Following on from the previous post, we simply had to take a deeper dive into some of our favourite funky/disco house tracks from the 2000s!
How we define ‘’Classic Funky/Disco House’’
Drawing on funk, soul and disco influences from the 70s & 80s, together with the use of samples, the mid-to-late 90s was really the birth era of what we call ‘’funky house’’; a sub-genre that would go on to flourish for about 15 years – running all the way through the 2000s.
Every standout genre (or sub-genre in the case of funky house) has its golden age, which is nearly always during the initial years from when that genre was conceived. And it’s these tracks that are commonly referred to as ‘’classics’’ for years to come.
In short, this is why ‘’classic funky house’’ (or classic disco house) is the best way to describe our selection.
For those of you born in the late 90s, or even the early 2000s, you might prefer to describe these tracks as ‘’old school house music’’ – which is also fine. To a certain degree, you might say it’s subjective.
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Before we jump in
This list below has been hand-picked by our team here at The DJ Revolution, many of whom had these tracks in their vinyl collections as working DJs through this period. It includes tracks from house music legends such as Junior Jack, Deep Dish, Joey Negro and Martin Solveig — released on iconic record labels such as Hed Kandi, Defected Records and Strictly Rhythm.
Make no mistake, these records helped shape dance music culture in a big way during this incredible decade of house music.
For the DJs and music collectors out there, we did our best to include the appropriate ‘buy’ links for the digital and vinyl versions in the description for each track.
So then, here are 20 of the best funky & disco house classics from the 2000s!
1. Carousel Feat. Krysten Cummings – Wanted (Main Piano Club Mix)
To kick things off, we’ve gone for this feel-good piano house classic produced by Carousel members Danny Allsopp, Johnny Coombes and Pete Doyle, with Krysten Cummings providing the infectious soulful vocals.
The track was originally released on well-known U.S. house music label Soulfuric Trax back in 2000. Founded in ’96, the label has since garnered a cult-like following, having released classics from the likes of John ‘Julius’ Knight, Hardsoul, Urban Blues Project, Wayne Gardiner and others.
2. Powers That Be vs Roland Clarke – Funky Planet (Warren Clarke Remix)
Keeping the energy up, this next track is from ‘Powers That Be’, with help from American DJ, producer, songwriter and vocalist Roland Clark.
Also the founding member of the dance music project Urban Soul, Clark has worked with a long list of prolific house music figures including Armand van Helden, Todd Terry, Fatboy Slim and others.
3. Daft Punk – High Life
Originally released on Virgin Records back in 2001, High Life was part of Daft Punk’s disco-inspired second studio album entitled ‘Discovery’. It samples the 1980 soul/disco hit ‘Break Down For Love’ by Tavares.
Daft Punk were of course French electronic music duo, formed in 1993 by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. The duo unfortunately broke up in February 2021.
You can get the vinyl on Discogs (from 2004) or the digital version on Beatport. Alternatively you might just want to get the album, which also includes massive hit singles ‘One More Time, ‘Digital Love’ and others.
4. DJ Disciple Feat. Suzy – Yes (Ian Carey Remix)
With a house music resume as long as your arm, DJ Disciple (real name Dave Banks) is an American house music DJ-Producer from Brooklyn.
Although this track was originally released on David’s ‘Catch 22 Recordings’ label in 2002, it wasn’t until 2006 when iconic UK label Hed Kandi — known for this brand of feel-good disco house — released the more popular Ian Carey Remixes.
If you wish to add it to your collection, you can grab the original vinyl EP over on Discogs or get a digital copy from Traxsource. Whilst it might be considered a little commercial by some, this funky house classic can’t be denied!
5. Danny Clark & Jay Benham – Wondrous (David Penn Remix)
With help from SuSu Bobien on the vocals, ‘’Wondrous’’ was the debut single from production partnership Danny Clark & Jay Benham. This powerfully uplifting funky classic became one of the most successful house tracks of 2008.
The track was first released on Strictly Rhythm and later licensed to Defected, and subsequently featured on countless compilations worldwide.
We couldn’t easily find the David Penn Remix on vinyl unfortunately, although the digital version can be found on Traxsource.
6. Community presents Fonda Rae – Over Like A Fat Rat (Jazz N Groove Mix)
This next track came out on UK label Z Records back in 2003, produced by Community members Eric Beal and Jim Caruso. It’s basically a rework of Fonda Rae’s original, ‘Over Like a Fat Rat’, from 1982.
The remix we’ve featured below is an absolute floor-filler from American house music production team Brian Tappert & Marc Pomeroy – AKA ‘Jazz N Groove’.
The 12-inch vinyl, which includes the ‘Prime Time Dub’ in addition to the Jazz N Groove Mix, is available over on Discogs. You can also grab a digital copy from Beatport or via Defected’s House Masters compilation on Traxsource.
7. Deep Dish – Flashdance (Original Club Mix)
Originally from Iran, Deep Dish are electronic music duo consisting of Dubfire and Sharam, who moved to the U.S. in the early 90s.
With its infectious electric guitar riff, Flashdance is one of the most recognizable dance tracks ever made …certainly from the 2000s. It is a cover of “He’s a Dream” by Shandi Sinnamon (1983) – taken from the Flashdance soundtrack in that same year.
This ‘Original Club Mix’ was released on a few different labels in 2004 and quickly became a massive hit the world over, also featuring on the album ‘It’s All Gone Pete Tong’ a year later in 2005.
8. John ‘Julius’ Knight – Dancin’ In Paradise (JJK Mix)
If you’re a DJ that’s looking for a funky, floor-filling bomb, then look no further! This little gem is by American house music DJ, producer/remixer John ‘Julius’ Knight …also known as ‘JJK’.
The track was first released on UK label Spectrum Records (part of Defected) back in 2002, and is a remix of Candido’s ‘’Dancin’ & Prancin’’ from 1979.
We couldn’t find a digital copy unfortunately, although the 12-inch vinyl (which includes three different edits) is available via Discogs.
9. Gadjo feat. Alexandra Prince – So Many Times (Club Mix)
This next track is credited to German producer, Gadjo, and features singer-songwriter and house music diva Alexandra Prince on the vocals.
As well as proving the vocals, Alexandra also wrote the song, which reached No. 1 in the Worldwide Dance Charts and No. 22 in the official UK Single Charts. It was originally released in 2003 and hit its peak in popularity on the bar & club scene around 2005.
Regardless of its commercial success, the combination of the awesome piano riff together with those reminiscing vocals puts this Latin-influenced funky house classic right at the top of the pile.
10. Rasmus Faber Feat. Melo – Get Over Here (Axwell Club Mix)
Keeping it around the middle of the decade, this next track was written and produced by Swedish composer & remixer, DJ Rasmus Faber – with soulful singer and fellow Swede ‘Melo’ providing the vocals.
Following its massive success in the bars & clubs, originally released in 2005, it was later signed by the Azuli label who provided additional remixes. Groove Armada’s Andy Cato also did one.
11. Joey Negro – Make A Move On Me (Club mix)
Another absolute classic … ‘Make A Move On Me’ was put together by English veteran producer & remixer, Joey Negro (real name Dave Lee), who released it on his own label Z Records back in 2005.
Notably, Dave was one of the first artists to incorporate disco samples in house music when he began his production career in 1988.
Fun fact: Believing that his own name was somewhat mundane, he decided an alias was required. Unable to think of a suitable name and under pressure to meet a deadline, he took inspiration from the artist names that were present on two records amongst a pile upon his desk. Elements from Pal Joey and J Walter Negro.
If you’re looking to pick up this disco house classic, the original vinyl EP includes a few different remixes plus the full acapella, available on Discogs. Alternatively grab the digital version via Traxsource.
12. Salif Keita & Martin Solveig – Madan (Exotic Disco Mix)
This next track was put together by Salif Keita — an internationally recognized Afro-Pop singer-songwriter from Mali, considered to have the ‘’Golden Voice of Africa’’– in collaboration with highly successful French house DJ/Producer Martin Solveig in 2002.
Bringing its unique afro-disco charm, ‘Maden’ was another massive success in clubland, particularly in certain European holiday destinations such as Spain and Portugal. The song peaked at No. 37 on the French Singles Chart and would later appear on various Hed Kandi compilations.
13. Shakedown – At Night (Original Version)
As far as classic funky house goes, I think it’s fair to say they don’t get much bigger than this! Shakedown was a house music project comprising of Swiss brothers Seb Kohler and Stephan Mandrax, with American singer-songwriter Terra Deva providing the vocals on this one.
This timeless classic was first released on ‘Sine Dance’ back in 2001, and later signed by Defected and other labels. The track reached No.1 in the UK Dance Charts and also the Australian Club Chart.
14. Steve Haines – Be With You (Feat. Carmen Anderson)
Whilst you’d rarely associate the word ‘’Euphoria’’ with a house track, it’s probably the most fitting description for this next one! With help from Carmen Anderson on vocals, ‘Be With You’ was released on Hed Kandi in 2009 by UK electronic music DJ/producer Steve Haines.
Since Hed Kandi’s inception in 1999, the UK label became best known for their disco house compilations (among other house sub-genres) and enjoyed meteoric success through the 2000s.
We couldn’t easily find a digital copy unfortunately, although you can grab the 12-inch vinyl over on Discogs.
15. The Soul Seekerz – Electro Shock (The Soul Seekerz Electro Shock Remix)
Another piano house BOMB now that never gets old! This time from English dance music producer duo Soul Seekerz from 2005.
This track is a reworking of old skool Italian House classic ‘Shock The Beat’ by Electric Choc from 1990, which samples tracks from earlier back in the 80s.
If you want to add this to your collection, the 12-inch version is available on ‘in.stinct Recordings’ over on Discogs. Again, we couldn’t easily find a digital copy online, so you’ll have to go digging!
16. Junior Jack – Stupidisco
This next track really needs no introduction …it’s by Italian DJ/Producer Junior Jack (real name Vito Lucente).
Vito is one of the prolific house music producers of this magical era. As a DJ, he dominated dancefloors across the globe, including his residency at Pacha in Ibiza, where he really came into his own as the master of his own sound for Defected.
Stupidisco was originally released on various labels including Defected back in 2004 and reached No.1 in the US Dance Chart. It’s part of the album ‘Trust It’, which also includes club hits such as ‘Thrill Me’, ‘Da Hype’ and ‘E Samba’.
17. Future funk – Wildberry Tracks (Main Mix)
When we think about Disco House classics, this track is right up there with the best of them! It was produced by German electronic music duo, Future Funk – originally released on their own label in 2004.
With its powerful, hypnotic soulful vocals, the track samples Barry White’s soul/funk/disco classic ‘Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long’ from 1976.
18. M&S Presents The Girl Next Door – Salsoul Nugget (If U Wanna)
Going by a number of different aliases during the early 90s/early 2000s, ‘M&S’ were a British music production team consisting of garage DJs Ricky Morrison and Fran Sidoli.
Originally released on vinyl in 2000, this track achieved significant commercial success, reaching the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart in 2001. It samples two disco classics from 1976: ‘Hit And Run’ by Loleatta Holloway and also ‘Everyman’ by Double Exposure.
19. Junior Jack – Thrill Me (Original Version)
Another disco-inspired classic from Junior Jack …Thrill Me was also featured on his album ‘Trust It’ – and a massive hit in clubland!
It was originally released on a few different labels in 2001 and contains a sample from electro-disco track “This Beat is Mine” by Vicky D from 1981.
Erick Morillo provided a vocal remix with Tera Diva, although we definitely prefer the original. You can grab both of those edits on the same vinyl EP via Discogs, or get the digital versions on Traxsource.
20. Soulsearcher – Feelin’ Love (Original Mix)
To finish things off we’ve gone for ‘Feelin Love’ from Soulsearcher featuring vocals from legendary R&B diva Donna Allen. You might say it’s the ultimate feel-good house record!
Soulsearcher was a project of Marc Pomeroy, a Florida-based house music producer who had earlier hits such as “Can’t Get Enough” in 1999, which also featured Donna on vocals.
This track was released on a handful of labels including Marc’s own ‘Soulfuric Deep’ label in 2003. You’ll find all the different digital versions on Traxsource, or you can grab the vinyl EP from Discogs.
With a whole decade to play with we were spoilt for choice when putting this list together — we could have easily included 100 tracks or more!
Particularly for those of you born in the 1980s, I’m sure some of these tracks have a special place in your heart…
We hope you enjoyed the funk!
Read this next: 20 of the best funky house classics from the mid-to-late 90s.
Header image: Blocks on Unsplash.