Jimmy Monsta Funk 3 x 5 – Techno After Jazz

When it comes to record collecting and my movements from jazz through to hip-hop through to funk to everything else before ending in electronic music, I missed a lot of links along the way. One of them being that of jazz and techno, and the influence and importance of the relationship between the two. Cue Jimmy Monsta Funk, who’s recent article on Underground Resistance garnered more than one response to the inbox giving props for his words.

We spoke about him doing a series of articles and picks for us in the future and this seemed like a logical place to start, selecting the tracks across three weeks that best embody the two genres working off each other.

via Jimmy Monsta Funk
In the world of DJing and record selecting the need to define tracks by genre never goes away, if only for record shops to be able to put records into nice neat piles.

Electronic dance music (for want of a better term) has always been influenced by what came before, either directly through sampling or indirectly through the use of standard motifs, styles of singing or classic melodies and percussion. The world of techno in particular has been linked with jazz and drum & bass has also been influenced by the music born and forged in Harlem and New Orleans over 70 years before.

Over the next three weeks, I aim to give you some tracks that are techno influenced by jazz, jazz as a precursor to techno or a modern fusion of old styles and feelings.

The first five tracks in the series are resolutely in the techno / electronic genre, however with the track structures, choice of instruments and rhythms these tracks probably wouldn’t exist without jazz as a teacher.

1 – Carl Craig – At Les

Still for me one of the greatest tracks of all time. A combination of searing electronics over a loose jazz style beat.
I remember playing a gig in Vauxhall (London, UK) in around 1996 and this track lead to older members of the audience coming up to ask in this was a track from the jazz funk era, say’s it all to me, purely timeless.


2 – M500 & 3MB – Jazz is the Teacher

A hook up between Detroit (Juan Atkins) and Berlin (Thomas Fehlmann & Moritz von Oswald). A dramatic and sparkling piece of musical goodness.


3 – Laurent Garnier – Man With the Red Face

Perhaps one of the most famous European techno tracks. I was always down on Laurent Garnier’s productions as I considered them a little hit and miss. If Garnier never makes another track, as least he made this wonderful piece of music!


4 – The Black Dog – Barbola Work

Black Dog are one of the best electronic acts to emerge from the UK, ever! It was a tough choice picking one of their tracks, as so many are influenced by the jazz idiom (another track to seek out is ‘Virtual’). This particular track in very much ‘Lat-ronica’, as it shuffles along in a South American style.


5 – Robert Hood – Nighttime World

Perhaps the most techno-y track in this list, the syncopation of the drums invoke the rhythms of many a jazz percussionist.