in the 1970s & 1980s that happens to have a hobbit keen on forty-fives

Here’s a documentary on the funk scene in Britain, a tale told through many talking heads, and one of them happens to be Martin Freeman, of Sherlock and The Hobbit fame. You might miss him, since it was apparently before he employed a stylist and committed to a workout routine, but he’s in there as a fanboy / collector / DJ of funk / rare groove. I was sent this next video, Martin Freeman Goes to Motown, from Marc of Meiotic Chicago featuring a star-struck Martin wandering around Detroit meeting people who were artists and studio musicians on Motown Records (city councilwoman Martha Reeves, former lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas; Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of the Four Tops; the Funk Brothers jamming out at … Read More

Nile Rodgers secretly created the coolest pop music on the planet

In this BBC documentary called “The Hitmaker,” we learn that Nile Rodgers not only spearheaded Chic, but he is basically the Chuck Norris of pop production. He was classically trained and went on to provide the uber funkiness in the pop, disco and R&B songs of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. You’re going to le Freak when I start embedding some of the songs he produced, after the jump (below). Let’s see… David Bowie, Sister Sledge, Madonna, Duran Duran, and (yes, sadly) Daft Punk’s latest attempt at mining other people’s creative capital for their own good. He migrated the funk and disco aesthetic over to pop music, and you didn’t even see it coming. Here are some examples: Sister Sledge: “We are Family”

Synth Brittania

Here is a great television special about British synthpop & synthesizers in the late 70s and early 80s produced by BBC Four. Some of the talking heads are from members of Joy Division, Human League, Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire, OMD Gary Numan (who has Asberger’s by the way) and more. [via]