First popularized by Daft Punk in the early 90s, French house and funky house are about keeping classic funk and disco at the forefront of dance music. Many genres of house music incorporate funk and disco, but none have created a blend of classic and innovative sounds as refreshing as French and funky house. French label Roulé, started by Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, was one of the many early labels that made the effort to distinguish French house from the other styles throughout the 90s. Funky house has a similar background outside of France, with labels like Ministry of Sound focusing on the genre since the mid-80s.
French and funky house are heavily influenced by funk and disco and particularly, in the case of French house, euro disco. While the lines are blurred between French and funky house, the latter tends to take more inspiration from p-funk than from the clean disco aesthetic found in French house.
Unlike other funk- and disco-inspired genres of house, French and funky house don’t just sound like refurbished versions of their predecessors. Obvious nods to funk and disco are offset by modern production aesthetics, notably the use of drawn-out filters in buildups or breakdowns.
Daft Punk – “Around The World”
Daft Punk release debut album Homework including singles “Around the World” and “Da Funk”.
Stardust – “Music Sounds Better With You”
Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better with You” was recorded in Paris at Daft House. It was their only release.
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – “Intro”
Fred Falke began his musical career as a bass player, which is evident here on “Intro” that features a prominent and very funky bass line.
Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”
Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” won a Grammy for best music video in 2008.
FKJ – “Lying Together”
On “Lyin Together” FKJ (aka French Kiwi Juice) nails the funky laid back vibe that made French house so popular.
Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”
This is a supreme feel-good track that features Pharell (as well as the Daft Punk’s trademark robo-voice) singing low-key anthemic lyrics like “We’re up all night to get lucky”.
FKJ Live – “Improvisation”
FKJ displays his incredible musical abilities on this track composed entirely on the fly.
Fabian Luttenberger – “Vague”
Fabian Luttenberger combines the filter effect, a trademark sound of French house, with the saxophone to create a song that is dripping with 80s nostalgia.
Justice – “Safe And Sound”
Their first single in five years after the release of Cross (the album featuring “D.A.N.C.E.”), Justice drops this funky disco-inspired tune.
Franc Moody – “Yuri”
Duo Franc Moody add the guitar stylings of early Pink Floyd into French House on this highly danceable track.
CAPYAC – “All Your Life”
The influence of French House on American DJs CAPYAC is obvious with the use of the filter effect, jangly guitar, and smooth but spacey synth.
Cassius & Pharell Williams – “Go Up”
Phillipe Zdar (one half of Cassius) died from an accidental fall in 2019, but songs like “Go up” with Pharell and Cat Power remain a testament to his immense talent.
Malaa – “Paris 96′”
While Malaa is mostly known for releasing ghetto house music, “Paris 96’” sits comfortably inside the funky house family with a great sample of “I Love You More” by Rene & Angela.