Summer weekends are an excellent time to move around and rub flailing body parts upon others. And what better sounds are there than the sounds of funk to induce such a mood? This weekend -- tonight, Friday, to be exact -- DJ MAKossa and Miles Bonny are hosting Funk Donuts at Czar (1531 Grand, at 10 p.m.) and playing more funk than you can shake 100 sweaty bodies at.
We asked DJ MAKossa about what ingredients are actually in funk donuts, and to elaborate on tonight's show.
Anything special behind the name Funk Donuts?
The reason I decided to name the night Funk Donuts is a way of
paying tribute to the late, genius hip-hop producer James Yancey, better
known as J Dilla. Donuts was his last album, released three days before
his death due to complications from the disease lupus. The album was
mainly comprised of shorter-length hip-hop instrumentals that Yancey
sampled from a very diverse range of musical styles, such as psychedelic
rock, funk, soul, etc. The concept of the night is to represent this
idea of including various styles under the umbrella of hip-hop and
funk, and try to show people that hip-hop is way more that just
strictly one genre of music. Hip-hop music represents decades of record
knowledge, proper DJing, mastering and innovating rhythm, and having a
diverse taste in music outside of the genre of hip-hop music. I feel
that in the digital age of music and DJing, people increasingly need to
be reminded of true DJ culture, where people have dedicated their lives
to mastering the craft and searching out records, rather than in
today's world of free downloads where you simply have to turn on your
The much shorter reason for the name is that donut is also a slang
term for a vinyl record, and Miles and I love a nice funk record.
Are you or Miles presenting any new material that evening? Working together on anything?
Miles is always working on new material and will most likely be
performing some of his latest work, where he will be singing and
playing trumpet. He just finished his latest album, Lumberjack Soul, on
the German-based label Melting Pot Music and leaves next week for a
European tour with Suff Daddy. Here is a nice little promo Miles put together for the tour.
I recently finished a psychedelic hip-hop mix called Freak Out Total that I might play a few tracks from on Friday as well. The mix can be streamed or downloaded for free here.
As far as projects that we are working on together, we are currently
both focusing on getting the word out to the Kansas City community
about Funk Donuts and really trying to create a movement around the
night. We are trying to introduce people to new styles of music, like
modern funk and boogie. Styles of funk that contemporary artists like
Dâm-Funk and Onra have popularized, which are heavily influenced by '80s
Have you and Miles known each other for a while?
Miles and I have not known each other very long at all. I moved to
Kansas City from San Francisco last October, and I was familiar with
Miles' music through his work with a West Coast producer and deejay
named DJ Day. I strongly recommend people check out their work. Miles
is so multitalented as a producer, vocalist and trumpet player. He has
some serious soul.
I reached out to Miles with the concept of my night, and he was very
receptive to the idea, and that was how we began working together.
Can you tell me a bit about Wax Poetics magazine? Why is the publication sponsoring the event?
Wax Poetics is a bimonthly publication based out of Brooklyn, New
York, that first started in 2001. It focuses on funk, soul, jazz and
hip-hop amongst other styles of Afrocentric music and has since been
known as the bible of DJ culture and collecting records. It features
some of the best music writers and photographers on the planet, and it
focuses heavily on content rather than a lot of other music
publications that lack real substance to the articles. It is also one
of the few magazines to succeed in the digital age because of it being
such a niche publication and because its readers truly value the
physicality of the print magazine, just like they value the physicality
of vinyl records.
Someone from Wax Poetics contacted me when I was living in San
Francisco and said that they were interested in helping me promote a
couple events that I was organizing. The two events were a rare-groove
psychedelic music night that I founded with Deejay OM called AFREAKA!
and another night called the Funky Rewind that I started with a couple
other DJs (B.Cause, E da Boss, Toph One, Kung Fu Chris). Ever since, I
have kept Wax Poetics in the know on different events that I have been
working on, and they have been incredibly supportive. So when I
approached them with the concept of Funk Donuts, they were down to
sponsor and help promote the night.
Anything special planned for tonight?
The night is going to offer Kansas City a really diverse and unique
night of music that you won't be able to find elsewhere in Kansas City.
The focus will be on modern funk, boogie, soul and hip-hop, with singing
and live trumpet performances from Miles Bonny. I have also put
together some visuals that will add a lot to the atmosphere at the new
Czar. Czar will also be serving food late, and have incorporated a lot
of new changes to the aesthetic of the venue.
Any upcoming events or music of yours we can expect soon?
I currently host two other monthly events in the Kansas City area
that have been really fun. I host a party called the Beat Down at the
Union of Westport, which is free every first Friday of the month, and I
also DJ in Lawrence every second Friday of the month at the Eighth
Street Taproom for the Funky Rewind.
Miles will be touring around Europe for a while this summer. His tour schedule is here.
Josh Powers will be filling in for Miles for the July 15 and August 19 Funk Donuts dates while he is on tour.
Tonight: ladies free, gentlemen $3. DJ MAKossa and Miles Bonny perform together monthly, every third Friday at Czar.