Published on 12/09/2023 11:00 am

Today, we are going to let the brass section rip and move the hips to that baseline. It’s time to get down and funk tonight. Well, this mid-morning, anyway. Namely, this here show is happy to present the funkalitiously funktastic Slovenian funk band that goes by the name of – and you’d have never guessed that – Funk Fu.

Funk Fu are a relatively new addition to the Slovenian music scene. They’ve been around for about six years, but only released their debutante album a couple of months ago. Talk about taking their sweet time. But, as it happens, it was all worth the wait.

Funk of old

As counterintuitive as it may sound, funk, especially of the more vanilla variety, has a long and storied history in the Balkans in general and Slovenia in particular. Bands like September and KIM and performers like Zdenka Kovačiček and Boban Petrović have kept the pace with global funk in the seventies without breaking a sweat.

More important for our purposes however, was the rediscovery of the genre in the nineties by Slovenians bands like Planet Groove, Jadranka Juras and Ali En. Especially the latter was instrumental (pun very much intended) in using funk as a staging ground for Slovenian hip-hop. It all goes to say that Funk Fu are walking well-trodden ground where quality was always more appreciated than quantity.

But the well-established tradition of Slovenian funk is not the only source of Funk Fu’s quality. Zasavje, the mining region of Slovenia the band hails from, has a very active marching band scene. So much so, that the marching band life has become the subject of Orchestra, on the most successful Slovenian films of the last few years. Because where else could you develop ninja level brass section skills, other than in an environment that is steeped in brass bands.

The funktastic eight

Funk Fu are an eight-member crew that has already gone through some substantial changes. The current lineup is exceedingly multinational with artists from Slovenia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In fact, vocalist Klara Veteršek and guitarist Tilen Gavranovič are the only two original members left. Luckily for the band, however, they are also the ones writing and composing the tunes, so the groove remains the same.

The band released their debutante album early this summer. It’s All Fun And Games is a ten-track album that holds it own without any problems. Given that an eight-piece band requires all that extra work, the end result is all the more impressive. And if they can spice their next album up a little, well, that would be just funktastic.

And that’s all the time we have for this today. Check out Funk Fu on YouTube, Spotify or wherever you get your music from, and Balkan Express will be back next week.

Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of, you guessed it, the Balkans. Forget gusle and tamburice, this show is about rock, pop and a sense of humour. Well, at least there’s guitars. On air most Tuesdays in a new-and-improved time-slot at 1100 hrs. Usually. Your train conductor is Aljaž (aka @pengovsky) who once did the world a solid and decided never to sing again in public. Which is why he ended up doing radio.

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Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of the Balkans.

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Funk Fu (Balkan Express 127)