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Defunkt picture
Defunkt biography
Defunkt founder Joseph Bowie, the youngest member of the Bowie musician family, began his career in St. Louis, Missouri where he was born in 1953 and raised by his father William Lester Bowie, Sr. ,music teacher and he was greatly influenced by his older brothers Byron (saxophonist & arranger) and older brother Lester, internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter.

In 1971 he toured Paris for the first time with jazz ensemble, then with Dr. John in Montreaux (in 1973). During 1973 - 76 Joe collaborated and performed with Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman & many more jazz personalities in New York at that time. in 1978 Joseph began working with punk/funk artist James Chance and soon became a fixture on the new wave scene in NY. Defunkt was born during that time. During the next 25 years, Defunkt has recorded 15 CDs and Joseph has become a funk officianado. In 2003, Joseph moved residence to Holland where he is developing new musical relationships throughout the EU and the world.
Punk-funk-jazz unit Defunkt was born in 1978 in New York City merged avant-garde with rocking, funky grooves. It was one of the first band to make a real fusion of popular and extreme music styles, also pioneers in early stages of rap music in the early 80-s. Defunkt has never gained huge commercial success due to unwillingness to compromise creativity and musical uniqueness and integrity for popular acclaim.

With time, Buddhism entered the consciousness of Defunkt, the focus on community issues, family & humanity struggles, have become more of a priority than ever. The focus and uniqueness of this powerful, groovy Defunkt style of music has continued to grow and evolve in spite of the lack of commercial success.

In 2009 Defunkt celebrated its 30 year birthday with two big projects - Defunkt Big Band and Defunkt Soul.

Slava (Snobb)

DEFUNKT Videos (YouTube and more)

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DEFUNKT discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

DEFUNKT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 6 ratings
3.16 | 6 ratings
Thermonuclear Sweat
3.00 | 3 ratings
In America
3.00 | 1 ratings
3.00 | 1 ratings
3.50 | 2 ratings
Cum Funky
0.00 | 0 ratings
One World

DEFUNKT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live At The Knitting Factory NYC
3.00 | 1 ratings
A Blues Tribute - Jimi Hendrix & Muddy Waters
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live & Reunified
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Europe
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Channel Zero

DEFUNKT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DEFUNKT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Avoid The Funk... A Defunkt Anthology
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Legend Continues
3.00 | 1 ratings
Defunkt + Thermonuclear Sweat

DEFUNKT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Thermonuclear Sweat by DEFUNKT album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.16 | 6 ratings

Thermonuclear Sweat
Defunkt Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Money
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Joeseph Bowie was a working member of the 70s NYC avant-jazz set when he happened to be in the right place at the right time to be pulled into New York's new up and coming so called punk-jazz scene. Joe first worked with the unintentional originators of this scene, Ornette Coleman and James Ulmer, as a sideman as they introduced a new gritty energetic form of fusion that was an antidote for LA's bland fuzak. After that, Joe worked with one of NYC's first full-blown post-punk jazz poseurs, James White, in one of his many tongue-in-cheek cynical and sarcastic funk ensembles. From there Bowie struck out on his own with his Defunkt group that borrowed from James White's punky ascetic, but introduced far better musicianship and more sincere lyrics and presentation.

Thermo Nuclear Sweat is the second outing for Bowie's Defunkt ensemble, and it finds them already searching for what they might do next when the jazz-punk fad will inevitably fade. Most of this album is fairly similar to the first with a lot of raw funk tunes played with punkish abandon and avant jazz chops, but the wave of trendy enthusiasm that gave the first album a lot of propulsion is starting to show signs of doubt on this second outing. In the ever changing NYC music scene, post punk irony is about to be replaced by the more spartan hardcore scene and Defunkt's funky pork pie hats will be replaced by Last Exit's brutal primal scream in the world of avant-jazz rock. Surely a bad sign is the fact that Defunkt includes two classic jazz tunes on here that are passed off as post-punk lounge ironica, when in fact the band just copped out and fell back on the standard working tunes of their jazz days because they were running out of ideas.

The big plus on here is the guitar work of Vernon Reid who plays wacky deconstructionist solos on the jazz tunes, and searing psychedelia on the mostly instrumental rock-funk number Ooh Baby. Joeseph is great on the trombone as usual, but he can't sing and neither can the rest of his group with their almost shouted back-ups. The repetitive almost spoken monotone 'beatnik' vocals are always a minus with this band. Defunkt would have been a lot more powerful with a real singer. Anyway, overall this is a fun album and a great time capsule of NYC club life in the early 80s.

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition.

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