Beat Funktion was born in 2007 in the Swedish town of Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, as a temporary five-piece constellation for a number of spontaneous club gigs where traditional jazz music was needed for a young dancing audience. To shape the band's repertoire of old jazz standards, pianist Daniel Lantz took the liberty of borrowing inspiration from musicians and bands within groove-based genres in the 70s and late 60s, such as James Brown, Bob James, Eumir Deodato, Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers, Fela Kuti, Curtis Mayfield, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and others, not to mention film music by composers like Lalo Schifrin and Bill Conti. This resulted in a series of original arrangements of jazz standards tailor-made for the band, which utilized the stable, dance-friendly and lush-sounding framework of pumping disco funk and R&B paired with the rhythmic and harmonic freedom of jazz improvisation. It became an immediate success with audiences, and accordingly, the very special jazz-funk sound of the band was born.
After a number of overwhelmingly successful performances, enjoyed by listeners as well as dancers, the band became a permanent working unit and since 2008 it is an impressive six-piece-band consisting of Karl Olandersson on the trumpet, Olle Thunström on the tenor sax, Johan Öijen on the electric guitar, Daniel Lantz on the Fender Rhodes, Pal Johnson on the electric bass and Jon Eriksson on the drums. Although keeping a few classic funk cover tunes as part of the repertoire, pianist Daniel Lantz nowadays provides the band with new, groovy original music in the vintage 70s vein. Additional musicians like percussionists and vocalists occasionally join the band for more powerful live performances.
In the autumn of 2010, Beat Funktion released their debut-album THE PLUNGE for Do Music Records, a production that has culled takes together from multiple previous studio and live recordings to form a whole. On the album, the sound of the band is enhanced with percussion, live acoustic strings, vocals and Moog synthesizers. It features a majority of Lantz' own compositions, plus a funk version of George Gershwin's classic jazz standard ”Summertime”. The disc has received praise worldwide with agents and reviewers of jazz, funk, soul and rare grooves, not to mention DJs.
Early 2013 saw the release of their second album MOON TOWN, an outright concept album narrating the tale about a fictitious nocturnal sci-fi city. The album showcases the band’s trademark jazz-funk cocktail, again reinforced by strings, percussion and vocals, and was met with rave reviews while staying among the top 10 on the US jazz radio charts for more than 12 weeks in the summer of 2013.
The band's third album, VOODOOLAND, another concept production with distinct influences of afro-beat and Nigerian funk, features all original material by Daniel Lantz and boasts a stylized, gritty, vintage, analog soundscape. It was released in Japan in the spring of 2013 on the legendary Japanese funk label P-Vine and on Do Music Records in the autumn of 2013.
The band is currently scheduling their fourth album, MANDY'S SECRET, to be released in August of 2014, which will be co-produced by Daniel Lantz and pianist and producer Mats Björke from famed rock band Mando Diao.