What the F**k is Porn-Funk?

We get asked that a lot, so don’t worry if you didn’t already know. Even though the genre has been around for decades, having “Porn” as part of its name has meant that people are often afraid to speak out loud about Porn-Funk, especially in polite society.

Born in the early 70s, Porn-Funk began as a mix of Funk and Film Score, made (at first) for Adult Films. Those earliest film-scores were highly influenced by  the soundtrack for “Shaft” by Isaac Hayes, which was considered one of the sexiest soundtracks of the decade, and further influenced by Donna Summer’s hit song “Love To Love You Baby,” which featured porno-like moaning from the artist, over a funky bass and wah-wah guitars. The legendary Frank Zappa was one of the first artists to write and record film scores for those early pornos. Others avoided revealing their true identities altogether.

While few would admit to it today, there was once a time when everyone who was anyone was playing music for Adult Films. In a hedonistic age, it was the talk of Hollywood…or more properly, the San Fernando Valley and the Inland Empire.

But what does it sound like?

Porn-Funk is largely instrumental music that was highly influenced by Funk, Soul, Jazz, Disco and Latin Music. It was once described as having “lots of wah-wah guitars and too much bass.” But that only scratches the surface. In the 70s, production values were high and the saxophone became the most sexually-charged instrument in those old soundtracks. But those recordings also included flutes, horn sections, guitars and sometimes an actual string section to “sweeten it up.”

In the 1980s, synthesizers ruled. When budgets dropped, creativity soared. Porn-Funk became experimental and sometimes included elements of new-wave, synth-pop, hip-hop and free-jazz.

Most Porn-Funk was written to enhance the action on-screen whether erotic or just plain raunchy. With the decline of musical scores for modern porno films, the genre has outgrown its original medium, yet the descriptive nature remains in modern Porn-Funk. Even though it is still mostly instrumental, the goal of any good Porn-Funk is to connect you with your sexiest self, your most indecent desires, and your nastiest thoughts.

But in the end, it really is just an instrumental jazz-funk fusion. Any obscene meaning is entirely a product of your own dirty mind.

© Ozone Layer Music (BMI)