Article by Ash, Photos by Dom Powell

’GRiZ – The Anthem (ft. Mike Avery)’

Since Funk’s inception in the mid-60s, it’s been reborn countless times particularly in hip-hop and, most recently, electronic music. Although it certainly possesses distinct composition elements, funk’s cross-genre transcendence also stems largely from its showmanship, quirkiness and the underlying attitude which it catalyzed. In some genres, this sort of evolution, or appropriation, is looked down upon, but funk is quite the opposite. George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic, for example, was constantly changing adding young members to keep its sound fresh. Even now, Clinton, widely considered one of funk’s founding fathers, continues supporting and working with a diverse set of artists who keep funk alive and well. 

In the realm of electronic music, few artists have done a better job of carrying on the funk tradition than the sax-wielding GRiZ, whose “future funk” combines the enormity of electronic bass music with big-band funk of the 60s and 70s. The Detroit producer is in the midst of his most ambitious year yet releasing a stellar album with Say it Loud and launching All Good Records to give like-minded artists an opportunity to expand on the movement. We were lucky to catch GRiZ along with label mates The Floozies at their jam-packed show at Mezzanine in San Francisco over the weekend and it was a perfect reflection of an exciting moment in their respective careers.DSC_0103

’GRiZ – Get Down (ft. Sunsquabi And Manic Focus)’
’The Floozies – She Ain’t Yo Girlfriend’

Although both artists’ music already packs a serious punch recorded, their live sets, full of groovy, yet heavy, bass hit seriously hard all the while keeping the crowd dancing with smooth melodies, catchy guitar licks and soulful vocals. While The Floozies performance, which easily deserves its own writeup, features a number of moving parts and live instrumentation, GRiZ took the stage with a dual laptop setup along with his trusty saxophone. His set was a seamless and intertwined combination of bass-heavy takes on classic funk, soul & jazz tunes, some near-exclusively dubstep interludes and his next-level solo material. DSC_0300

’GRiZ – The Future Is Now’

On the majority of the tracks, GRiZ brought out his saxophone completing his distinct style and taking the performance aspect to greater heights. Cuts from his latest album like the endlessly addicting “Get Down” and “The Anthem” absolutely shook the dance floor, while inclusions of familiar classic anthems like “Stayin Alive” and “Shout,” which he closed with, kept the audience engaged at every turn. Eventually, GRiZ was joined by Muzzy Bearr, another member of the All Good Records family, on guitar who masterfully filled out the grooves on a number of tracks. Near the end of the show, there was a noticeable transition to some newer remixes including future funk-ified renditions of Jack Ü’s “To Ü” and even DJ Snake’s “Turn Down for What.” Equally awesome, and a reminder of his roots, the set went deep into GRiZ’s catalogue digging up some of his further dubstep-leaning tracks, like “The Future is Now,” a personal favorite. Given the amount of variation in his set, it’s pretty incredible the way GRiZ was able to get all the moving pieces working in unison through his liberated, monumental aesthetic. 

In case the length of this review isn’t indication enough, we’d highly recommend checking out GRiZ and The Floozies on one of their upcoming tour dates, which you can find here. For those of you in SF, make sure to also keep an eye out for more shows from the show’s hosts, Hush Concerts, an exciting collaboration between SunsetSF and Silent Frisco. DSC_0399



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The Floozies