Suggested Listening ’22: DJ B-Funk

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It’s that time of year again! WOUB Culture has reached out to a variety of folks involved in various capacities with the music and arts throughout WOUB’s diverse coverage region to inquire: “what have you been listening to this year, my friend?” Find their answers on WOUB Culture all throughout the month of December. 

Brandon Thompson (DJ B-Funk) in astronaut costume during his HallOUween performance
[Image courtesy of Brandon Thompson]
DJ B-Funk, born in Athens, OH fuses the regional sounds of Appalachia he grew up with while still pushing hard for more acceptance of the 808’s and electronic kick drum sounds that have been moving dance floors for decades. House, trance techno, and anything with energy are his favorites with movie scores being his favorite genre. You can catch B-Funk djing the Trust Me Dance Party at Casa Nueva, and if you were lucky enough you would have seen him at the Nelsonville Music Festival or the Athens Halloween Block Party entertaining the people.

DJ B-Funk Favorites of 2022

Released in 2022


“Midnight”Andrew Bayer


Andrew Bayer is my favorite performer on the Anjuna Beats label. He’s the mastermind behind Above and Beyond’s biggest hits and albums. This song is a grower. It’s long, but it culminates in a release of euphoria I’ve seldom felt while listening to music. And it’s all because of Alison May’s outstanding vocals. You will ask yourself the very question, “will you be there in the morning?” I promise.

“Redlight”Swedish House Mafia


SHM is one of the greatest house music groups of my generation. They returned with their first album in years, and did they deliver. This song uses Sting’s vocals from his time with the Police to amazing effect. There is a build and release that almost feels like I’m in the movie “Flash Gordon” and we’ve just defeated all the bad guys. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s bouncy but never not euphoric.

“Inhibitions” Nox Vahn


Songs are about moments. The best songs have a memory connected to them where it changed you. This one is no different; I was fortunate to hear this song when I attended the Weekender at the historic Gorge Amphitheater. This song is evil. SO EVIL. Nox Vahn is the master of this sound, but that build and that sub-bass pummels you at the drop. There is no other song out there currently that has that kind of raw, makes-heads-turn power.



Alesso, the Swedish House Mafia protégé who has become a house music legend in his own right, brought us a different sound this year for the “The Batman” soundtrack. Clocking in at under three minutes, this pulsing house track is relentless and sure to get you a speeding ticket if you listen in your car. It’s much darker than his sound, but it fits the dark aesthetic of “The Batman” perfectly.

“A Walk With Zeus” – Discognition


Ohio University alumnus and former Marching 110 drumline performer Chad Vasquez performed as Black Rabbit while he was at OU. Recently he launched his Discgonition project, diving into the deeper vibes of trance and progressive. This song, taking its name literally from going for a walk with his dog, is breathtaking in its emotion. I feel like I am rolling over thick clouds when I close my eyes and listen to this track. It’s not his biggest track, but it’s by far my favorite of his. Give this Bobcat a listen. And if you’re in Denver, see him in person. You won’t be sorry.

“Let’s Pretend”Helsloot


A slice of retro house that will make you run and grab your VHS copy of “The Neverending Story.” This is SO ’80s, yet it’s a floor mover. Heard this at Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit, and it never left my playlist. It’s in my top five most played tracks of the year for a reason. The chorus “let’s pretend this night will never end” is truly a phrase I can get behind when I’m on the dance floor hearing something new sound so retro.

“Chains” — Above & Beyond, Marty Longstaff


Above & Beyond and their followers are a cult. The BEST cult, mind you! There — I said it. We all know the words to all their songs, and we all join together at shows for “Group Therapy” where we discuss our favorite Anjuna Beats songs and how they have changed our lives. With that out of the way, this is one of those songs that make me think whatever you’re going through isn’t as insurmountable as it may seem. Above & Beyond are known for their songs about loss, overcoming obstacles, and finding the light when the night is darkest. Marty Longstaff, who had his breakthrough on A&B’s underrated gem “Tightrope,” is fast becoming my favorite of their vocal collaborators.

“Ba55 I5land” Genix

Acid House

Genix is an interesting one. A long contributor to Anjuna Beats, he’s always had this harder sound to his trance. He dropped a ton of acid-tinged almost house tracks during his usual hands-in-the-air trance set at Above and Beyond’s Group Therapy 450. This was an ID for some time and is a total floor mover. It might be too aggressive for some, but you’re gonna get your cardio on with this one. Bass is in the name for good reason.

“Healing Forrest” Tinlicker

Progressive House

The bass line. The awesome name. The duo of Tinlicker delivers a delicious progressive house tune here. Starting out as a safe and slow little ditty, this one quickly morphs into a banger! The synths on this one feel like pillars of light shooting up out of a healing forest that Link from Zelda should be using to repair himself for a long journey to find a dragon.


“The Book of Boba Bett”Ludwig Goransson


“The Book of Boba Fett” TV show was divisive. Some said it was too simple and made an iconic character less threatening. Whatever. I loved it. We may not agree on the quality of the show, but we can agree this change of pace for the theme KILLS it. The singing, the use of that 808 to kick off the song? It made the end of every episode hit so well. It also didn’t hurt that my five-year-old daughter could name this song whenever she heard me playing it. “Daddy, daddy it’s Boba Fett!” Ludwig Goransson, famous for the “Black Panther” and “The Mandalorian” soundtracks, strikes gold again on this one.

We Know What You Whisper— Ludwig Goransson, Busiswa


Oh look! Another Ludwig Goransson track on my top 2022 list! Oh! Look! More 808’s being used! As a lifelong soundtrack/theme music fan it’s hard to find many iconic tracks with bass like this. I love his use of hip hop elements with classic instrumentation to give the sound a grounded but current feel to it. This music was BANANAS in IMAX. I almost jumped out of my seat during “Wakanda Forever” when this came on. Of course it was used to focus in on just how stone cold bass a** the black women of the Dora Milaje are and gives Angela Bassett her moment to truly remind us how much of a force she is on screen. The authenticity of black culture is seldom shown on such a grand spectacle. But this track will live to tell that tale. Tell me you don’t get hype when you play this.

“It’s Raining Vengeance”Michael Giacchino


Alright, so, I could have easily put two other songs from the “The Batman” score on this list (check out “Highway to the Anger Zone” and “A Bat in the Rafters Pt. 1” if you interested). Still, I went with the one that probably encapsulates what I love most about movie soundtracks. These songs transport you to your favorite scenes. Michael Giacchino’s theme comes to life when Batman slowly ascends a dark staircase. You can only hear this theme, and his footsteps slowly growing louder as the fear in the street gang he’s about to pummel grows equally as fast. This theme feels like “The Imperial March” with its simplicity and low notes, which makes sense. The composer had just lived in the Star Wars world working on the “Rogue One” soundtrack, a highly underrated soundtrack. Songs like this are why I go to the movies. You can almost hear this song saying out loud “I’M VENGEANCE!”

Other songs NOT released in 2022 that set my world on fire all year

These are the songs I either discovered in 2022 or played non-stop.


“Tesla”Corvad (2018)


What do the people of Gotham listen to in their clubs? TECHNO. I have always loved club scenes in movies because it was always a chance to hear an unheard party track or electronic music. This song pops up during the discussion between the Batman and the Penguin in his club. This song was RATTLING the theater I was in, even though the song was only playing in the background. It’s a belter that is forever rising. It’s dark. It’s punishing. It totally fits in the decaying criminal underbelly of Gotham City.

“Captain Duck” Duck Sauce (2020)


DJs/Producers A-trak and Armand Van Helden together as Duck Sauce are a dream. I was lucky enough to see them live at Movement in Detroit this year and this earworm caught me off guard. “You said Captain! I said Wot!” a slick disco rework of Captain Sensible’s 80’s hit “Wot!” is a banger. I love call-and-response tracks and this one is strong. Plus it’s FUN. So much music is trying to be serious, but we shouldn’t forget fun and silly work. The call-and-response are so strong that my daughter and I will randomly say, “I Said Captain” on our drives to school and the other HAS to yell, “I SAID WOT!”

“Fill My Heart” Luttrell (2021)


Luttrell closed his set at Otherworld in Columbus this year with this. At eight minutes this song could overstay its welcome, but with a chorus that says “fill my heart with music” you know this song means business. With a sweeping breakdown of swirling filtered vocals, this progressive piece of goodness is for any music fan who needs emotion in their music. People who say electronic music has no soul need to hear this and then shut up and admit they are wrong.

“Little Darling”Marsh (2021)


Simple IS better. Occam’s Razor is based on this. You want further proof? Listen to the melody of Marsh’s “Little Darling” — the song sounds like a children’s bedtime lullaby and I can’t get enough. The first breakdown before the breakbeat comes in is pure bliss. I have worked hard to stop time and just live in that feeling of weightlessness this song creates to no avail. I hope you can show me the way!

“Altitude Blues” Ladytron (2011)


I’ve been a silent fan of Ladytron since I randomly pulled their CD off the new arrival pile at my college radio show on WOUB 1340 AM back in 2001. “Playgirl” is in my top five favorite songs of all time. Weird robot voices and profound nonsensical lyrics are my jam and Ladytron delivers that time after time. This one ups the ante with a floating melody that reminds me of hovering sand dunes and cruising weightlessly for hours. Songs that transport you to impossible locations and states of mind are important and should be shared! I hope you have a similar experience.

“On My Knees” Rüfüs Du Sol (2021)


Australian alternative dance supergroup, Rüfüs Du Sol, won a Grammy for best Dance Recording for “Alive.” They are back with “On My Knees,” which is up for another Grammy this year. This is sweaty, hands-in-the-air dance music for those who say they like electronic music but need vocals for them to enjoy it. Close your eyes and you can see the dark German techno bunker this song was conceived for. Every time those synths hit you can’t help but get your body moving.


WAMA$AP Ferg (2019)

Hip Hop

“THeY dOn’T mAke GoOd RaP mUsIc aNY mORe.” I’m so tired of hearing this from Boomer and soon-to-be Boomer-aged rap fans. Rap didn’t die with Tupac, you just got older. My brother said “hey play this song at Halloween for me” — I played it after he sent it over and I was hooked. This one goes hard. Ferg has a flow and voice I’d always enjoyed and it’s on full display here with a beat that feels like we should busting into someone else’s party, taking everything they have, looking at what we grabbed, then and deciding it’s garbage and throwing it away while the party goers just look at us saying “WTF?” When you hear Ferg start a song by yelling “COOOO COOOOO” you best believe we’re about to take off.

Are You Ready?Billy Ocean (1980)


The pandemic let the cat out of the bag if you watched any of my DJ streams online. That secret? I LOVE Billy Ocean. This is from a phase of Billy Ocean when he was chasing the disco craze and I think he stands up there with Michael Jackson and others with this one. It’s a feel-good Friday night party song about nothing and sometimes that’s what we need. The horns and strings are working overtime on this bop. You’re welcome.

“Oh Sheit It’s X”Thundercat (2013)


You ever discover a song well after it’s heydey and realize you’re never gonna hear it live with a crowd that loves it too? Does it make you sad? Because it guts me. This a four-minute funk track about Thundercat’s wild night on a substance that makes him feel good and his desire for others to feel as good as he does. I had resigned myself to never hearing this live until Athens DJ, Muchi Nochi, made my entire year by dropping this at his funk/disco night at Casa. It has dance floor power for those who understand its true nature. This a party anthem for those with style.

“That’s What I Want”Lil Nas X (2021)

Hip Hop

Lil Nas X is the f***ing man. This song makes me sing my heart out like I’m a seven-year-old kid at a “Frozen” concert and “Let it Go” comes on. Once again, hip hop is alive and has evolved to allow a gay black kid from Georgia to just be who he wants to be for all of us. And what is he? FABULOUS. “Cause I WANT SOMEONE TO LOOOOOOOOVE ME, I need some one who NEEEEEEEEEDS me” You will be singing along to this one after just one listen.

“Walking on Sunshine” — Eddy Grant (1979)


Like many, I only know Eddy Grant for the fire track “Electric Avenue” I was surfing through a Top Danceable Funk Tracks list, and this was number seven out of 100. I love discovering older tracks like this. It expands my appreciation for artists I knew little about. This one jumps out of the gate with a bass line for the heavens and a chorus anyone can get behind. This is a secret weapon to get your dance floors poppin! Once again those horns are front an center on a belter of a track.

“Dancing is The Best Revenge”!!!!, Lea Lea (2017)

Alternative Rock

While prepping for my set at the late-night dance tent at this year’s Nelsonville Music Festival, I was adding some dance-able rock ‘n’ roll to my arsenal and I came across this. I’m a sucker for bass and this one has the bass line to make me smile. Sexy vocals to seduce you into grooving and a track title anyone can get behind. See you on the dance floor!


“The Shape Hunts Allyson”John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies (2018)


The “Halloween” reboot/sequel from 2018 is a masterpiece. In anticipation for the latest installment (“Halloween Ends”) I was doing a ton of re-listening of the 2018’s soundtrack. This song is short and has the PERFECT theme for the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers. This song is played when one of the main characters finally “believes” the boogeyman exists when she meets him face to face. John Carpenter, his son, and his godson made the signature sound by dragging a violin string across a guitar with tons of reverb. It’s a stupendous sound and gets me so PUMPED. I’m not evil, but man do I love their aesthetic! Hahaha

“Lockdown”Steve Jablonsky (2014)


Steve Jablonsky is a madman. I love that no one told him he was making music for “The Transformers” franchise — or he didn’t care. It’s a series I love, but it does involve racist robots with gold teeth for no reason, robots that pee on people, and a giant robot with a scrotum. Thankfully for us, Jablonsky has made some of the GREATEST soundtracks for these less-than-serious films. I had overlooked this soundtrack cause the movie is rough. But a highlight of this film is the character Lockdown, a bounty hunter who is neither Autobot nor Decepticon, and is only here to wreck the place and take Optimus back to his creators. This one starts out ominous and by the time the bass hits you know it’s too late, Lockdown has you. “You see my face, your life is done!”

“House Atreides” Hans Zimmer (2021)


“Dune” is a cinematic masterpiece with the soundtrack to boot. I’ve been jamming to the soundtrack since it dropped. However, I didn’t realize Hans Zimmer released the “Dune Sketchbook” which is an expanded interpretation of his themes that appeared in the film. This song takes the bagpipes of the theme for House Atreids and creates a theme song worth going to war for. With haunting vocals at the beginning, and otherworldly sound design for a hostile desert planet — clocking in at a whopping 13 minutes this song takes its time. Seriously, go listen to this and then ask yourself why does your family and house not have a theme song and if they do… why does it not go THIS hard?