Recently the word “Steamfunk” came to my attention.
It’s a wonderful word with connotations that extend from the awesome musical vistas i can picture such a musical genre sounding like (you cannot tell it from theSteampunk Opera, but i am a big funk fan) to the deeper ideas and directions that come up when you add the black experience and outlook to the sci-fi re imaginings of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
There’s a wonderful blog, chronicles of harriet that dwelves into this and other speculative fiction with soul ideas which you should go to right now and check out.
In the meantime, i am am going to open my foray into this idea (we’ll be exploring this more in future posts i assure you) with a rare track from one of the most insane funk bands to throw down the guantlet, Miles Davis’ 70s band. During this era he became the Dark Magus of funk, truly and the albums Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangaea are merciless in their conjuring of the shadow side of funk. Beginners should definitely start with Parliament.
However, this unreleased track from unreleased 75-76 sessions is much more fun and upbeat and even, you know, approaches what could be deemed steamfunk. (Okay, truth be told, it’s actually sounds damn like what you would label “70s funk” we’ll just let the hyperbole stand.)